Circus Animal Brookies

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Frosted Circus Animal Brookies are layered with fudgy brownies, Circus Animal Cookies, a funfetti cookie, and a layer of vanilla frosting. They’re the perfect party treat!

4 stacked brookie bars with frosting and sprinkles

If you’ve never had a brookie, you seriously need to try them ASAP. It starts with a fudgy brownie base, and it’s topped with a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie. They’re seeeeriously good.

As if a Brookie couldn’t get any better, these are stuffed with Circus Animal Cookies and topped with a creamy vanilla frosting.

I am pulling this one out of the archives (waaay back in 2014) and giving it a major glow up in 2021. I’ve been obsessed with these recipes for years, but often used store brought mixes. Well now that I have a homemade brookie, I am remaking some of my favorite older recipes but using my newer from scratch recipe.

You know I love a good Circus Animal dessert, and these are no exception. I topped these with my favorite vanilla buttercream, but after I made them, my friend suggested I frost them with my Circus Animal Frosting. Genius? I think so!

Let’s dive in, I bet you can’t stop after the first bite.

A hand holding a brookie bar with a bite taken out of it

Chocolate chip Cookie layer

Make a batch of cookie dough first. The cookie dough is soft and buttery thanks to the added brown sugar and extra egg yolks. This time we are adding some sprinkles for a little color to go with the Circus Animal Cookies.The cookie dough will be pressed on top of the brownie batter, so once you make the dough, set it aside.

You’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Brown & granulated sugar
  • Eggs & egg yolks
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour, baking soda and salt
  • Chocolate Chips & sprinkles

Brownie Layer

Then you’ll make a batch of my fudgy brownies. I recommend making the brownies second because the batter gets really thick when it sits for too long. The brownie batter is fudgy and very rich as it’s made with melted chocolate and extra egg yolks.

You’ll need:

  • Dark chocolate: preferably a dark chocolate bar so that it will melt down nice and smooth
  • Unsalted butter, melted
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs & egg yolks
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt

How to assemble a brookie

  • Pour the prepared brownie batter in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly.
  • Lay out the Circus Animal Cookies in a row. You can pack them tighter together if you’d like to get more in there.
  • Then take large pieces of the cookie dough and press it flat with your hands, then press it into the brownie batter. Continue to layer all the remaining cookie dough is used.
  • Bake and cool and frost

Frosted cookie bars

As if these were over the top already, I decided to add some vanilla frosting. This is absolutely optional, but I love the added texture if provides against the soft cookie and fudgy brownie.

You’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter, cold
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream or milk
  • Sprinkles- because you can never have too many!

My secret to the perfect frosting texture it to use cold butter. Note in the recipe that the butter is cut into cubes and whipped at high speed for several minutes. Essentially the mixer is softened the butter for you.

Three stacked brookie bar with a circus animal cookie on top

Time saving tips

If you want to take some short cuts, you can still make these with a boxed brownie mix, just be sure you get a family size or whatever will work in a 9×13-inch pan. Just note that the baking times may need to be altered (and reduced) with a boxed brownie mix because the brownie layer is thinner than my recipe. And if you really want to cut some corners, grab a can of Betty Crocker frosting while you’re at it!

Can I freeze these?

Absolutely yes, but I recommend freezing the brookie unfrosted, and then adding the frosting when thawed for the best results.

Three stacked brookie bars with a jar of milk in the background
Print
4 stacked brookie bars with frosting and sprinkles

Circus Animal Brookies

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 18-21 servings

Description

A brownie stuffed with Circus Animal Cookies and topped with a chocolate chip and vanilla frosting

Ingredients

For the cookie dough

  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (165g) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (60g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons (254g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (180g) chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup nonpareils sprinkles

For the brownie batter

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (105g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (84g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 package (11oz) Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies

For the frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 3 ½ cups (455g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons (15ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Allow the butter to soften for at least 20 minutes.

For the cookie dough: 

  1. Combine the softened butter with the brown and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue beating until well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir to combine and slowly add the dry ingredients into the dough, mixing on low speed until dough starts to form. Before the dough thickens, add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Beat until incorporated. Set aside.

For the brownie layer: 

  1. Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces and melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for approximately 2 minutes at 50% power. Stir occasionally and microwave until completed melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and combine with the granulated sugar; beat together until well combined.
  3. Next add the egg and egg yolk and beat for 60 seconds at a higher speed until the batter is fluffy (texture resembling a cake batter).
  4. Then add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat until combined.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.

Assembly: 

  1. Pour the prepared brownie batter in the bottom of the pan. Lay out Circus Animal Cookies in rows and gently push into the brownie batter. Then take large pieces of the cookie dough and press it flat with your hands, then press it into the brownie batter. Continue to layer all the remaining cookie dough.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. I suggest covering with aluminum foil after 15-20 minutes to prevent too much browning on top. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. The brownie should be a little fudgy but not wet. Cool completely.

Frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter look light in color.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into the butter then beat for an additional 60 seconds.
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar along with the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes then increase speed a beat for another couple minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.
  4. Frost cooled bars and garnish with additional sprinkles.
Nutrition Information:
1 bar
589
57g
243mg
31g
76.7g
2.7g
5.3g
112mg
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Brookie recipe, circus animal cookies

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4 Responses
    1. Heather M.

      I went ahead and added 1/4 cup of milk to the brownie mix since it appeared pretty dry. The recipe turned out scrumptious…even though the brownie layer was quite gooey (not a bad thing IMHO!) :> I’ll definitely make these brookies again (I’m a sucker for circus animals)…and next time I’ll omit the milk. Thanks for a great recipe that appeases my sweet tooth! Big time.

      1. Beyond Frosting

        Hi Heather! The brownie mix is usually very thick, but it sounds like it worked out for you. I am SO HAPPY that you came back to let me know how it turned out and I am glad you enjoyed it!

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