Monday, December 15, 2014

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014...

Simple Animal Crackers Recipe

Last year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and I loved it.  The boys loved getting surprise cookies in the mail, heck, I loved getting surprise cookies in the mail.  Who wouldn't love surprise cookies?  So of course I signed up again this year!

This year I got cookies from:

and I sent these darling little Animal Crackers to:
Ann Marie from Let's Give Peas a Chance
Hannah from Fleur-de-Licious

 Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen with be co-hosting the round-up at the end of the week so you can see all the delicious cookies the fantastic bloggers who participated this year shared with each other!

And so, without further ado...

Animal Crackers

1 ½ Cups plus 2 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
½ C oat flour
¼ C packed light brown sugar
¼ C granulated sugar
2 tsp finely grated organic lemon zest, plus 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
4 Tbs chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ C buttermilk
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

In the bowl of a food processor or a large bowl, pulse or whisk the all-purpose flour, oat flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the butter and pulse or use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 15 pulses with a food processor.

In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, honey, and vanilla and stir until the honey has dissolved. Add to the flour mixture and pulse or sir with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. Remove the dough from the processor or bowl and knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth, 10 strokes. Flatten the dough into two equal-size disks, cover in plastic wrap, and chill them for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Place one piece of the dough on a well-floured surface. Roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick lifting the dough and rotating to make sure it's not sticking to the work surface and adding all-purpose flour as necessary.

Animal Crackers Recipe 
Use lightly floured cookie cutters to cut out animal shapes. Using a lightly floured bench scraper or offset spatula, transfer the cut-outs to one of the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the scraps once and cut them out in the same way. Bake the animal crackers until light golden brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once from back to front while baking. Cool the crackers on the sheet until they firm up, 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. While the first batch of crackers is cooling, repeat the rolling, cutting, and baking process with the remaining dough and scraps.

Animal Crackers Recipe

Ms. Manning has an icing recipe in her book if you'd like these to be even more festive!  Happy Holidays to all my fellow bloggers!  Keep your eyes peeled for another batch of CotC cookie recipes coming soon!

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