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
- 2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
- ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Bread Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 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 dry ingredients- all purpose flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter for about 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Continue mixing for another 2ish minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in the egg and egg yolk. Mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer a little at a time and mix together until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Fold the chopped animal cookies, along with the spirnkles into the cookie dough.
- Chill the dough for about 30 minutes.
- Scoop cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined sheet tray with a standard cookie scoop.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes, then allow to finish baking on the hot cookie sheet for about 2ish minutes. Enjoy!
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!