Serious Eats: Recipes

Animal Crackers

[Photograph: Anna Markow]

These unique snacky treats require a couple ingredients you might consider hard to find, but graham flour and whole wheat flour are interchangeable so don't worry if you can't find the former. Bob's Red Mill is a fairly common brand these days and they make a graham flour, but any whole wheat pastry flour will work. Mace is a little more difficult to locate but middle eastern stores or any store with a good selection of spices should have it.

At the restaurant we served these frosted with royal icing tinted pink with powdered strawberries, but I prefer them plain. Keeping them plain also extends the shelf life from a day to up to a month.

Note: If you don't have a food processor, this dough can be made entirely by hand, and you can grind the oatmeal into a coarse flour with a spice grinder. If you don't have that either, you can use a pastry cutter to roughly break up the oats but you won't be able to cut the crackers into smaller shapes. By hand, combine the oat flour/whole oats, sugar, graham flour, cinnamon, mace, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or just rub it into the dry with your hands, then add the hot water and vanilla. Incorporate fully by hand with a flexible bowl scraper, then incorporate the flour the same way.

About the Author: Anna Markow is a pastry chef obsessed with doing things that no one else does and giving unusual ingredients their time to shine. You can follow her sometimes-pastry-related thoughts on Twitter @VerySmallAnna and see her adventures in creativity on her website, VerySmallAnna.

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