Have you ever noticed that when you’re pregnant, it seems like EVERYONE else is pregnant too?
Like…all I see are pregnant people.
The Internet Land is no different. It seems like there are tons of pregnant bloggers lately (a virus, perhaps?) and ONE such blogger is Jenny from the blog Picky Palate.
I’ve read Jenny’s blog for awhile now, and we got to know each other a little better when we announced our pregnancy on the same day!! She’s a bit further along than I am though, and she’s due in less than a month.
She’s having a sweet boy, and I can’t wait to see him!!
I got the chance to spend some time with Jenny at Blogher Food this year, and was so happy to see that she is as sweet and fun as she seems online.
(Between you and me, every now and then you meet a blogger who you think will be all nice and cool and then it’s awkward because they’re not, and you’re all disappointed because you were a big fan of theirs and then you realize they are kind of an internet liar. But Jenny is totally not like that. Swear)
Anyways…today I was invited to participate in a (SURPRISE!!) virtual baby shower for Jenny so DUH, I said yes, because everyone knows that surprises are awesome.
Plus, it gave me an opportunity to try my hand at homemade animal crackers, which I’ve been wanting to do for awhile.
These are so much fun, and what I love about making them yourself is that you can make them in any shapes or colors you want!!
Since this is a baby boy, I chose blue, yellow, and white.
I did the shapes as ducks, teddy bears, and cupcakes.
I know cupcakes aren’t very boy-ish, but my boys eat cupcakes and I’m sure Jenny’s do too, soooo…..
These tasted so identical to the pink and white ones I’ve been buying for years, and I love that by making them myself, I can do shapes and colors for any occasion!!
Homemade Animal Crackers
Adapted from William Sonoma
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- At least 3 cups candy melts (candy coating wafers) — I used one cup of each color
- 3 TBS vegetable shortening PER cup of candy melts
- Rainbow Nonpareils
1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and reduce the speed to medium. Slowly add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until mostly combined, then add remaining flour. Beat until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Shape each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. When ready to bake, let dough stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured board, then cut with desired cutters. Place the cut cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheets and place sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350. Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 12- 15 minutes, or until edges are golden. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
7. Melt candy melts according to package directions, adding shortening to thin them to a softer, more frosting like consistency. Dip cookies in the candy and let excess drip off. Place on wax paper, sprinkle with nonpareils, and let set until firm.
**Makes about 80 animal crackers
[donotprint]Want to see all the other fun treats that my friends are bringing to Jenny’s virtual baby shower?
Check out the links below!!
I’d like to wish Jenny tons of luck and a HUGE congratulations for her little guy on the way. I know he will be such a blessing to your family!!
Have a very happy Monday!![/donotprint]