Thursday, January 12, 2017

Our Nutter Butter Horse Cupcakes

Everybody has a different capacity for helping out with different kid activities, you know? Like, I am deeply involved in Girl Scouts and our town's inclusive homeschool group, I'm willing to pitch in practically full-time during Syd's performance rehearsals, I do fencing with Will, I'm occasionally on volunteer duty at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, but I'm that mom who just drops off her kid for horseback riding lessons and Pony Club meetings. I have no presence to give there. It's the kid's social time and horse time, anyway--I have no desire to be there to distract her from the very few hours a week that she's willing to look away from her books and be out in the world.

I'm telling you all that so that I can tell you that when the leader of Pony Club sent out an email with a list of parent volunteer positions that she needed help with, I did not choose co-leader or accountant or hostess or any of the other duties that are what she really probably *actually* needs help with, but rather, I snapped up the volunteer position of Snack Mom.

I, who hate to cook, whose husband will sometimes bring home pizza for dinner without even calling me first, because he rightly assumes that of course I didn't cook, who, when I do have to cook, will half the time "cook" by simply heating up leftovers for the children and then hours later make myself Ramen, or a microwaved baked potato, volunteered for Snack Mom.

It was the job on the list that looked like the least work.

The job also appealed to me because I sensed in it the potential to create adorable, horse-themed snacks, and that's exactly what I did for my Snack Mom debut, the Pony Club Christmas party.

Normally, I wouldn't throw sugar at a bunch of overexcited, horse-loving little girls, but the Pony Club party included a pizza dinner, so I volunteered to bring both a healthy fruit salad (my "I'm too lazy to cook for your potluck" specialty!) and the dessert.

I'm really going to be in business once I make or buy a horse-shaped cookie cutter, but until then... well, I don't know how people made adorable things before Pinterest, but I'm sure glad that I have it now!

The kids helped me make these horse cupcakes, with a couple of modifications:

1. Matt's one job was to buy the Nutter Butters before he left for his business trip, and I don't know how he possibly managed to screw up buying a cookie whose main claim to fame is that it's nut-shaped, but he somehow purchased the ONE package of Nutter Butters that weren't nut-shaped, but round.


I was already stressed that day, and when I opened the package and saw those round cookies I just blinked at them for several seconds, then thought, "Well, now what?" We only had an hour, tops, to get the dang cupcakes and the fruit salad and the gift that I'd JUST learned Will had to bring ready, so I couldn't drive ten minutes to the store, spend ten minutes buying the perfect cookies, and drive ten minutes back.

As Tim Gunn might say, however, desperation is the mother of making it freaking WORK, so I chopped a bit off of one side of each cookie, stuck them together with frosting, and called it adequate:

It probably would have looked better if I'd used the transparent gel that the original tute calls for, or if I'd covered the seam with a licorice bridle as this tute for no-bake horse cookies does, but I don't own either of those things, and ten minutes to the store. Ten minutes in the store. Ten minutes home. We're making it work.

We did have candy eyes and black icing (I have never been able to find a food coloring that does a good black for me), so at least the other essentials were covered.

The kids were so excited to decorate these cookies like horses that the cookies had to be strictly divvied out. I showed them the photos of the finished cupcakes from the tute, but didn't give them any other instructions, so they happily made the project their own:

And here are the finished cupcakes!

I can't decide if they legitimately look like horses, or if they only look like horses if you know that they're supposed to be horses. I was supposed to add cashew halves for ears, and probably shouldn't have let Syd color the frosting pink, but that's what she wanted, and she's the one who made the frosting from scratch AND frosted all the cupcakes that she baked herself, so there you go.

Anyway, if these showed up at your Pony Club party, even if you couldn't tell that they were horses, at least you could tell that they were homemade!

P.S. A message from Syd: "Hello. Last year, I used the cookie money I earned from selling cookies to spend the night at the zoo with my troop. We spent the night at the dolphin tank, and we got to see the zoo before anyone else got to see it that day. Then we spent the whole day at the zoo! Here is a picture of me being groomed by a flamingo:

This year, I hope to use my cookie money to buy toys for the pets at the animal shelter. You can help me reach this goal by buying Girl Scout cookies on my Digital Cookie by asking Mom for the link. If you want to donate cookies to the soldiers [Mom note: through Operation Cookie Drop], then here's the link. Thank you!"


mamaraby said...

My horse loving child looked over my shoulder and exclaimed, "Horses!" upon seeing the picture (and without knowing the backstory), fwiw.

I think they're adorable.

julie said...

Oh, yay! Thank you--that's good to hear! Now that I know that it IS possible, and actually pretty simple, to cut a bit off of two round cookies to make that peanut shape, I think it would be cute to use some different round cookies as cupcake toppers. If we wanted to go absolutely crazy, we could even make different colors of icing for different colors of manes. I'd still want to make matching icing, though, or maybe ice on a bridle.