spring circus animal cookies

Nostalgic Circus Animal Cookies get a springtime makeover with the help of assorted pastel candy melts and nonpareils.

How adorable are these cookies? I had been holding on to these animal cookie cutters for quite some time and finally found just the inspiration I needed in the Wilton spring display at our local craft store. An assortment of pastel candy melts and the spring colored nonpareils were just what these cookies needed for over the top cuteness.

I used the King Arthur Flour recipe for animal cookies and it was spot on in flavor. The combination of oat flour and the Princess Cake & Cookie Emulsion gave these cookies the unique flavor profile of traditional animal cookies.

The cookies are absolutely delicious on their own making them ideal for an impressive cookie with minimal effort. Dipping them in candy melts boosts the sweetness and is absolutely worth the extra work involved. Not only are they incredibly tasty, but they are just too cute if I do say so myself.

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Princess Cake & Cookie Emulsion
  • 1½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup oat flour or finely ground rolled oats
  • Assorted colored candy melts
  • Paramount crystals (optional)
  • Colored nonpareils
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, honey, salt, baking soda, and Princess Cake & Cookie Emulsion until well combined.
  2. Gradually add the all-purpose flour and oat flour, mixing until a soft dough is formed. Divide dough into two rounds, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into ¼-inch thick sheets. Cut cookies using desired shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheets. If cutters are sticking to dough, you may dip them in a light coating of flour if necessary.
  5. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms and edges.
  6. When set, transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add 1 cup of candy melts and 1 tablespoon of paramount crystals (if using). Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between and repeating until smooth.
  2. Dip each cookie in candy melts, tap off excess and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle immediately with nonpareils and allow to set until hardened.
  3. Heat additional candy melts as necessary and repeat until all cookies are decorated.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
Animal cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour.

I always roll my cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Once the desired thickness is reached, simply peel off the top layer of parchment paper, gently replace and flip dough so that the top is now the bottom and remove the new top layer of parchment paper to set aside. This ensures that the dough has been loosened from both sheets of paper and will easily lift away when cut. This helps to keep countertops and rolling pins clean while also avoiding the addition of excess flour to the dough to avoid sticking.

Rolling pins with adjustable bands or wheels on each end help ensure that your dough is a uniform thickness throughout the entire sheet. Your cookies will bake evenly and look beautiful every time.

Paramount crystals, approximately 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of un-melted candy wafers, aid in thinning the chocolate. Not only do they make it much easier to evenly coat cookies, but they also help the chocolate dry shiny and smooth.

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
Silikomart Animals Mini Cookie Cutters
Ateco Easter Plunger Cutters – would also be adorable!

Paramount crystals
Princess Cake and Cookie Flavor, Bakery Emulsion