BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Edible Animals (That are Still Vegan!)

65 Comments

As any vegan can tell you, there will be people out there who are just out to press buttons and ask antagonistic questions about your choices. From the standard, forgivable “where do you get your protein?” to the completely inane “what would you do if you were stranded on an island with only animals to eat?”- Proving that really, there are stupid questions, no matter what some encouraging teachers may say. One particular query that I recall came while standing by the vending machines in school one day with friends, examining the limited options. “Hey, what about animal crackers? Are those vegan?”, some wiseguy taunted, thinking he was being so clever. “Nope, not vegan- But only because they have whey in them!” I quickly responded.

While it may still be a bit weird to consider eating food shaped like animals, even if it contains no actual animals, there is something about these cute crackers that is just irresistible. Luckily, it’s not at all hard to create these cute cookies at home, and without all of the questionable ingredients too. You can even take a few liberties with flavors and get creative! These zoo creatures above may look just like the classic, but there is a secret that will only reveal itself once it hits the palate…

Curry! That’s right, a pinch of curry powder adds not only a rich yellow color, but a nice warm, slightly spicy flavor. Definitely a more grown up version of the original, these animals are some of the few that are actually fit for consumption.

Animal Crackers with a Kick

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Margarine
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Mellow Curry Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
Pinch Tumeric
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Begin by grinding the chia seeds into a fine meal using a coffee or spice grinder, and then add the water, pulsing to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes for the liquid to absorb.

Meanwhile, cream together the margarine and sugar in your stand mixer until smooth and homogeneous. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, and tumeric. Whisk briefly to combine. Add half of the dry ingredients into the mixer, and mix until smooth. Next, incorporate the chia mixture, and the second half of the dry goods. Add in the vanilla, and allow the mixer to continue working until the dough comes together. It may seem very dry, but just be patient and resist the urge to add more liquid.

Once you get a smooth dough, divide it into two pieces and wrap each up in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before proceeding.

When the dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

Take one ball of dough and roll it out very thinly, to about 1/8th of an inch in thickness. Lightly flour the surface and rolling pin if necessary to prevent sticking. Use the cutest animal cookie cutters you can find, and cut out your shapes, transferring them to the silpat or parchment paper. Quickly slip the sheets of unbaked cookies into the freezer for 15 minutes before moving them into the oven. This will help to prevent the shapes from distorting or spreading. Bake for 9 – 15 minutes, taking into a account how small or thin the animal shapes are and keeping an eye on the cookies so that they don’t burn. Let the cookies cool on a rack before storing in an air-tight container.

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

65 thoughts on “Edible Animals (That are Still Vegan!)

  1. Oooh love those savory animal crackers!!

  2. How cute ! these are adorable :)

  3. Loved the story about the wise guy and “stupid vegan questions”- interesting knick with the animal crackers! :-)

  4. Your cookies are amazing, Hannah. I have a problem with cute food though – I never want to bite into it! I had this problem with carob bunnies at Easter when I was younger :P

    I actually got asked the ‘stranded on an island’ question just yesterday. SO unoriginal. How about “What about plants? You’re hurting plants!”. Err.. give me a break. There are some people who need to start taking up a few hobbies if you ask me!

  5. Those are some cute crackers and the flavor is a little bit more grown up.
    It’s funny that you mentioned the whole “what if you were stuck on an island” question. My son and I were just having that discussion the other day about goofy ?’s people ask us.

  6. waouw c’est magnifique, très bien fait :)
    Tu es la meilleur des vegan bakers :)
    C’est so cuuuuute, si nice !

    Waouw vive Better sweet !

    Tu es vraiment très très très douée, un vrai chef vegan !

  7. These sound wacky! I actually found some organic vegan Winnie the Pooh animal crackers at Costco a few months ago–it took us a while to go through the giant tub, but they were an easy snack. They didn’t have anything in them that I wouldn’t cook with, and they made me giggle.

  8. I love your animal crackers! They’re the best! I love the photos too. Especially the first one. I used to be vegan for a while as well, so I totally know what you mean with stupid questions being asked!! Some people can also be so childish..:)

  9. Those are precious! I have some mini cutters I’ve wanted to used for just this purpose, but I’m afraid my lack of coordination will just end up breaking a bunch of dough pieces so tiny.

    Oh, the hypothetical situation questions are the best. My best friend is a huge offender of variations on “What if a cow churned the butter FOR YOU?” Her ridiculous questions and my equally ridiculous answers are kind of our thing now. I also think comparing eating animal-shaped things to antivegetarianism just as inane as comparing gingerbread people to cannibalism, but it’s still funny when people ask.

  10. Those are just about the cutest animals I’d ever actually bite into! I was thinking the same strange thoughts today with regards to my zebra print rug from Target. Clearly it’s not real animal skin, but isn’t it strange that I like the look of animal print rugs and blankets? Something just isn’t right about that. Anyhoooo I’m dying over how cute your cookies are!

  11. I might have to give this recipe a try with my Animal cutters. They look yummy.

  12. These are just too cute. And I bet they taste amazing, too. Curry, eh?? ;)

  13. Whole Foods Animal Crackers are vegan. :)

  14. I used to ADORE animal crackers! I could eat them by the bag! haha

  15. These are so cute Hannah! I’ve been wanting to make animal crackers, and this sounds like a good place to start. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Those are adorable!

    I’m curious what you have noticed baking with chia/vs flax?

    Lately I’ve been using Chia seeds for everything!

  17. oh.. and my favorite STUPID question.. “Don’t plants have feelings?”

  18. ah! super cute! I need to get some chia seeds.

