Circus Animal Cookie Recipe

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After many, many attempts to recreate the cookies from the same ingredients listed on the package, I put my test recipe aside and returned to the drawing board. If you could improve store-bought cookies, what would you change about them? The cookie itself is delicious, but I knew you could make it better by using real butter and adding an egg. The result is the union of a recipe for sugar cookies and butter cookies. The little cookies are buttery, crisp, and hold up well when dipped in melted candy. This recipe is enough for your cookie jar and something else.

Ingredients of circus animal biscuits

This recipe calls for powdered sugar. By using anti-granular powder, sugar combines easily with butter and creates a crisp, sandy texture.

Unlike butter cookies, this recipe only uses all-purpose flour. This helps cookies hold up a little better.

An egg also gives cookies a lovely golden color and structure. Vanilla is a classic flavor for these little cookies.

Tips and tricks for the best circus animal cookies

The dough should not be over-mixed or the cookies will puff up and not flat. Not a big deal, but a smooth blend definitely produces the best results.

Rolling the dough finely is important because the melted sweets will add extra thickness to the cookies. A quarter of an inch is too thick, but 1/8 of an inch is perfect.

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Pricking cookies with a toothpick also helps prevent cookies from swelling and helps them bake evenly.

This dough is very easy to work with. It needs to be chilled, but not chilled on ice outside the refrigerator or it won't unfold as well. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before rolling it up. Or another option is to roll the dough just after mixing and refrigerate until it is ready to cut the shapes.

Rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment paper is the best way. It's okay to sprinkle with a little flour, but too much will make the cookies harden and take away their buttery flavor and gritty texture.

Transfer the cookies with a very thin spatula to keep the delicate shapes intact.

Where to buy mini animal cookie cutters

I found mini cookie cutters online at Amazon and at Michael’s. Traditional circus animal crackers have slightly different shapes and animals, but I got pretty close!

The size of these cutters was perfect for my circus animal crackers.

What type of frosting or icing is better?

Icing and icing are not the same. Icing is thinner and more an enamel that hardens and hardens. The frosting tends to be thicker and spreadable.

The melted caramel works like a glaze in this recipe. If desired, you can use a powdered sugar icing instead of the melted candy. White chocolate can also be used, but it is more difficult to work with and tint it. While pink and white make them the classic circus animal biscuits, any color would be fun or I'd wear all white if you want.


Unparalleled Rainbows are the standard for store-bought cookies. They are easy to find in the baking section of any grocery store. To change things, use other colors and types.

One of my favorite childhood treats were pink and white circus animal crackers; And honestly, I still love you! In a search to create an imitation version of my favorite cookies, I came up with what I think is the best version available.

For cookies:

  • 12 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon more salt if you use unsalted butter

For the coating:

  • A 10-ounce bag of bright white candy melts
  • A 10 ounce bag melts a bright pink candy
  • Rainbow unparalleled
  • Put the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer or use a medium bowl and an electric hand mixer. Beat butter for 30-60 seconds until creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat again until creamy and well combined. Add the egg and vanilla. Whisk again just until combined. Add flour, baking soda and salt all at once and beat on low speed until dough begins to come together, 1-2 minutes. It is okay if there is some unincorporated flour. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and finish mixing the dough with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
  • Convert the dough into a large square of plastic wrap or wax paper and use the sides of the wrap or paper to roll the dough into a ball. Flatten to a disk about 1 inch thick. Wrap well and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • When you're ready to bake cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature to make it easier to roll up. Preheat oven to 350 ° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Using two pieces of parchment paper or a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large or oval rectangle that is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Using the small cookie cutters, cut the dough into animal shapes and transfer it to the prepared trays.
  • Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes ° F.
  • To decorate: Line two baking sheets with wax or parchment paper. Melt white caramel melts according to package directions. Dip half of the cookies in the melted white caramel, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place on waxed paper or parchment. Immediately after the dive, sprinkle with a pinch of unparalleled rainbow. Repeat with the melted pink caramel and remaining cookies. Allow the cookies to fully harden before removing them from the paper. Store in an airtight container for several weeks in a cool, dry container. (Cookies can be refrigerated or frozen if necessary, but they are quite stable.)

Recipe Notes

Makes about 72-84 small 1 to 1 1/2 inch cookies


Calories :: 320kcal


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