These Circus Animal Cookie Sandwiches are made with a delicious homemade cream cheese frosting smacked between two soft and chewy cookies!
I know you’re probably thinking why in the heck would you put a cookie inside of a cookie. But wait, hear me out. The crunch from the animal cookie incorporated into a soft, chewy and moist homemade sprinkle sugar cookie with a cream cheese frosting in between is UNMATCHED! If you have children or even if you like sweets I’m almost positive these Circus Animal Cookie Sandwiches will be gone soon after they’re made.
ARE CIRCUS ANIMAL COOKIES THE SAME AS ANIMAL CRACKERS?
- No! Animal Crackers are not as sweet as Circus Animal Cookies in my opinion and are much crunchier. Circus Animal Cookies are also topped with a sweet frosting and sprinkles.
- Chill the cookie dough. The dough needs time to chill so the butter can re-solidify. Chilling prevents the cookies from spreading out too quickly once they’re in the oven. I recommend chilling the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 24 hours max if you have more time. Anything longer and your cookies will dry out.
- Let your butter and cream cheese come to room temperature before you begin. If they are not at room temperature, they won’t combine properly, and there may be chunks of cream cheese in the frosting. If you can, I recommend using a stand mixer to combine because it’s much easier than trying to mix by hand to get smooth.
- Be sure to measure carefully by not packing the ingredients in measuring cups or scooping directly out of the bags. Use the spoon and level method by spooning your ingredients into the measuring cup and leveling off with the back of a butter knife.
- Cookies sandwiches will stay fresh covered in a tight container at room temperature.
Circus Animal Cookie Sandwiches
For the Cookies
- 1½ Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Egg, Room Temperature
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened to room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extrat
- ½ Cup Rainbow Sprinkles (Not Nonpareil Sprinkles because they will bleed their color in cookie dough)
- ½ Cup Crushed Circus Animal Cookies
For the Frosting
- ¼ Cup Nonpareil Sprinkles (Used to coat the frosting)
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 2½ Cups Cups Confectioners' Sugar, Sifted
- 1-2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons Heavy whipping cream or milk as needed
- 8oz Cream cheese, softened
- Piping bag with Round Tip (Can also spread frosting on the cookie with a butter knife)
For the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F . Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed together, about 1 minute or so.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract then beat on high speed until combined, for about 1 minute. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and continue beating until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Add in the sprinkles and animal cookies. Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough and place onto the lined baking sheet. Cover and chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for about 30minutes.
- Arrange chilled cookie dough 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft. Which is what you want!
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until the butter is smooth.
- Turn the speed down to low and add in the powdered sugar. Continue mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla extract and milk or heavy cream until combined.
- Turn mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for an additional 4-5 minutes. If needed, add in a little more cream until you reach the consistency you desire. (If the frosting happens to be too loose, add a bit more powdered sugar)
- Pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting on the flat side of half of the cookies and put the remaining cookies on top. Enjoy!