  19. @ melomeals. Haha! What about, “Don’t plants scream if you cut them?”

    I love those cookie cutters. Any cookie that involves curry is a winner in my book. Thanks for the idea.

  20. Okay – that elephant is the cutest thing I have seen all day. The spices sound very interesting… I love how you use the most interesting ingredients! I don’t have that kind of kitchen creativity, so I rely on people like you!

  21. What stupid questions! Hahaha, I love your smart response to the animal crackers question. I’m sure that guy was speechless. Well, these animal crackers look totally awesome. And I love the pinch of yellow curry!

  22. Oh way too cute. Why don’t I own any animal cutters, why!

  23. Those are beyond adorable. I love the personal touches you added, like the giraffe’s spots and the etched tiger stripes. :)

  24. These are insanely adorable!

  25. Wow!!! I love them!!!!

  26. I LOVE the idea of curry powder in the animal crackers – genius!

  27. Adorable, Hannah! I need to get me some cutie cookie cutters, too!

  28. Your animal crackers look wonderful! I’ve seen the animal cookie cutters at williams-sonoma and have resisted buying them. I may not be able to resist them much longer knowing this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  29. If I was stranded on an island I would definitely have these cute crackers with me to eat. Even if it would break my heart.

  30. I never thought to put curry in crackers…sounds like a good kick!

  31. Very cute :) Love the addition of curry!

  32. These are super adorable and probably pretty tasty too! I bet the curry makes them amazing.

  33. those. are. too. cute! there is some brand of animal crackers i’ve found that are vegan, but they don’t have that cookie-quality that the originals do. can’t wait to try this recipe!

  34. wow they look too cute!!
    curry flavour is an interesting idea, never thought of it before :)

  35. Funny title :) I was taken aback for a second there! But you dont think small do you? You want to eat big animals like elephants and giraffes :P

    The crackers look very pretty. I also found the addition of turmeric very unique :)

  36. these are adorable!! love the sound of the curry powder in them for a little spice. i can imagine dunking these guys into a sea of lentil soup or something.. poor little fellas! lol

  37. Where can I find those cookie cutters? They are so adorable.

  38. I definitely have no qualms about eating animal-shaped foods–in fact, I have a penguin ice cube tray! The crackers look great! I can’t wait until my nephew is old enough to eat the regular kind because then I can ply him with the vegan version and convert him :)

  39. So cute!

  40. I might have trouble eating these…because they’re too freaking cute! I love them!

  41. Greatest random post I’ve stumbled upon yet! :)

  42. These are darling! They sound yummy too—I love ANYTHING with curry in it!

  43. Fabulous recipe! Those cookies are adorable.

  44. gorgeous crackers and so cute. I like the sound of the ingredients too.

  45. It always amazes me when vegan friends tell me things I thought were vegan… actually aren’t! Now when I cook for them I make sure to get the recipes from vegan bloggers like yourself so I’m SURE we are good to go :) Totally cute crackers by the way :D

  46. my curry loving daughter might love these! thanks for the awesomely cute recipe!

  47. Curry in crackers?! That’s brilliant! I need to find some sweet cookie cutters so that I can make these for hiking and backpacking snacks. Too cute!

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  49. My favorite is the giraffe :) Glad you provided a link for the Chia seeds…not sure if Whole Foods has’em. Great post!!!

  50. Adorable crackers!! And how intriguing that they have curry in them.

  51. These crackers are too cute! I bet they taste really good too.

  52. These crackers are so adorable! I happen to be on a curry kick now. Perfect timing, I’d say!

    Those stupid questions are everywhere. I’ve learned to just keep my mouth shut, but from time to time, the really stupid ones still get my goat big time. Where is the originality of simply eating whatever our parents fed us without questioning? Oh well, here I go again… :)

  53. CUTE! And I love the curry idea… I want those cookie cutters!

  54. Steven the Vegan and other comments directed at vegans..comedy sketch.

  55. I’ve tagged you in a meme about you and your aspirations. Do check it out: I’d love to see your replies!

    http://summer2009getfit.blogspot.com/2009/04/8-things-meme.html

  56. i like adding curry poweder to sugar cookies too. Look at that seal with the ball! :)

  57. What a great idea!! They would be such a great snack!

    http://www.fortheloveofhealth.wordpress.com

  58. I’ve heard the SAME “wise-guy” remark! At school, by the vending machine! I took his bag from him & scrutinized the ingredients. Him: “I asked b/c they’re ANIMAL crackers, y’know, get it?” Me: “Uh-huh. Well, these have milk powder in them so they’re not vegan. *fake smile*” Which then sparked a more intelligent Q&A w/ a woman standing next to us. Ha. Clearly a sign that neither your peer nor mine is the least bit clever…

    :P These look DELISH, by the way.

  59. These are SO cute. I mite just have to try making some :)
    You have some delicious recipies on your blog…i must come back!

  60. How cute! I especially love the giraffe!

  61. You are so inspiring, Hannah. I just checked out your cookbook from the local library, and am just blown away. I am a 13 year old vegan gluten free girl, and I love to bake and create as well. I’m still in the mostly failure stage of things in the way of baking,though I’ve had a couple successes, and I still have lots of ideas. You have fueled and inspired me! Thank you! I have recently started a blog, and I hope you can look at it. It’s not much yet, but it soon will be!

    Thanks again!
    VEGirl

  62. Rather cool place you’ve got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

    Best regards

  63. Actually, Nabisco’s “Barnum’s Animals” haven’t had whey in them for a couple of years now.

    Love your recipe though, and am going to try it out! I love the curry powder idea.

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