These Homemade Iced Circus Cookies are a fun treat to make with the kiddos as you guess what animal the pink and white blobs are.
Once again it is time to throw on my party dress and head out to the blog party.
This month’s theme is Kid’s Party.
And luckily for me one of the ideas I had in my head before this ever came about fit into this category perfectly.
Growing up my mother always made homemade cookies.
There were only two types of cookies that she would usually buy from the store.
Those were Oreos and Circus Animals.
Oh how I loved those little pink and white sprinkled blobs that were supposed to be animals.
I spend half my time eating them and the other half trying to figure out what animal I was eating.
And since when is a hippo a circus animal?
So in my quest to find circus animal cutouts that were small, all of them came with an Ark, and well I didn’t want that.
So I stumbled across some mini farm animal cookie cutters and quickly snatched them up knowing that I had wanted to give it a go.
I have actually been working on this idea for the last couple of weeks.
And boy it has stumped me…mostly the frosting that is.
Circus animal frosting has carnauba wax and that is what makes the frosting so unique.
Well getting my hands on some was going to require me to buy a lot of it in bulk.
And though I am dedicated to my blog….I just don’t need that much carnauba wax.
I’m not sure who does.
So I pretty much gave up on the idea of replicating the taste of the cookie.
Instead I went for trying to match the aesthetics of the cookies.
Small cookies lead to big problems.
Tiny little cookie cutters leave room for lots of things like beaks to be ripped off when not being careful in transferring them out of the cutter.
I lost many a tail, leg and head today(moment of silence please).
Small cookies also lead to standing in the kitchen for hours cutting them out.
I originally had more of an actual animal cracker in mind for my “circus” animals.
But changed to a sugar cookie when I figured I could not match the flavor of the icing.
Both my husband and dog love a good sugar cookie, so I knew I would have no problems unloading them.
And as always it’s a great day to order my cookbook.
Want More Cookie Recipes?
Roll Out Shortbread Sugar Cookies
White Chocolate Chip Creamsicle Cookies
Vanilla Bean Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
Homemade Iced Circus Cookies
- For the Sugar Cookie Dough:
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 lb, 8 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 TBSP baking soda
- 1 TBSP cream of tartar
- For the Icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 TBSP vanilla
- pink food coloring
- round sprinkles
- For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 375F.
1. Cream the powdered sugar and butter for at least 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the bowl after each egg.
Add vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes.
2. Mix in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar while mixer is on slow speed.
Mix till you have a smooth dough.
Chill for at least 4 hours before rolling out.
Roll out dough and cut using whatever shapes you would like (doesn’t really matter once you throw icing on them, it’s anyone’s guess as to what they are)
This recipe makes A LOT of dough. It's scaled down from my days at a bakery.
For the Icing:
Whisk the sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth.
Set 1/2 of the icing to the side to remain white.
Add pink food coloring to the second half of icing.
To make the ‘Circus” Animals:
Dip on side of cookie into icing.
Before icing sets up sprinkle on multi-colored decoration balls.
Let sit for about an hour to set up.
Once done, enjoy trying to figure out what it is you are eating….that is a cow by the way in the photo below.
Hundreds and thousands! That’s what us brits call the multicoloured ball things. Anything with them on brings back memories of… well last weekend 😀
Those are just too adorable! Thank you for keeping the baking spirit alive for me this month, Peabody!!!
Anna Maria says
Those are the cutest, sweetest little things. It feels good just to look at them.
Your circus animals will be the life of the (blog) party. How cute! And good call on skipping the caranuba wax.
I use to love these as a kid too! I’d never think of trying to recreate them.. how cool is that? Excellent job – I think they look much better than the real thing! 😀
Yum! How could you go wrong with hot chocolate??
I used to, (still do…) love trying to figure out what the animals are. When I first saw the “cow” my guess, despite knowing they were farm animals, was bear, and then hippo, but maybe you had planted that second notion in my head with your previous hippo talk.
I remember those cookies from when I was a kid too. You did a great job on them. Thanks for your nice comment on my Hello Kitty pumpkin 🙂 Glad I found your blog so I can visit again. I love food blogs.
Wow! Those look just like the store-bought kind. I use to love those as well. I think Fuzz would really enjoy making these.
Cookies look great! About how long should they bake?
Wendy- for the little animal cookies about 6 minutes. If you were to make a regular shaped one about 9 minutes.
circus cookies are my favorite (or *were,* before i was vegan)! great post!
Paula Richard says
Wow! Recreating these cookies, only better with a real sugar cookie and more flavorful icing! Now they will finally, taste as good as they look. Can’t wait to take these to a party.
Hello! I made your sugar cookies! Mine did not look anywhere near as nice as your circus animals but my tasters LOVED them! You are right on about how much dough it makes….I made them and made them and made some more;-) The first ones I made as you suggested but the second go round I threw all my different colored sugars in a bowl and made a hodge podge to sprinkle on top of the cookies before baking. I sent boxes to California, Florida, and Minnesota. Everyone raved about how great a baker I am. lol I just smiled and told them I got the recipe off your blog! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
Sarah Ryan says
Your pictures of the cookies are so good. Who did them and can I get your permission to use them?
Tina Anderson says
Thanks so much for this awesome site and this recipe. Once I figured out how to read the recipe correctly my second batch of cookies came out delicious. My 2 year old son loves the circus animal cookies from the store. His Grandma bought a bag for him. I love baking so having to buy cookies seemed sinful..LOL. Well, we made these together. The only problem is trying to explain to a two year old not to eat every single cookie after he sprinkled them with the colored dots. I kept saying,”Save some for Daddy please.” It was so much fun and the cookies tasted so much better than that bag Grandma bought him.
I read on another blog that melted white chocolate chips could make a good icing substitute. It certainly would harden up plenty waxy and can be easily dyed.
Waaah! Mothers Cookies is out of business! and Circus Animals are nowhere to be found. This year has been a bummer, but this blow is just too much.
Maybe this will assuage my grieving.
Thanks for your pioneering work in homemade, not storebought.
Thank you for this! I was so sad to hear that Mother’s Cookies was going out of business… But now I can make my own, with Hot Chocolate, too! 😀 Thank you, Peabody!
do you use one pound and 8oz of butter..a total of 6 sticks??? its confusing on the directions.
I’m making the surgar cookies but I’m not sure how many sticks of butter I’m supposed put in????? Plezzzz help!
One pound 8 oz of butter. Every stick of butter is 4oz. 16 oz in a pound. So this equals 6 sticks of butter.