What’s not to love about mini pink & white cookies with sprinkles? They look a lot like Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies don’t you think? 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?). The company went bankrupt in 2008 and was purchased by the Kellogg’s company. Kelloggs acquired the recipes & trademarks and makes some, but not all, of the previous Mother’s Cookies varieties and sells them here on the West Coast.
This is what a bag of Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies looks like. If you like these Mother’s cookies, you’ll really like this homemade version. If you’ve never eaten one before, perhaps 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 us on their cars – ewwww. Also they haven’t been jumbled around in a bag, are not made by a machine, and there are
no fewer preservatives. Well, maybe in the sprinkles. 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:
- 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
Step Two – (Coating)
- 1 cup white chocolate, white almond bark or white candy melts (DIVIDED)
- 1 TBL shortening or coconut oil (DIVIDED)
- 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 silpat lined (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!