Where’s the fun in food these days? It seems like so many food blogs, magazines and restaurants are taking themselves pretty darn seriously nowadays.
Restaurants are serving up hand foraged urban greens with obscure citrus essence on a bed of some wild root vegetable that nobody actually likes the taste of. Pinterest and blog photos are looking more like dramatic renditions of Italian Renaissance still life paintings than actual food for consumption. While the photos are striking, maybe some are are a little much on the drama scale? I mean it’s a photo of an apple pie not an original Botticelli hanging on the wall of The Uffizi Gallery. Occasionally, I think it’d be refreshing to see things lighten up a bit.
I wanted to bake something that was the opposite of all of that and made for a happy-go-lucky post. What could be further from a meticulously curated deep, dark still life image of an almande extract, pomelo infused bostock with muscovado (Actually, that could be kind of good)? Frosted Animal Cookies, that’s what! Just like those nostalgia inducing Circus Animal Cookies we all binged on as kids. Pastel pink and white animal shaped cookies covered in waxy frosting and splashed in bright and cheerful sprinkles. It doesn’t get much more fun than this, folks.
This frosted animal cookies recipe is for the kid in all of us; the one who wasn’t concerned with hipster trends or being more obscure than the next bespectacled, mustachioed guy. Here’s to the kid who crushed a bag of cookies because they were covered in sprinkles and tasted as good as anything our unrestrained childhood minds could imagine. Let’s all raise a pink, pig shaped, frosted, confetti covered cookie to the fun loving kid in all of us.
I apologize in advance for the number of photos in this post. I had too much fun photographing this colorful zoo. I have a feeling you guys are going to enjoy this frosted animal cookies recipe as much as I did!
Frosted Animal Cookies that look and taste just like the nostalgic classic we all know and love.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teas baking powder
- 1/2 teas salt
- 1/2 teas cinnamon
- 1/4 teas nutmeg
- 1/4 teas cardamom
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter at room temperature 1 1/2 sticks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 teas pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teas almond extract
- 18 ounces white chocolate chips 1 1/2 bags
- a few drops red food coloring *oil based
- 2 tbsp multi-colored sprinkles
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and honey together on high speed for about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat for about a minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until the flour has been absorbed.
On a work surface, divide dough and form into 2 equal balls. Shape the balls into disks and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Let the dough stand at room temperature for 10ish minutes. Remove the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the top with a bit of flour. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for a few more minutes.)
Preheat an oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
Gently stamp out as many animal shapes as possible from the rolled dough. Transfer the animals to the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the remaining scraps and stamp out as many animals as possible until the dough is all accounted for. *If the dough starts to warm up and soften too much, chill the cookies on the baking sheets in the fridge for a few minutes to firm back up before baking.
Fill the baking sheets with the animal shapes, these cookies won't expand too much so you can place them fairly close together on the sheet (at least 1/2" - 3/4" apart).
Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies) until the edges start to turn a golden brown. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let allow cool to room temperature.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare to frost and decorate. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a double boiler (or using a heatproof bowl over a saucepan), melt half of the white chocolate chips over just simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Dip half of the cookies, face down and one at a time, into the melted white chocolate. (I only covered the front halves of the cookies) Set the cookies backside down, with the chocolate side facing up, on the prepared baking sheets.
Top with sprinkles while the chocolate is still tacky.
Repeat the process of melting the chocolate with the remaining white chocolate chips. Once smooth and melted, add the *oil based* red food coloring, stirring in one drop at a time, until desired color is reached. Repeat the dipping and decorating process with the pink frosting and remaining cookies.
Allow the chocolate frosting on the cookies to set for at least an hour. Enjoy the fun!
- Recipe adapted from the Williams Sonoma Animal-Cracker Cookies recipe.