Animal cracker refers to a particular type of small cracker or cookie baked in the shape of an animal, usually an animal one might see at a zoo or circus, such as a lion, tiger, bear, or elephant. The most common variety is light-colored and slightly sweet, but darker chocolate-flavored and colorful frosted varieties are also sold. Whereas animal crackers are made with a layered dough like crackers, they are sweet like cookies. Animal crackers are often sold in zoo or circus-themed packaging containing an assortment of animal shapes.
Five Fun Facts:
- The product we know today as Animal Crackers came into being in 1902, but it they had existed in similar forms for generations. In the late 1800s, ‘Animals’ (animal shaped fancy cookies) were imported from England. Many of the small, local bakeries in America made different versions called 'Animals' or 'Circus Crackers'. Bakeries began to unite into larger companies with regional and eventual national distribution at the end of the 19th century. One of these was the National Biscuit Company. Packaging became an important factor in marketing on a national scale. Their ‘Animal Biscuits’ were officially renamed 'Barnum's Animals' in 1902.
- In total there have been 37 different varieties of animal crackers since 1902.
- The current 17 varieties of crackers are tigers, cougars, camels, rhinoceros, kangaroos, hippopotami, bison, lions, hyenas, zebras, elephants, sheep, bears, gorillas, monkeys, seals, and giraffes.
- There are 22 crackers per box.
- The most famous reference to Animal Crackers is most likely in the Shirley Temple film 'Curleytop', in which she sang "Animal crackers in my soup, Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop, Gosh, oh, gee, but I have fun! "
Five Cookie Recipes:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies- These cookies are great with tea. Once baked they’ll keep for at least one week wrapped on the counter or keep a stash in the freezer when you want something that’s not too sweet.
- Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies- Move over chocolate chip, everyone knows there is nothing so tempting as an oatmeal raisin cookie.
- No-Bake Cookies- Kid-friendly, easy to make and delish … what more could you ask?
- Yummy Molasses Crackles- Nancy Caverly gave her grandmother’s recipe for ginger molasses cookies a little makeover—reducing the butter and adding crystallized ginger for a spicy jolt.
- Boot Tracks - These award-winning cookies are made in your waffle iron. Mix up a batch of these chewy, chocolatey treats today and watch them disappear. Patti Anderson, a professional quilter, had never entered a cooking contest before she took our challenge. This quick, no-fuss, chewy chocolate cookie is made on your waffle iron. No need to haul out the big mixer, you can mix the batter with a small hand mixer or even by hand. Kids love these!
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Nutrition information per 2 oz box of animal crackers:
Fat: 8 g
Carbohydrates: 42 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 275 mg
Protein: 4 g
Sugars: 8 g