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 unidentifiable wild root vegetable. 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, sometimes you just want to see a silly picture of pink and sprinkled Frosted Animal Cookies, ya know?
While I truly admire old world Italian art , 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 photo filtered trends or being more obscure than the next artist. 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 of cookies. But, I have a feeling you all are going to enjoy this Frosted Animal Cookies recipe as much as I do!
Frosted Animal Cookies
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 5 dozen cookies (depending on size)
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.
FROSTING THE ANIMAL COOKIES
- 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.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Cookies
These are adorable Becky! This is happening at my house this week if we get “snowed in” again. I randomly have about 3 pounds of those sprinkles because I’m crazy. Now I just need to track down a unicorn cookie cutter.
Thanks Laurel! These would definitely improve a snow day. I think I got my unicorn from Sur La Table. I totally understand you on the sprinkle overload, no judgements here. Let me know how they turn out!
Marla Meridith says
Adorable post! Love this recipe! Pinning & sharing on Facebook later today 🙂
Where can I get those arrow teaspoons? Please email me at marla at familyfreshcooking dot com 🙂
Hi Marla! Thanks for pinning and sharing, I really appreciate the <3. I got the measuring spoons as a gift from a friend in Canada but I'll ask her where she got them and send you an email if I get any info. FYI, I am about to check out your blog. 🙂
they are adorable. love the shapes!
Thanks Dina! I think my favorite has to be the unicorn.
Ali @ Inspiralized says
Just STOP those were always my favorite growing up! Can’t wait to try these!
Hi Ali, they are my fav too! You are going to love this version, they taste really similar to the original but even better (IMO). Let me know what you think when you make them. Enjoy!
Melissa @ Treats With a Twist says
These are SO cute! I have animal cracker cookie cutters I need to whip out! I wish I had a unicorn though 🙂
And I love the spoons. You have a wonderful friend to send you those!
Love your description of the trending photography too. Too funny
Thanks Melissa! You can find that unicorn at Sur La Table and I think Amazon has some options. It’s definitely worth the few bucks. The spoons are so beautiful and finely made, I love them to pieces. Glad you appreciate the description of the trending food photography, I was hoping I wasn’t alone in those sentiments.
Will gel food coloring work as well? And can I leave out the spices? Thanks.
Hi Sally. You must use an oil based (not water based) food coloring/gel or it will cause the chocolate to seize up. You can absolutely leave out the spices, I am sure they’d still taste yummy!