Every Christmas for the barns that I work I make horse treats. Lots and lots and lots of horse treats. As some of you might remember the Nickers and neighs treat recipe. They are great, however when one has 30+ horses to make treats for one goes for the easiest recipe.
This year I asked my 4-H group if they would like to make and sell horse treats at one of our events. They were so excited to be baking horse treats. The little church down here by my house let us use their kitchen since it is certified and our food (even though for horses) would be sellable.
Long story short we sold out of treats by the end of the day! WOW those are a lot of horse cookies. We sold a little bag of approx 10 cookies for $1 or 3 bags for $2. The girls (cause theres no boys in our horse club the girls pick on them, poor things) made up this rhyme "Horse treats a bag for one or three for two, people can eat them and your horse will love them too!" They ran around with boxes of cookies shouting this at the top of their lungs at an event with over 1000 attendees. This is a very good example of how 4-H encourages public speaking (or yelling) they did that all on their own they were pumped to sell all the treats they had made.
Well yes, the cookies are technically for horses but as we were in the basement of the church cooking I went to grab some stuff upstairs. I come back downstairs to a complete giggle fest. I guess I had mentioned that I usually taste the horse treats I bake if it's a new recipe. That is exactly what the girls were doing, daring each other to eat horse cookies and they did. They wanted more! Hahha I had to remind them that they were for the horses at our event and not to eat. They want to make them again this year they were so excited!
I used to roll out and cut each cookie with a cookie cutter but after a quadruple batch of cookies and double that this year I really did not feel in the mood to cookie cut. I flattened the dough into a cookie sheet and scored it.
Here is the easy, peasy recipe I use. A single batch makes about one cookie sheet if you flatten it into the sheet and score it like I did.
1 cup of apples or carrots, grated (we use carrots because its easier)
2 tablespoons of oil (corn, vegetable, wheat germ, sunflower etc)
1/4 cup of molasses
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of oatmeal or bran
1 cup of flour
(depending on where you live you might need to add a teeny bit of water, like 1/8 of a cup)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Mix dry ingredients then wet and carrots/apples. Mix well with hands because it's no fun unless you get to stick your fingers in the gooey mess. Plus it gets too thick for a spoon or those useless egg beater dough hook gadgets. If it's too dry add little bits of water gradually.
Grease a cookie sheet (we didn't have any crisco so I oiled and floured my cookie sheet) roll out dough and start shaping it into the cookie sheet. You want the treats about 1.8 of an inch thick or they don't become crunchy. You can get really creative and cut out the cookies individually or you can be lazy like me and score them into bite sized squares.
Bake 350 for 15 minutes. Once done take out and break apart promptly. They will feel smushy still. Don't worry! When they cool they harden. Horses love their crunchy taste and they last forever! A lady came up to me the other day at a barn with some forgotten cookies I made last year. She asked me if they were alright I told her they looked fine, no mold but I wouldn't feed them to her horse just in case.
Voila, there you have it. Easy and cheap horse cookies for probably less than $1 of supplies you probably already have around your kitchen.
Enjoy your Christmas eve.