Homemade animal crackers are really quite simple to make and you can be as creative with shapes as you have cookie cutters! Keep you eye on garage sales for inexpensive bags of cookie cutters.
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In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for 2 minutes, on high speed.
Reduce the speed to medium.
Slowly add sugar and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl, if necessary.
Add the egg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, again scraping down sides of bowl, if necessary.
Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
Add remaining flour and beat for 2-3 minutes, until well combined and dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Divide the dough into 2 equal balls. Flatten into disks and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to use, allow the dough to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Place each disk of dough between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap.
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Remove plastic wrap.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour.
Place the dough on the floured work surface and lightly dust the top of dough with flour.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dip animal shaped cookie cutters into flour to prevent sticking and cut out the cookie shapes.
Using a toothpick, poke eyes and patterns onto cookies.
Transfer cut cookies to prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until cookies are light brown.
Allow cookies to sit for 3 minutes before moving them from the baking sheet.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.