I remember being allowed to eat traditional animal crackers twice as a kid. How sad, I know. When I received animal cracker cookie cutters as a Christmas gift I realized that my boys have never had animal crackers and I guess they still haven't. Instead I made them myself and enjoyed every minute of it!
I can't begin to explain my excitement when I first used the cookie cutters. They are plunger cutters and now I believe ALL cookie cutters should be plunger cutters. It makes it so easy. Even if there wasn't a design to imprint in the dough it would still be easier because you can plunge the dough right out of the cutter, if the dough sticks, and mine always seems to. Get some!
6 T. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream butter and sugars on medium speed. Add egg and vanilla mixing well.
Sift in flour and spices and mix until well incorporated adding more flour if necessary to make a firm dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour.
Remove dough from the plastic wrap and roll dough on a lightly floured work surface until 1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutters cut out animal shapes. Transfer cut-outs to a parchment lined baking sheet. Arrange cut-outs close together. The dough will not spread or rise much with this recipe. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired and if leaving the cookies un-frosted.
Bake approximately 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Transfer to a cooling rack and frost if desired.
Unfortunately, I did not write down the recipe I used for the frosting but it was basically a thin buttercream frosting that I let set up on the cookies without covering for about 2 hours.