Growing up, both of my parents worked, which meant my siblings and I spent a lot of our time with our grandma. She watched us while they worked, and would release us when my mom or dad got home.
And I use the world ‘release’ because usually, we were hopped up on sugar or McDonald’s and in retrospect, were probably jumpy as hell and reminiscent of perhaps a crack addict, wanting to tear things apart and be energetic brats.
I remember many distinct things while under my grandma’s care. First, we ate out constantly. This wasn’t a bad thing as long as McDonald’s continued to offer cool Happy Meal toys, and it was a win-win since my grandma only ever cooked hot bologna, cheese and mayo sandwiches which sounds about as appetizing as doing crack.
Have you ever had hot mayo? Or hot bologna? Unless you’re feeling like life needs to taste a little more disgusting (and by a little, I mean A LOT), I would suggest erring on the side of caution and skipping that sando altogether and avoid the curiosity of ever knowing what hot mayo tastes like.
Anywho, our stomach was regularly filled with Happy Meals and/or Carl’s Jr. chicken stars, and of course, a meal cannot be complete without dessert. We skipped the milkshakes and cones and instead, always indulged in Mother’s brand Circus Animal Cookies. You know, the pink and white slightly-misshapen circus animals coated in chocolate fudge and rainbow nonpareils?
Dude, and I really mean we indulged.
See, my grandma was always good about watching us of course, but it usually meant plopping us in front of the TV to watch Powerpuff Girls or Scooby Doo. And when it came to “portion sizes”, it was based on “eat until you’re full” rather than a modest bowl or handful of something.
So fudgesicles, chips, candy, cookies… all free reign, buffet-style. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised I did not weigh eight-hundred pounds a la Violet from Willy Wonka or go comatose from sugar, but I suppose running around and playing that awful game “Orphanage” burned off enough calories to undo the hideous amount of calories I inhaled on a given day.
One of my fondest memories consisted of eating these very cookies, simply because non-pareils sprinkles have always always been my die-hard favorite. I have been known to eat them by the bottle–plain, of course–because I just love the sprinkly taste and crunch. Nevermind that my mouth is purple for hours but no one really questions it which is both weird and cool at the same time.
Also because I had this thought that the white ones tasted better than the pink probably because the sugar had taken over the logical part of my brain and tricked me into taking cookie sides which is both pointless and proof that sugar does awful things to children’s brains.
One time, my brother and I got ahold of a brand-new bag of animal cookies and we annihilated that bag so hard. I only ate about half of the percentage of white cookies, but he ate the entire percentage of pink cookies since he had the pink cookie preference. Everything was fine and good, the gang of meddling kids solved the carnival crime, and we were on our way to the one o’clock episode when suddenly, I heard blaaaaaaachhhhhsfdjhdfd and looked down to see a big, pink puddle of had-been animal cookies.
It was PINK. I volleyed between a mixture of thinking “his barf is pink; that’s awesome!!” and “omg, that’s barf; gross”. Anyways, after that my grandma became a bit more “strict” with the cookies but not really at all.
And still, many years later, I hold the believe that the white cookies are better to be true. But really, I love all colored cookies–especially these ones–and decided I’d declare this week Circus Animal Cookie Week!! Yup, allllll week I’ll have brand spankin’ new recipes featuring these pink and white cookies and trust me, you’ll want to come back every day since some of these recipes are too dang good to miss.
Circus Animal Cookie Ice Cream
1 small tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar cookie mix (the dry mix)
About 2 cups Circus Animal Cookies, roughly chopped
Rainbow nonpareils sprinkles
1. Spoon out the Cool Whip into a freezer-safe bowl with a lid.
2. In a medium bowl, pour out the milk and whisk in the dry sugar cookie mix to combine. Pour the milk mixture into the Cool Whip, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold the milk into the Cool Whip.
3. Once most of the milk has been folded in, fold in the cookies to combine. Sprinkle the mixture copiously with rainbow sprinkles and top with the airtight lid.
4. Freeze the mixture for about 6 hours or until firm. Store leftovers sealed airtight in the freezer for about 2 weeks.
Let’s review: 1) don’t eat too many pink cookies, or your barf will be pink (or eat all the white ones; they have anti-barf powers); 2) sugar cookie ice cream with chunks of circus animal cookies and sprinkles makes for the best ice cream–ever; 3) with only 5 ingredients, how are you not making this yet?!
Have a wonderful Monday!!