Circus Animal Brownies

Hello from our new home! I actually made these back at the apartment and have yet to break in the new oven, but I wanted to get the recipe up ASAP since it was requested in the previous comment section.

These are fudgy all the way, with a flakey, shiny top. They taste great on day 1, but are better on day 2, and chilling is key. The brownies are really cute with the Circus Animals, which I am sure Julia Child and Nick Malgieri, whose recipes were combined and adapted to make this one, would just love, but you can leave them off if you don’t like animals….or ones coved with icing and sprinkles.

Circus Animal Brownies

Circus Animal Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Circus Animal Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60%)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Circus Animals as needed (12-16), room temperature, plus broken ones for eating
  1. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray or rub with a little extra butter. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Reduce heat to low, then add the chocolate and stir until melted. If pan is very hot, turn off heat and melt the chocolate over residual heat. Stir the brown sugar into the hot mixture. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer, beat the eggs on high for about 2 minutes. Beat in the salt and sugar; continue beating another minute or 2 minutes until light. Beat in the vanilla then gradually pour in the chocolate. With a heavy duty scraper (my favorite tool for mixing flour into brownies because it helps you incorporate flour without beating the batter too much), stir in the flour.
  4. Bake on center rack at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for about 2 hours.
  5. Lift from pan by grasping foil. Set brownies on a cutting board and score into 12 or 16 bars. Stick a Circus Animal on each brownie. Circus Animals should adhere without any extra icing.

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  1. Angela says

    …”plus broken ones for eating.” So true, so true. Those little things are addictive!

  2. says

    The little animals look right at home, and I’ll bet that if Nick or Julia were serving them to kids, they wouldn’t mind them one single bit. 🙂

  3. C L says

    For the animal cookies alone, I have to make this recipe. 😉 I keep frosted animal cookies in the freezer just in case I need to decorate a last minute birthday cake. Even the faces of grown-ups light up when they see those little critters. 🙂

  4. Shannon says

    I made these awhile ago, and they were absolutely fabulous. I have made hundreds of brownies over the years- my preferred type of brownie is thick, gooey, fudgy, with a nice shiny, crackly top. These fit the bill to a T!! I am making these again tonight- not for anything special, but just because I want them! Will be adding them to my Christmas baking lists as well, definately my new go-to brownie. Thanks!!

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