Animal Crackers and the Tastes of Childhood

I recently purchased a set of animal shaped cookie cutters that are about as close to the original Barnum’s Animal Crackers shapes as you can get.  I’ve been interested in exploring taste and nostalgia for a while now, and decided to experiment in recreating one of my own stand-out tastes from childhood.  I found that it was extremely rewarding to revisit this simple lemony taste that was one of the staples of my early grade school lunches.  I hope that someday I’ll be able to recreate a lost culinary moment for someone, whether it’s a snack brand from their youth or specific dessert that their grandma used to make.

animal crackers

Is there a taste from your childhood that you wish you could relive?  Let me know in the comments!

animal crackers side angle

Animal Crackers Recipe

Ingredients: 2.25 cups all-purpose flour, 1.5 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup baking powder, 1 cup butter (room temperature), 1 egg

For a more prominent lemon taste, include the zest of 1 lemon.

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter and sugar.  Next, add the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Add salt and baking powder.  Finally, slowly incorporate the flour.  Roll out dough and cut into desired shapes.  Place on cookie tray and bake for 10 minutes.


This shape is one of my favorites… I’ve always thought it was a donkey, but maybe it’s supposed to be a horse?
Scottie dog
Sleeping cat
seal pup
Okay, so I’m pretty sure this is a seal… what are you thoughts?

donkey close up

hadley w animal cookie

I hope that this blog post has jogged some sweet memories for you!  You’re never too old to snack like a kid.  With a little time in your kitchen, you can recreate the treats that will take you right back to your favorite childhood tastes.