Baking,  Recipes

Pokemon Animal Crackers

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Growing up watching the cartoons, collecting the cards, reading the manga, and playing the games, these Pokemon themed treats were incredibly fun for me to make. Taking me back to my childhood, these crackers were inspired partly by the classic cookies I loved as a kid and partly by the Kraft Pokemon shaped Macaroni and Cheese my mom would always save as a special treat.

Upon hearing about an upcoming weekend with family, including my two younger cousins of age five and three, I immediately wanted to prepare something that would excite them the way a bowl of Pokemon Mac and Cheese excited me when I was their age.

These Pokemon Animal Crakers were the perfect solution and turned out to be soft, subtly sweet, and incredibly cute. The only caveat to my plan was that I was temporarily working in San Fransisco, living out of a small, slanted apartment with little to no baking supplies, and a gas oven so old it burned almost everything. So I decided to do it.

In the end, I made over 100 cookies, each one hand-cut and individually iced. Although it took three days, I was so happy to share these sweet treats with my younger cousins, whose initial reaction was that the Pokeball was actually just a beach ball.

Process

The first step to making these crackers was finding templates I could use for each Pokemon. After lots of googling, I managed to find individual silhouettes of Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur that were clear enough to be recognizable but would still make a sturdy cookie. I then transferred these shapes onto cardstock and cut them out carefully.

After that began the real cutting. With each day came a different pokemon (and a few Pokeballs when my hands got tired). After finishing a batch of each cookie, I lay them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 10 minutes. This helped the cookie firm up before baking so the edges stayed sharp and the cracker didn’t lose shape.

Although cutting each shape took ages, baking the cookies turned out to be the really tricky part. Not because of the cookies, but because of my old, gas, slanted oven. I ended up baking the crakers at 300 degrees rather than the recommended 350 because this oven always seemed to get much hotter than it said. They stayed in the oven for a total of six minutes with me rotating the pan after three to get an even bake. Unfortunately, even with all these precautions, there were some mistakes – most notably with the batch of Squirtle cookies, which came out of the oven a bit too browned. Luckily, I had gotten into a grove with this shape and had enough that I could discard the ones that were really burnt.

The last part of this cookie making process was the glaze. I was worried that the plain cracker might be unrecognizable and wanted to give them some color. To solve this, I made a simple powdered sugar and water glaze colored with food coloring. After all the cutting and baking, this part was a breeze and it was rewarding to see the cookies start to come together as finished pieces.

At first, I was dipping the cookies face down in the glaze and setting them on a baking sheet to dry. This method often left the cookie with too much coverage and after a while, the glaze would bleed off the front of the cracker. After some experimentation, I found that using a knife to apply the glaze and tapping off the excess was the best method for a clean coating.

Finally, after all the cookies had their colored glaze, I let them sit overnight in the fridge to for the coating to harden. After that, they could be taken out and stored in a container on the counter.

These cookies turned out to be so cute and the end result was incredibly rewarding to see! Sharing these with my younger cousins was by far the best part of this process. I was so happy to be able to share a fun treat with them that can’t be bought in stores! I would love to make these again using fruit juice to color the glaze and give each pokemon a distinct flavor.

Pokemon Animal Crackers

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons Salted Butter Softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 drop desired food coloring

Instructions

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Mix for around 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well.
  • Add the flour mixture to the bowl and beat together until a soft dough is formed. It should be smooth and moldable.
  • Divide the dough into manageable chunks (I divided into four parts for the four different pokemon) and roll out on a floured surface to about ¼ inches thick.
  • Use a cookie cutter or stencil to cut out the desired shape. When fully cut out, carefully transfer the cracker to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep cutting shapes until the desired amount of cookies is reached.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and let the cookies chill for about 10 minutes until firm.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes, rotating the baking sheet if needed. The crackers are done when they reach a light golden shade. To keep the edges from burning, I suggest placing a piece of parchment paper over the cookies as they bake.
  • Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack
  • Prepare the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and water together.
  • Divide the glaze into separate bowls and add the desired color food coloring to each one.
  • Using a knife, carefully spread the glaze over the cookie. Tap off the excess and transfer the glazed cracker to a plate or wire rack.
  • Place the cookies in the fridge overnight or until the glaze is set

Notes

  • This recipe is adapted from Half Baked Harvest
  • There was no way I could cut all the pokemon shapes in one day, so I stored the excess dough in the fridge for cutting the next day. I kept the baked cookies in an air tight container until they were ready to be glazed.