Animal Cookie Blondies ~ This is your classic blondie recipe rippled with sprinkles for a funfetti finish and crunchy bits of chopped animal crackers. It’s a fun treat that should bring out the inner kid in you.
Beyond the nostalgic effect, it’s the kind of treat that adults and kids can both enjoy—not too sweet and beyond a one-note hit. Brown the butter first and you will have a blondie bar with a strong butterscotch note to make it multi-dimensional. You know the flavor I’m talking about, the one that carries the melt-y pools of chocolate in every chocolate chip cookie.
You know what else these blondies are good for, aside from being party time for your sweet cravings? They work great to transact briberies for those times you are up against distance learning resistance, bedtime battles and room cleaning struggles with your kids. Somedays I just don’t have it in me to reason with those that think swimming is equivalent to showering and who’s bedtime routine includes nightlights. Every good parent knows being able to communicate with your kid requires a balance of patience, choosing the right words and finding their sugar weakness.
Okay, no one has ever said the latter of the last sentence, but I’m here to tell you sugar pushing works, especially on those who still prefer chocolate milk over wine at dinner. I might not have the best way of phrasing or framing things, as Matt will often tell me, but if rebranding is what’s needed, I told him think of bribery as motivational tokens and sugar pushing as nutritional enhancements. See how much more palatable those parenting moves become?
A few notes before you get started on the Animal Cookie Blondies recipe:
To achieve the funfetti finish without color streaking or bleeding, make sure to use jimmies NOT non-pareils. Non-pareils are the round sprinkles and melt when stirred into batter. Jimmies are cylindrical in shape and do not melt or color bleed when stirred or folded into batter.
For the sling, if you don’t have parchment paper, foil will work just as well. And if you are wondering if it’s necessary, yes it is. It makes removing the bars from the pan much easier.
Optional add-ins to use if you don’t have animal crackers available: Oreos, Nutter Butters, or any favorite cookie will work too.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped Circus Animal Crackers
- 1/4 cup rainbow jimmies (Not non-pareils. See notes for reason why.)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Circus Animal Crackers
- Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly cover a 9x13-inch pan with non-stick spray (this will keep the parchment from shifting around in the pan). Create a parchment sling by placing a sheet of parchment paper perpendicular to the pan. Fold down the paper hanging over the edge. Lightly cover the parchment with non-stick spray (this second layer of non-stick spray is to keep the bars from sticking to the parchment).
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Transfer melted butter to a large heat-proof bowl to cool.
- Add both sugars into the cooled butter, whisk until fully combined. Add both eggs and vanilla, whisk to combine. Add baking powder and salt whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula fold in flour, chopped animal crackers and jimmies.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Use parchment overhang to remove blondies from pan.
- To make the icing: In a small bowl, add powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and vanilla, whisk to combine. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of milk if icing isn't thin enough. Transfer icing to a small plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner and pipe with zig-zag motion onto cooled blondies. Next, cut blondies, then using the remaining icing, squeeze a small drop onto the backside of an animal cracker and press it onto a blondie square. Repeat with remaining blondie squares.
To achieve the funfetti finish without the color streaking or bleeding, make sure to use jimmies NOT non-pareils. Non-pareils are the round sprinkles and melt when stirred into batter. Jimmies are cylindrical in shape and do not melt or color bleed when stirred or folded into batter.
For the foil sling, if you don't have parchment paper, foil will work just as well.
Optional add-ins to use if you don't have animal crackers available: Oreos, Nutter Butters, or any favorite cookie will work too.