Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Frosted Cookies with Sprinkles... My Take on Mother's Iced Circus Animals Cookies

I think these are probably one of my all time favorite cookies! We didn't get them very often as kids, but when we did I was in seventh heaven! There's nothing special about these cookies...little sugar cookies shaped like zoo animals and coated with a sweet pink and white icing with rainbow sprinkles. So why do I love them so? I am not sure. All I know is that these cookies are my favorite and I have to use all of my self control not to eat the entire bag. 

Not so long ago, I saw a post on Pinterest for frosted animal cookie truffles. I was inspired and decided to try and make my own animal cookies at home. I had all of the ingredients, minus the pink candy melts, so I decided to use what I had on hand. I went with white and yellow. Note to self....stock up on all the candy melt colors the next time they are on sale at Michael's! I also couldn't find my little animal cookie cutters. It worked out though because I had a box of small spring cookie cutters, so I made tiny butterflies, rabbits, daisies, tulips, and chicks...not perfect, but it works! Second not to self, organize your cookie cutters so you can find what you need when you need them...yikes! 

These little tasty treats would make a great addition to your child's lunches or a little sweet surprise for friends and family. Frosted animal cookies will bring a smile to anyone's face...they make people happy! I hope you enjoy making these (and eating them too!) as much as we did. 

Happy Baking,
Miranda



Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1- 12 oz of each pink and white Wilton candy melts

1tsp vegetable oil, helps to make melts thinner for dipping
rainbow nonpareils sprinkles



Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.



In stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and vanilla into cream mixture and mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture gradually. Mix until fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and uniform.



Do not chill dough! Divide dough into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 12 inch circle that is approximately 1/8 inch thick. 

Using a cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out cookies and place on sheets about 1 inch apart.


Bake for 6-7 minutes,or until cookies are lightly browned. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven, so make sure to keep an eye on them. They go from light brown to an icky and inedible dark brown in a flash!




Transfer cookies to wire racks with a thin metal spatula to cool completely.



Next, using a double boiler, fill the lower pan with water until it nearly touches the bottom of the upper pan. Place both pans (inner thin-bottomed pan on top of outer pan filled with the appropriate amount of liquid) on the burner. 



Although you want the water in the lower pan to boil gently, you want to avoid two things -- boiling your water away, or allowing the heat to come up the pan sides thus over-heating the outside edges of your upper pan.

To avoid these two extremes, heat your double boiler to medium heat. Add one bag of candy melts and 1 teaspoon of oil to upper pan of double boiler. Stir constantly until completely melted. Reduce heat to low.




Using a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (this will make clean up a breeze!), drop three to four cookies at a time in the candy melts. You can use a fork to fish them out. Allow them to drip for a moment over pan and place on wax paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils. The outer shell will solidify as it cools. 



Place cookies in small plastic candy bags and tie with brightly colored ribbon as a surprise in your child's lunch or to brighten someone's day! Enjoy!



Makes 24 average size cookies or 68 small size cookies.