FOR THE ANIMAL COOKIE BUTTER:
- 1 cup frosted circus animal cookies (about 25)
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
FOR THE DOUGH:
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 11⁄2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips
1. Make the animal cookie butter: place the cookies in a food processor. Pulse until you achieve uniform crumbs. You may need to remove the lid and stir a few times to make sure the cookies crumble evenly. Turn the processor on low and slowly add the oil until the mixture has a spreadable consistency, like peanut butter. Pulse a few additional times. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the cookie butter from the food processor into an airtight container. Set aside.
2. Heat-treat the flour: place the flour in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval. Stir well to make sure none of the flour burns (microwaves have those tricky hot spots). Use an instant-read thermometer to test the flour in several places to make sure it has reached 165°f throughout. If you get a lower reading in one area, just stir and heat for an additional 30 seconds until it’s all ready! If some flour sticks to the sides of the bowl just leave it there. Break up any chunks and let cool completely. (insiders hint: do sells their own heat-treated flour so you can buy from them and skip this step! Visit cookiedonyc.com to order.)
3. Make the dough: in a medium bowl, whisk together the heat-treated flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix on medium until light and fluffy; about 4 minutes will do the trick. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl. Add the egg whites and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.
5. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low just until the powdery texture of the flour disappears, about 15 seconds. Immediately add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and mix a final 15 seconds.
6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the white chips. Drop the animal cookie butter in tablespoon-size scoops in four different locations in the bowl. Use the rubber spatula to gently swirl until you see thick ribbons of animal cookie butter. Don’t overmix—you’re finished!
7. Your dough is forking ready! But if you’re craving cookies, keep reading!
1. first, transfer your cookie dough to an airtight container or press a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the cookie dough. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 24 hours. If you can’t stand to wait, place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. (this step helps your cookies hold their shape and gives you that nice gooey cookie center, so don’t skip it!)
2. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°f. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Use a cookie scoop to portion cold dough onto the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between scoops.
3. For soft-baked, gooey cookies, bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden and the centers are just set. Check halfway through baking to ensure your cookies are cooking evenly. Rotate the baking sheet if needed. For crispier cookies, keep them in the oven for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.
5. Enjoy warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.