Alebrije Crackers

How to transform animal crackers into simple works of edible art; alebrijes!

A few months back on a shopping trip to a bulk store to pick up milk, I came across a giant tub of Animal Crackers. I thought my tot would love them, but alas, the tub sat basically untouched for months. I began researching how I could incorporate them into something else, like crushing them and making a crust for pie or cheesecake, or toddler trail mix.

After the 3,000th viewing of Disney’s Coco in our home, a lightbulb exploded in my head. The animal crackers could totally look like those adorable alebrijes in the movie! If you are unfamiliar with the animated film, alebrijes are depicted as spirit animals that guide the dead to the afterlife. However, alebrijes are actually not part of a traditional Day of the Dead celebration.

Alebrije cat by Pedro Linares

Here’s the ART 101. Alebrijes are paper mache sculptures created by Pedro Linares (1906-1992), an artist from Mexico City. The brightly colored creatures came to him in a fever dream he had when he became ill in his 30s. He recalled seeing a donkey with wings, and a rooster with horns among other mismatched animals, all who were yelling “alebrijes!” When he was well, he recreated his vision by crafting the animals with paper and painted them. At first, they were terrifying, just as they had been in his dream. Overtime, he evolved them into brighter beings, as people preferred to buy the more colorful/less scary sculptures.

His creation is the inspiration behind this easy to put together sugary snack: Alebrije Crackers! They make a great party favor for a Coco or Fiesta themed party.

I could dream about these too.

I made these 2 different ways; candy melts vs sugar glaze. Candy melts dry faster so one could package them in a hurry if needed. Sugar glaze needs a lot more time to fully dry before packaging, but it’s easier to get a thin consistency to drip over the crackers.

Method 1: Candy Melts

What you’ll need:

  • Animal Crackers
  • Candy melts (at least 2 different colors)
  • Sprinkles
  • Parchment paper

Lay out some parchment paper on whatever surface you are using, and place the animal crackers over it one layer.

Melt candy melts as directed on the bag. Just do one color, and as soon as it’s thin enough, use a fork or any preferred utensil to drizzle it over the crackers.

The fun part!

Quickly shake some sprinkles over the drizzle before it dries.

Repeat with the next color(s) candy melts, and douse it with sprinkles before it dries. Candy melts dry fast.

Candy melt dripped alebrije crackers

Once it’s completely dry, about 20 minutes to be safe, they are ready to be packaged.

Method 2: Sugar Glaze

What you need:

  • Animal Crackers
  • Powdered sugar
  • Food color (at least 2 different colors)
  • Water
  • Sprinkles
  • Parchment paper

Lay out some parchment paper on whatever surface you are using, and place the animal crackers over it one layer.

In a small bowl, mix about 2 cups of powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of water until completely blended. If it’s too thick to drizzle, add more water in small increments. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar in small increments. Once it’s a good consistency, add some food coloring.

Using a fork or another preferred utensil, drizzle the sugar glaze over all the crackers.

Repeat this with another bowl(s) of colorful sugar glaze.

Douse the glazed crackers with sprinkles! Then let it dry, a few hours to be safe, then package them.

Sugar glazed alebrije crackers

I had a bunch of sugar skull treat bags in my pantry, so I packaged my Alebrije Crackers in those, attached a little paper tag featuring Dante the Dog from the movie Coco, and gifted the snacks to my family for the holidays.

Ready to gift, ready to eat!

What are some ways you use up your Animal Crackers? Share in the comments!

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