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Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

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These easy Circus Animal Stuffed Sugar Cookies are so buttery and soft, they’re homemade cookies that are filled with frosted circus animal cookies and drizzled with white chocolate. They are perfect for a fun sweet dessert!

A tray of Circus Animal Stuffed Cookies with white chocolate and sprinkles on top

Circus Animal Stuffed Sugar Cookies

I absolutely love my quick and easy sugar cookie recipe, because it’s so versatile and can be altered for so many fun flavors. Today it’s all about the Circus Animal Cookie. Does this cookie bring you joy? Maybe remind you of your childhood? Every time I pick up a bag in the store I can’t help but be excited about it.

I’ve used Circus Animal cookies for all types of desserts including what may be one of my favorite frosting recipes ever. But these cookies are right up there at the top of the favorites list.

They’re buttery and soft stuffed with plenty of frosted circus animal cookies and even more sprinkles. Plus, I drizzled some white chocolate and sprinkles on top. They’re thick but chewy with an ever so slightly crisp edge.

Let’s get baking.

a stack of cookies broken in half to show the inside

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Unsalted Butter – butter should be at room temperature but not so soft that it’s melting.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar – the secret to soft and chewy sugar cookies. Cream of tartar also gives the cookies that classic, tangy sugar cookie flavor.
  • Salt
  • Circus Animal Cookies- Roughly chop them so you get about 1 1/2 cups
  • Nonpareil Sprinkles
  • Ghirardelli Melting Wafers- Only if you want to add the white chocolate drizzle on top
a close up of chopped Circus Animal Cookies

Let’s Make Circus Animal Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Prep: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Let the butter sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or quickly soften in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. It should be soft enough to slice through, but not soft enough for you to press your finger into.

Cream the Butter and Wet Ingredients: Combine the butter with the sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together. Then add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well beaten.

Add the dry ingredients In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Slowly add into the bowl and beat on medium-low speed until most of the flour is incorporated, then add the Circus Animal Cookies and sprinkles and mix to combine. There are a lot of ingredients in your bowl, so you may need to increase the speed on the mixer to get the dough to come together.

Scoop the Dough: Use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake: In my oven, I bake these for 10-12 minutes. The centers will be slightly underbaked and finish off as they cool. Just make sure the cookies aren’t shiny on top. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

How Do You Decorate These Cookies?

You don’t have to add the white chocolate drizzle on top, but I think it adds to the overall aesthetic of the cookies. In fact, I wish I had pink melting chocolate to drizzle instead! I used some little nonpareils to sprinkle on top of the chocolate before it set.

The easiest thing to do is to get something like Ghirardelli melting wafers because they melt nice and smooth and it hardens pretty quickly.

You could also top them with another Circus Animal Cookie. This has to be done right when they come out of the oven and are still piping hot. Press the Circus Cookie into the top of the sugar cookie. The coating on the Circus Cookie will melt a little bit but it resets as it cools.

Recommendations for Freezing and Storing Cookies

Baked Cookies: Finished cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days. The white chocolate can chip off, so you may want to put a layer of parchment in between. If you are planning to freeze the baked cookies, I would hold off on adding the drizzle topping until you have thawed them. Make sure the cookies cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container to freeze.

Cookie Dough: Cookie dough should be pre-scooped prior to freezing. Store in an airtight bag or container in a single layer and they will last 2 months in the freezer. To prepare the dough for baking, slowly thaw them in the refrigerator to prevent the nonpareil sprinkles from bleeding, overnight is best. Then let them come to room temperature, at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

4 stacked Circus Animal Sugar Cookies
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A close up of a sugar cookie with a pink Circus Animal Cookie in the middle

Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 75
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Description

These Circus Animal Stuffed Cookies are soft and chewy and filled with frosted Circus Animal Cookies and sprinkles. Finish them off with a drizzle of white chocolate and more sprinkles on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Circus Animal Cookies,
  • ¼ cup nonpareil sprinkles (plus additional for garnish)
  • 2 ounces white chocolate (candy dipping chocolate preferred)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. To soften the butter quickly, microwave for 10-15 seconds, otherwise let it come to room temperature.
  2. Combine the butter with the sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix into the butter and sugar until the eggs are well beaten.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Slowly add into the batter and beat on medium-low speed until most of the flour is incorporated, then add the Circus Animal Cookies and sprinkles and mix to combine. Increase the speed on the mixer and beat until the dough comes together.
  5. Use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350° F 10-12 minutes. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
  7. To Add a Chocolate Drizzle: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate wafers at 50% power in 30-second intervals; stir after each interval and continue until the chocolate is melted. Fill a small piping bag or Ziploc bag with melted chocolate and cut off the tip/corner of the bag. Drizzle over the cookies, add a pinch of sprinkles, and allow to set.

Notes

  • The easiest way to add the drizzled chocolate is to get chocolate wafers such as Ghirardelli or CandiQuik because it melts nice and smooth and it sets (hardens) pretty quickly.
  • If you want to top with Circus Animal Cookies, press them into the top of the cookies right when they come out of the oven. The chocolate coating might melt a little bit but as the cookie sets, the coating will also reset
  • See the blog post for advice on freezing cookie dough and baked cookies.
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: circus animal cookies, stuffed cookies recipe, recipe for stuffed cookies, homemade cookies recipe, easy homemade cookies, how to make stuffed cookies

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Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

17 Responses
  1. Holly

    These couldn’t be any more perfect! I used an ice cream scoop and baked them for ~14min. So good!

  2. Amber

    Super fun cookies but I think the recipe might be missing salt. I made a batch following the recipe and a batch with a teaspoon of salt. I found them to be so much more balanced with a better texture. Will be making them again!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thanks for sharing Amber, while I usually don’t add salt, some people prefer this base recipe with salt

  3. Mary M.

    Loved making these and they turned out great! Will definitely make again. Thanks for this fun recipe 🙂

  4. Erin

    These LOOKING amazing! My husband actually came across them on Instagram and asked for these to be his birthday treat 🙂 so I have a week to nail the recipe. How many cookies (approximately) does this recipe make?

  5. Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats

    These cookies look so yummy and fun! I can’t wait to see your wedding dress! That’s so exciting 🙂

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