Thursday, December 12, 2013

Horse Cookies: Test 1

As I mentioned, I'm going to try my hand at baking horse cookies over the winter. I'm reading through recipes I find online, applying my own knowledge of baking techniques, and taste-testing them on the horses in the barn

Test #1: Peppermint Oatmeal Cookies

Tristan's favorite flavor in the whole world is peppermint, so I thought I'd start there. Many of the recipes online seemed to be based on an oatmeal cookie recipe, and I have one that I love, so I went over its ingredients and modified them slightly.

Chiefly, I swapped in crushed starlight mints for the white sugar, took out the cinnamon and vanilla, and halved the recipe (since it makes close to 100 cookies).

I first tried crushing the peppermints with my immersion blender's processor attachment. No dice. It wasn't nearly strong enough; it mostly bounced them around and chipped them a bit. Duly noted.

Go ahead, be jealous of my c. 1975 food processor. It was new in the box when my mother gave it to me; my grandmother had bought it on sale, stored it, and promptly forgot about it. It is retro and it worked much better than the immersion blender.

This was about the consistency of the crushed peppermint; in retrospect I might've done them a little less.

Swapping in the peppermint for white sugar.

All mixed up - I don't know if it comes through here, but the dough ended up almost pink, and much more moist than it usually does for these cookies, so this was where I started to worry.

Baked! The crushed mint melted a bit, which surprised me. Not too badly, luckily, but those white spots you see on the edges of the cookies are melted peppermint. It did make the pan a bit sticky to clean.

So: the taste test!

Tristan chewed his cookie and then spat it out. So I stuck it back in his mouth. And he spat it out. Whoops. He repeated that three or four times and then I gave up and dropped it in his bucket, just in case.

I got worried, and promptly tried feeding them to several other horses. Luckily, Tristan was the outlier. Here's how it worked out with the other horses:

Justin, Willow, Twinkie, Prince, Carousel, Brody: LOVED IT. Carousel in particular whickered at me for the rest of the time I was at the barn.

Rain, Skip, Monty: Meh. They ate them, but they weren't enthused.

With the horses that either really didn't like it (Tristan, the goober) and the rest that were kind of meh, it seemed to be a texture issue. These cookies were chewier than I had hoped for, which is a great quality in a human cookie, but not in a horse cookie.

My final test is to see how they store; they've been in a sealed container in my kitchen for a week since this initial baking and taste test. I'll do a second round of testing and then report back.


  1. Tucker looooooathes chewy cookies. Rounders and Meadow Mints, yes! Fancy stuff that _I_ would eat, with a peppermint on top? NO GO.

    1. I had hoped that I could get this cookie to be less chewy, and it was drier than a human cookie, but still chewy. For my next trick I'm going to work even harder to dehydrate them and make them crisp.

      I think getting them crunchier will help them stay good longer, too, and potentially someday be able to mail a bit better. I have some time tonight - it will not get into double digits all day so barn is a no-go - so I'm hoping to do another batch.

  2. The Canadian girls are all so different: Kaboose likes squishy things, and tried to steal my lemon poppyseed loaf while STILL IN THE SARAN WRAP such that I had to reach waaaay in and fish out the crumpled slimy mass. She also likes black licorice which the other girls spit out. Ruby was the only one who thought the trader joe's animal crackers were worthwhile, the others spit them out, with prejudice. The weirdest thing they all mugged me for was a banana skin.

    Also Prince!! The hero of one of my favorite books! Give him another for me when you go past!

    1. If I'd thought about it, I could've guessed that Tris would not like squishy things. He won't eat banana bread or muffins or any other baked goods I am eating when I'm at the barn. I wonder if I get these crispy enough, if I'll see some of the horses that liked chewy treats get turned off?

      Weirdest thing Tristan begs for: tea. He will lick it out of my hand all day long.

      He is still the cutest, and he still does lessons occasionally. He was almost going to be a turnout buddy for Tristan but he got tasked to babysitting duty instead. Things I keep forgetting to blog about: H. and her lease horse are frequently our trail companions now! So the story continues.

  3. Oh I want to try this! I have a beast of a food processor too... love that thing!

    1. It's a work in progress. I tend to like baking projects that I have to keep tinkering with. :)

      I only fairly recently unpacked this food processor but I am having a ton of fun with it. I did pie crust for samosas a few weeks ago and it was way easier than cutting the butter in by hand, and over the weekend I did peanut butter from scratch too. It's not even too bad to clean, since I can take the blades out and don't have to clean around them like with a blender.


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