Circus Shortbread Cookies

Have you ever had those Circus Animal Cookies? You know the hot pink and white frosted cookies with rainbow sprinkles? My Mom never let us have those because they were artificially colored cookies that were covered in frosting, is what we were told when she denied me at the market. So, to this day I've never even had one. But, Thea and Jackie grew up eating them. They both were eating our Cherry French Macarons one evening after work and had an epiphany - they tasted very similar to the Circus Animal Cookies. So, they had an idea to make Circus Shortbread Cookies. They came to me with the recipe idea and we created what you have below. We used ColorKitchen for the pink dye and India Tree's Nature's Colors Pearls and we've provide links below where to buy both. These are so fun and colorful and perfect for Valentine's Day! 

Top view of Circus Shortbread Cookies

Circus Shortbread Cookies

Makes 36


1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened

142 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons all natural almond flavor (like Frontier Co-Op)

255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour


170 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon all natural cherry flavor (like Frontier Co-Op)

1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ColorKitchen Pink Dye

India Tree natural white pearls

Method Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and almond flavor. Mix on low until combined, if there are still butter chunks it’s okay. Add the flour and mix on low to combine completely.

Using your hands form the dough into 36 balls and place on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten them slightly, they should be about 1 3/4-inches in diameter. Space them at least 1 inch apart, they will spread slightly when baking.

Bake for 13 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets.

To make the glaze: In a mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar, water, cherry flavor, vanilla extract and pink dye. Whisk or stir to combine completely into a hot pink glaze.

Drizzle glaze over cookies and sprinkle with white pearls.

Gluten Free – Replace the organic flour for 227 grams (1 1/2 scant cups) organic gluten free flour blend and 57 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic coconut flour. 

High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.

Did you make this recipe? Make sure to tag @dessertdorganic on Instagram!