horse cookies

Still More Joy Day!

I’m still feeling warm fuzzies over the people who left comments on my More Joy Day post.

Best of all: there are still offers out there for me to mail you some homemade horse cookies, based on the recipes I’ve been experimenting with.

Would you like some? All you have to do is go comment. If you’ve done something awesome recently, something that would bring a smile to someone else’s face, then please share that. If you just want to try some horse cookies, that’s cool too! Comment away.

So go forth! Bring more joy unto the world!

horse cookies

MORE JOY DAY!

Happy More Joy Day!

Have you shared some joy today? Even something small? Small things send ripples. Every little bit counts.

If you’ve done something for More Joy Day, come back and comment on this post, and I’ll share your joy even further.

Finally: I’ve been experimenting with horse cookies over the last few weeks. (Read more about the various recipes under the horse cookies tag.)

On this, More Joy Day, I’d like to offer 10 bags of assorted flavors of my cookies to randomly selected commenters on this post. If you’re commenting to let me know what you’ve done to spread joy, that’s great! You’re entered. If you’re just commenting to get some horse cookies, that’s cool too!

I’ll include some human treats in the bags, too. The more joy the merrier!

Here’s what other people have been doing today:

horse cookies

Horse Cookies #2

So, attempt #1, a peppermint oatmeal cookie, was a mixed success.

For attempt #2, I went even further into modifying my basic oatmeal cookie recipe. I replaced the butter and the eggs with unsweetened applesauce, I swapped the white sugar for brown, I used whole wheat flour, and I played with the proportions of both the flour and the rolled oats.

Straight up applesauce and brown sugar to start.
Mixed all together; a bit more moist than I wanted, but the flavor was there.

Out of the oven.

Last time, some of the horses weren’t wild about the cookies because they were too chewy. This time, I did a double bake, sort of like biscotti: I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool on a drying rack, and then put them back on the cookie sheet at a low temperature for another 15 minutes.

This resulted in a cookie that was definitely not chewy Рbut it was a bit too crunchy. They were basically inedible for humans they were so hard. However, they were a huge success on the taste test.
Several horses completely lost their minds when presented with their cookies, and that included Tristan. He whickered at me from his stall while I was doing taste tests with all the other horses, and scarfed as many as I would give him. Only a few horses weren’t wild about them, and it seemed to be a texture question – they had to move the cookie around in their mouths to get a good bite on it. No one had the reaction they did to the peppermint cookies – everyone ate them and was glad to – but not everyone banged the stall door for more.
Getting closer! I think my next step will be to figure out how to keep the good things about this attempt the same – the flavor, simple ingredients, and whole grain components – but lighten them up a bit, so they’re not as dense and hard. I might try upping the baking soda component, or playing with cooking temperature & time.
This has been a fun experiment so far!
horse cookies

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.