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No more Circus Animals: Mother’s Cookies closes

Childhood favorites, remembered

If you’re a fan of Mother’s Cookies’ famous pink and white-frosted circus animal cookies, now is the time to stock up. The 92-year old company has just closed its doors and stopped cookie production completely. There was virtually no warning about the company’s closure, so fans of the cookies – not to mention the employees of the company, who were supposed to get a 60-day notice of layoffs – are left in the lurch. Their other cookies will also only be available until supplies at stores run out, so Taffy Sandwiches, Iced Raisin Cookies (which I liked, but no one else seemed to) and Iced Oatmeal Cookies will also be in short supply. Hopefully, if the company can’t get its finances together, another company will consider picking up the recipes for these classics – or all of our childhood favorites will be little more than memories.

To get your fix in other places, you can use some regular sugar cookie dough and a lot of pink and white confectioners’ sugar icing to construct  a giant animal cookie, like I did last summer, or you can buy a set of circus animal cookie cutters to make your own small cookies. You can also used melted white chocolate and a lot of rainbow sprinkles to get the finished look on the cookies.

Update:  The recipes and trademark of the Mother’s brand were purchased by Kellogg’s, which intends to continue production of Mother’s most popular cookies!

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50 Comments
  • Cookienurse
    October 10, 2008

    oh no! I loved the iced raisin cookies too!

  • food librarian
    October 10, 2008

    oh no!!! i love those animal cookies. oh, those poor bakers. running out now…thanks for the update.

  • Sarah
    October 10, 2008

    I’m not sure I’ve ever had the original Mother’s ones, but Keebler makes the same frosted animal cookies. Not sure if they’re as good, but I love them!

  • Lisa
    October 10, 2008

    BUMMER! My husband’s a California boy and turned me on to the Taffy Creams, which are now my three boys’ favorite store-bought cookie. My sweet in-laws kept us supplied by mail, since you couldn’t buy them east of the Mississippi. I’m really bummed…anyone know a Taffy cookie copy recipe?? I feel really sad for all their employees.

  • Katrina
    October 10, 2008

    Interesting. What a big bummer. My kids love those. (I like them, too!) There are actually several brands that make them, Archway, too, I think. But I’ve always thought the Mother ones were the best.
    By the way, just took a look at your giant sea lion cookie, looks great, so cute, fun and HUGE! Great job!

  • Andi
    October 10, 2008

    Oh man, thanks for the update! My mom loves these; I just sent her the link and told her to stock up. How sad, these are a major childhood memory for me.

  • Heather P.
    October 10, 2008

    Aldi’s makes some wonderful animal crackers. Their iced oatmeal cookies are wonderful too.

  • Laura
    October 10, 2008

    Oh, NO! Those animal cookies have been my favorite holiday indulgence for years! No other cookie company comes close in replicating their recipe.

  • Doris
    October 10, 2008

    I am going to miss those animal cookies!

  • snookydoodle
    October 11, 2008

    whata pity they re so cute.

  • peabody
    October 12, 2008

    I’ve made my own, but sadly not the same. I went out and bought 10 bags.

  • lucy
    October 14, 2008

    It is soooo sad… I will miss them. I have a few bags..But I have found that you can still buy them from ebay. I may try that as I would like to have a few more on hand..

  • lucy
    October 14, 2008

    So sad.. I have seen them on ebay.. I may have to try that .. As the stores in my town are all sold out.

  • sreka
    October 15, 2008

    does anyone have a good recipe that would be similar to the “Iced Raisin Cookies” my husband loves these. Such a bummer to hear.

  • Nicole
    October 15, 2008

    Sreka – I haven’t seen any, but I’m hoping to finish up a homemade version soon. Check back for the recipe in the next couple of weeks!

  • Ann
    October 16, 2008

    I almost cried at the store last night. My grandmother ALWAYS had Iced Raisin cookies in the house and whenever I buy them I think of her. I can’t find any now and I want just one more bag in memory of grandma. This happened too fast and I just wasn’t prepared. Thanks for reading. I feel better now, but I miss grandma!!!

