What’s not to love about mini pink & white cookies with sprinkles? Plus since they are animals, the cuteness factor is built in. Elephants are probably my most favorite animal, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring home these mini cookie cutters when I saw them at Michael’s/.
Besides my love for real animals, these cuties reminded me of the Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies. I’m a bit partial to the Mother’s Cookies’ brand because my Grandfather used to work for them. The Mother’s Cookies bakery was located in Oakland, CA and my grandfather used to drive a Mother’s Cookies truck and deliver the cookies all over San Francisco in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (maybe the 50’s too). The sad news is the company went bankrupt in 2008, but the happy news is that is was purchased by the Kellogg’s company. Technically, Kellogg’s acquired the recipes & trademarks. They make some, but not all including my favorites, of the previous Mother’s Cookies varieties and sells the cookies here on the West Coast.
As a refresher or for those who aren’t familiar, this is what a bag of Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies looks like. If you enjoy eating the Mother’s Circus Animal cookies, then I’m certain you’ll really like this homemade version. If you’ve never tasted these before, because they are not available where you live, now you can make your own. In my opinion these are a little better than the Mother’s brand because the homemade version is not made with Caranuba Wax; the same wax people use on their cars – ewwww*. Also they haven’t been jumbled around in a bag, are not made by a machine & stuck together like conjoined-twin-cookies, and there are fewer preservatives – The sprinkles don’t count… I Love Sprinkles!!
Circus Animal Cookies
Your favorite sugar cookie recipe (if using my recipe from the link, make 1/2 the recipe and omit the almond extract)
OR if you prefer, make the shortbread type cookie recipe below which is what I used:
Cookies (Step One)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (shortening/palm shortening are okay, too)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- scant 1/8 tsp salt (a dash/pinch)
- optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla
Coating (Step Two)
- 1 cup white chocolate / DIVIDED (note: white almond bark or white & pink candy melts – but those are typically made with partially hydrogenated oils)
- 1 TBL coconut oil /DIVIDED (shortening works too – nowadays its made with hydrogenated oil which does not contain trans-fats like partially hydrogenated version)
- pink or red gel coloring
- mini non-pareils/sprinkle balls
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. (Whisking breaks up any lumps in the flour). Add the flour mixture to the sugar mix and combine until a ball forms. You may need to use your hands. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a sheet about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of waxed paper (or plastic wrap), put it onto a silicon or parchment works, too) cookie sheet and then into the freezer for 10-15 minutes while I washed the dishes I used while making the dough. -*If the dough is a bit difficult to work with, it can be formed into 2 balls, flattened, wrapped in plastic wrap & chilled for about 30 minutes before rolling into the sheets – Use this technique if you plan to make the dough ahead of time.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove from the freezer. Peel the waxed paper off of the top of the dough, dip the cutters into flour, and cut out the shapes. Place cut cookies onto the cold cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for 10-12 minutes, checking for doneness at 10 minutes. The edges edges of the cookies should barely show the signs of browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet until they reach room temperature.
STEP 2 ~
Place 1/2 of the chocolate & shortening into a microwavable bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals & stirring until the chocolate is runny. (Be careful not to overheat or the chocolate can sieze up, the shortening will help to prevent this.) Immerse a cookie into the melted chocolate. Using a FORK to lift the cookie out, tap the fork on the sides of the bowl, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off of the cookie. Place onto a parchment lined cookie that has been sprinkled with non-pareils, immediately sprinkle with the non-pareils, and allow to cool. Repeat one cookie at a time until you’ve covered half of the cookies.
Repeat the process of melting the other half of the white chocolate & shortening, this time add the pink food coloring (or a tiny drop of red, to make pink) and mix into the chocolate. Repeat the dipping/sprinkling process.
Once the cookies are cooled, peel away from the parchment & ENJOY!
Of course, you could also take your aggression out by biting the heads of the animals.
- Mini Animal Cookie Cutters – by Wilton
- White Square Plate – World Market
- Pink Plastic Cup – Costco
*NOTE: Carnauba wax can produce a glossy finish and as such in automobile waxes, shoe polishes, dental floss, food products such as sweets, instrument polishes, and floor and furniture waxes and polishes, especially when mixed with beeswax and with turpentine. – I seriously wonder WHO comes up with the ideas to put these types of ingredients in our food?? I guess they do it because people like me eat it anyway – sigh. That’s one reason I started this blog. Generally speaking, we do eat “junk” food BUT I make a huge effort to make sure that our healthy eating is healthy and that it’s 80% or more of what we eat. I also try to make sure our treats are as natural as possible so that the 5% or so of chemicals we do eat are balanced out by the healthier.