[pinit] My kids declared these gluten free pumpkin animal crackers “lunch success” when they found them in their lunch boxes. “Mom, those animal crackers? Total lunch success.” When did they start grading me? More importantly, when did I start letting them grade me? Don't answer that. Know what else they found in their lunch boxes? Cheese bread from Chapter 4: Loaves of Bread. An enriched, dreamy loaf of gluten free bread. *sigh*
The other day, my son said that a friend saw his lunch and said, “hey is that bread from Trader Joe's?” He was so proud to announce that no, it was not from Trader Joe's. I'm hoping he didn't then launch into his elevator sales pitch for my books. I don't have the heart to tell him, but it's terribly embarrassing.
These cookies (crackers?) are snappy and very pumpkiny. They're clearly perfect for a lunchbox, and they're also a dream for just general purpose snacking. I leave the eating part to you. The making part? That's on me:
Gluten Free Pumpkin Animal Crackers
2 1/4 cups (315 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (60 g out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 ounces pumpkin butter, at room temperature
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Set the dry ingredients aside. In a small bowl, place the butter, egg, vanilla and pumpkin butter, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the pumpkin and butter mixture. Mix to combine until the dough comes together, kneading it with your hands if necessary. The dough should be smooth and thick.
Place the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, and roll out until about ¼ inch thick. Place the dough, still covered in parchment on both sides, in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. When the dough is firm, cut out 1-inch animal shapes with cookie cutters. Place cut outs less than an inch apart on prepared baking sheet (they won’t spread during baking), and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until lightly golden brown on top, and golden brown around the edges (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, gathering and re-rolling scraps as often as necessary.
Once cool, store cookies in a sealed glass container at room temperature for best results.