  • Cakespy
    October 17, 2008

    No, no, no, no!!!! These cookies have so many happy memories for me. They were seriously the sugary glue that brought my dear Mr. Cakespy and I together! 🙁

  • Amanda
    October 17, 2008

    Oh that’s so sad 🙁 especially for all those families who have just been thrust into the unemployment line.

  • jenny demilo
    October 18, 2008

    this makes me so sad. they are my favorite store bought cookie
    im going to buy a bag eat them and cry 🙁

  • sweetbird
    October 18, 2008

    Oh no! I loved those cookies growing up. So sad…even worse what they’re doing to their employees though. That’s really just awful for them.

  • Ciindy
    November 12, 2008

    I’m sad, too. I grew up next to Oakland (San Leandro). My dad used to deliver cardboard shipping boxes for years to Mother’s Cookies He’d bring us home just made, STILL WARM cookies and crackers in their boxes. Wonderful memories. For those who grew up in the Bay Area, what other kind of cookie is there?

  • Taylor O.
    December 3, 2008

    MAN THOSE THINGS WERE THE GREATEST COOKIES EVER. I LUVED THOSE AND NOW THEY TRY TO SELL THE CHEAP ONCE THAT LOOK LIKE THEM BUT TASTE NOTHING(WELL SUM)LIKE THEM. I SOOO WANNA START A PROTEST BUT IM JUST A KID. I HOPE SOMEONE STARTS ONE AND THEY START MAKING THE COOKIES

  • Whittles
    January 13, 2009

    I just bought a bag of keeblers iced animal crackers and they stink,the colour is mutd and they are made messy. Icing is thinner and covers the sprinkles.What a way to ruin a life.

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    March 11, 2009

    Sorry Mother

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    No, no, no, no!!!! These cookies have so many happy memories for me. They were seriously the sugary glue that brought my dear Mr. Cakespy and I together!

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  • DIane
    January 6, 2010

    What a tragedy!! My childhood in the bayarea consisted of many iconic things but one special one was Mothers Cookies. My favorite was the iced oatmeal raisin which was by far and above the best darn milk dipping cookie in existence. Please, Please make them available again!

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    My childhood in the bayarea consisted of many iconic things but one special one was Mothers Cookies. My favorite was the iced oatmeal raisin which was by far and above the best darn milk dipping cookie in existence. Please, Please make them available again!

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  • C.C.
    May 14, 2010

    That’s not true. I’m eating it right now.

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    May 22, 2010

    I just bought a bag of keeblers iced animal crackers and they stink,the colour is mutd and they are made messy. Icing is thinner and covers the sprinkles.What a way to ruin a life.

  • friday
    October 15, 2010

    ok, so their website says they are back open, but i can’t fnd the circus animal cookies anywhere! wtf?

  • Chie
    October 18, 2010

    I’m glad they are still in business! I’m eating it right now.

  • SGL
    November 14, 2010

    The original circus animal cookies are back on shelves!! Keebler has bought them and now they’re back!! Eating a bag right now, and I’m in Spain, so I KNOW they’ve got to be back in the US!

  • Lori
    June 8, 2011

    Couple of comments – I’m out here ‘east of the Mississippi’ but grew up in Cali so very familiar with Mother’s cookies. Out here, I have been able to find the iced animal crackers under Stauffer’s brand, but none of the other classics. Quite by accident I discovered a way to create something so close to the iced raisin cookies that I felt like I was three years old again! Simply take a graham cracker, smear a bit of vanilla cake frosting on it and then sprinkle some raisins on top of that. Close your eyes and mmmmmm so good!

  • […] They have shut their doors. They’ve darkened the factory, cooled the ovens, tossed the sprinkles and scrubbed the rolling pins. Evidently this happened in mid October of this year, and only now the shock wave has reached us consumers. Check for yourself. […]

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