Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Circus" Animal Crackers

I recently scored the CUTEST Noah's Ark cookie cutter set on Amazon for 5 bucks! They are literally the size of a wheat thin but I was instantly inspired. 

Super cute right?

I knew right away I wanted to make Animal Crackers but not just any kind... The Mothers ones with frosting and sprinkles. These guys were a luxury when we were growing up and now that I'm an adult I secretly buy them from time to time but I could never avoid that waxy taste. 

C'mon Mothers! I want to eat delicious frosted cookies with crunchy sprinkles... Not a candle.

So here's my version. With the cookie cutters only costing a couple of dollars and the ability to use store bought frosting you could totally make these today. 


For the cookies:
(makes around 60-80 "crackers")

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Favorite store-bought vanilla frosting.

Rainbow Nonpareils. 

In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add in the flour and baking powder and mix until combined. If the mixture is a tad crumbly, combine with hands until a ball forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out. I went to the movies and ran errands with my son and thawed it slightly when we returned. 

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour your work surface, rolling pin and top of dough (cookie cutters included). Grab half of the dough and roll out to an 1/8 inch or as thin as you like. Cut your cookies out and place on cookie sheets. Continue process until your sheet is filled. Once completed stick the sheet in the fridge while you warm up the oven to 300 degrees

Once your oven is heated bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned, being careful not to burn.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Continue process, in several batches, until all the dough is used. 

After your cookies have cooled completely, separate your frosting into 2 microwave safe containers. Dye one with a little red frosting coloring to make the pink and leave the other white. Working quickly, microwave one color for 5 seconds until the consistency is runny. Dunk your cookies into the frosting with a fork, letting the excess run off and place on your cooling rack, sprinkling with your rainbow nonpareils. 

Alternate between colors, I suggest using up all of the pink before moving on to the white (or vice versa). 

Let frosting harden a tad and I allowed them to chill in the freezer for a little while also.

Now consume. Have a circus of a good time with them (minus the scary clowns and strangers).


  1. I want these so bad! I love those store-bought cookies, so I bet a homemade version is amazing!

  2. These are too cute!

    Mrs. Delightful

  3. ooh! I am with you on the waxy taste of the store bought kind. And cookies these days are so dang expensive!! I just happen to have bought this same cookie cutter set, but never really used it. I am going to dig through my cookie cutters, find it and make these SOON.

  4. Oh, what a great recipe! My husband loves the store-bought ones. I bet I could tempt him away from his WW desserts with these...(a lofty goal, but one I try often). :)

  5. Amazing! These cookies were my mom's favorites! My boys would definitely love these :) Pinning and thanks for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  6. Thank you for sharing! I love the store bought ones and these are BOUND to be better since homemade usually is!

  7. I have to wonder... sure, these are homemade, but if you're using store-bought frosting, what's the point? It's still store-bought, as far as I'm concerned. Sounds like a lot of time for a similar result. I love the idea of making these, so I will experiment with homemade frostings, too.

    1. That is the great thing about recipes... you can make yours however you like!

  8. I j, just tried this recipe, the dough seems to be try dry. Is there an ingredient missing maybe? I added a little bit of water and its back and fridge chilling now. I couldn't even get it to roll out because it was so dry, pure crumbs! :( I really want to try this!

  9. Hi, sorry about the frustration behind the cookies. The dough is in fact crumbly, as you'll notice in the recipe I even posted a section about "crumbly dough". You will want to work it with your hands to form the dough ball. Hope this helps