Gluten Free Vegan Animal Crackers

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while as my family loves them. I try to make them at least once a month, but I have started making bigger batches and freezing them (not quite as good, but pretty close).

These are relatively simple, but time consuming as you do have to cut out each animal cracker individually. I find that the dough is a tad bit sticky, so it takes a bit of work to get your extra flour for rolling and prevent sticking to your cookie cutters.

I use little cutouts that I got off of amazon that are actually meant for fruit, veggies and cookies. Super little and super cute. You can use whatever shapes you want, I love making them in shapes my daughter recognizes like bunny ears or fish etc, but circles work just as good. I like them small as they are great for little fingers (a little bit bigger than my thumbnail is my go to).

I have used several different flour mixes and I have found the one on the link the best: Gluten Free Baking Mix.

Gluten Free Vegan Animal Crackers

  • Servings: 200 small crackers, 90 standard animal crackers
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Ingredients
1 1/3 C Gluten Free Baking Mix flour
1/8 tsp baking soda (1)
1/4 tsp salt (2)
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 C vegan butter, room temp. (I use miyokos butter) (3)
3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce, room temp.
1/3 C cane sugar
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2 Tbsp warm water (thickened for 5 minutes) (I use golden flaxseed meal so it isn’t visible in my baking)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (4)
3/8 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV) or lemon juice (1)

Directions
1. In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg), set aside.
2. In a large bowl vigorously whip the butter with the back of your fork until fluffy (2 minutes). Add the applesauce and sugar. Fluff until well mixed (another minute). Add the flax “egg”, vanilla and apple cider vinegar/lemon juice and whisk until blended in.
3. Add the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients as you stir to make a nice cookie dough
4. Divide into 3 balls and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (I wrap each ball individually in saran wrap to prevent drying out).
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
6. Between 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll out one ball of dough until 1/4″ thick. Using mini animal cookie cutters cut out your cookies.
7. Carefully transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the edges begin to lightly brown.
8. Allow to cool on a wire rack, enjoy. Will store in an airtight container for up to 1 week on the counter. Freeze in airtight container for longer lasting crackers, take out prior to enjoying.

Notes
(1) Baking soda & apple cider vinegar: This is a substitute for 1/2 tsp baking powder.
Corn & Grape Allergy – Baking powder is not corn free. Find corn-free if need be. Cream of tartar is made from grapes, if you have a grape allergy; you just need 1/4 of powder for baking soda and remainder in apple cider vinegar
(2) Salt: Corn Allergy – Many that are allergic to corn are sensitive to iodized salt as corn is used in the processing. Sea salt is better, but some are still quite sensitive.
(3) Butter: Dairy & Corn Allergy – Depending on allergies use whatever butter you need. There are several options: MELTEarth BalanceMiyoko’s, coconut oil, goat butter). Beware of salt in butter if corn allergic (look for sea salt/unsalted). Many of vegan butter have corn derivatives.
(4) Vanilla: Corn Allergy – Vanilla is made with alcohol, often corn, you may need to make your own

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

If you are anything like me, you have bags of frozen fruit in the freezer, just waiting to be put into something delicious. I love to stock up on fruit in the summer from local farmers. Raspberries, blueberries, sliced apples, peaches (whole and sliced), plums, currants and much more.

So what do I do with all those bags of fruit? Last week I posted about Apple Crumble and I use those sliced apples in it regularly. My Banana chocolate chip muffins are moist and delicious, usually using frozen bananas.

We just started trialing blueberries with our daughter this week and I figured, what better way to trial than to make some muffins. This recipe is super simple, quick and absolutely delicious. They even taste great after frozen! They are so good I forgot to take a picture before I froze them lol.

Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 8 large, big topped muffins / 10 standard muffins / 20-22 mini muffins
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Ingredients
1 1/2 C flour or flour substitute (I use my Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)
3/4 C cane sugar plus 1 T for muffin tops
1/4 tsp sea salt (1)
2 tsp baking powder (or 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar) (2)
1/3 oil (olive, grapeseed, avocado etc.) (3)
1 egg or egg replacer (1 T flax seed meal and 2 T warm water) (4)
1/3 – 1/2 C milk or milk alternative
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (5)
6 – 8 oz fresh or frozen blueberries (about 1 C)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin tins; I grease my pans, but you can also use paper cups. (6)
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add oil to a measuring cup that holds at least 1 cup. Add the egg, then fill the jug to the 1 C line with milk. Add vanilla. Whisk to combine.
4. Add milk mixture to the bowl with dry ingredients, using a fork to combine. Don’t over mix. The batter is quite thick. Fold in the blueberries
5. Scoop the batter into your pans. I use my large trigger release ice cream scoop. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin (optional).
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes and tops golden or until toothpick comes out with crumbs, not wet batter. (Mini muffins bake for 9-11 minutes). Transfer to cooling rack. Place in airtight container and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes
(1) Salt: Corn Allergy – Many that are allergic to corn are sensitive to iodized salt as corn is used in the processing. Sea salt is better, but some are still quite sensitive.
(2) Baking Powder: Corn & Grape Allergy – Baking powder is not corn free. Find corn-free if need be. Cream of tartar is made from grapes, if you have a grape allergy; you just need 1/4 of powder for baking soda and remainder in apple cider vinegar
(3) Oil: Corn Allergy – Don’t use “vegetable oil” as it can be corn or soy oil. Canola oil is one of the worst oils for cross contamination with corn. I usually use grapeseed oil. Olive oil isn’t always 100% olive oil either, so if you are sensitive, be careful.
(4) Egg Replacer: Corn allergy – I have found that many of the egg replacers out there use corn starch, so beware which one you buy. Bob’s Red Mill works as a great replacer, however it has a lot of cross contamination and isn’t recommended at all with corn allergies. You could also use a flax egg as an alternative.
(5) Vanilla: Corn Allergy – Vanilla is made with alcohol, often corn, you may need to make your own
(6) Grease: Corn & Soy Allergy – PAM is full of contaminated corn oils and soy oil. I use safe oil & grease with my hands. You can buy oil mister bottles and fill with your own safe oil as well.

photo creds: inspiredtaste.net