If you're like me, nothing puts you in the holiday spirit quite like baking Christmas cookies. Working in the kitchen with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby playing in the background has a calming, stress relieving effect that's exactly what the doctor ordered, especially around the holidays.
To save myself from ingesting far more sugar than a single person should consume in one sitting, I've started baking Christmas cookies for my horses instead! This recipe is easy, quick, and fills your house with that same delicious fresh-baked cookie scent that goes hand-in-hand with gift wrapping, christmas trees and holiday parties. This time around, I decide to give making little "gingerbread" houses a try! I picked up the perfect cookie cutter for the job over on Amazon.
The first step is to make your cookie dough. This recipe makes about a dozen cookies, depending on size and thickness. If you're keen to whip up a bigger batch, just double the recipe! Key ingredients are as follows - all of which are safe for both human and animal consumption.
- 2 cup oat flour or 2 cups of regular rolled oats (*see explanation below)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/8 cup water (or as much as you need to get a dough-like consistency)
*If you're using a cookie cutter and want to decorate your treats, use oat flour instead of regular rolled oats. If you can't purchase oat flour, just put 2 cups of rolled oats in the blender for 30 seconds. If you want to make circular-shaped horse treats and won't be using a cookie cutter, go ahead and use 2 cups of regular rolled oats.
Start by combining your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Once the oats or oat flour and all-purpose flour are thoroughly combined, mix in the molasses. You can do this with a spatula or fork if you like, but I find it's easier to form a dough with my hands since the molasses gets pretty gooey. Next, add the water sparingly until a dough forms. You may not need the entire 1/8 cup, so use your good judgement - you want to make a dough that doesn't crumble so your cookies hold their shape.
Once you've combined all the ingredients into a dough, roll it out on a sheet of parchment paper and get out that cookie cutter. You can try your hand at making these adorable mini gingerbread houses with this great cookie cutter from Amazon. Lay everything out on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let the cookies cool completely before starting the next step: icing!
When making icing texture is key. Mix powdered sugar with water until a thick icing forms that's not too watery and still holds its shape when stirred with a spoon or spatula. Make sure you mix the powdered sugar thoroughly so the icing is smooth and lump free - I like to use a whisk for this. If you want to make certain your icing is the right consistency, check out our saved stories on Instagram for a good visual.
Once your icing has reached the right consistency it's time to get creative! If you're feeling particularly fancy you can transfer it into a Ziploc bag or pastry bag and doodle fun designs or horse names. Just snip off the end and decorate to your hearts content!
Alternatively, you can dip your cookies face-down in the icing to evenly coat them and add sprinkles or colored sugar. For the overachievers out there, you can even add food coloring or peppermint extract to your icing and create some festive masterpieces. Make sure to let the icing firm up before you stack or store your cookies- I typically leave mine out on the counter or pop them in the fridge overnight.
That's all there is to it! Not only is this recipe simple, quick and 100% horse taste-test approved, but it leaves your kitchen smelling like holiday cookies which is really a special treat all by itself. These cookies also make great gifts for barn friends and their ponies - just package them up in cellophane bags or cookie tins and you're ready to go! It's also important to mention you can round up all the ingredients you need to make 10+ batches of these cookies for around $15. Now THAT'S a treat!
Itching to give this recipe a try? Let us know how it turns out! Tag us in your baking photos on Instagram and use the hashtag #HuntClubBakes to be featured on our page - we can't wait to see what you create!