These precious ponies are perfect baby shower favors. The 3-D cookies stand and even rock.—Lorri Reinhardt, Big Bend, Wisconsin
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 40 chocolate-covered graham cracker cookies
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
- 3 to 4 teaspoons warm water
- Paste food coloring
- 20 Riesen's chewy chocolate-covered caramels
- Thin crafting ribbon, optional
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. rocking-horse-shaped cookie cutter. Place on greased baking sheets, flipping half of cutouts so they face in the opposite direction (two cutouts will form each rocking horse).
- Bake 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool 2-3 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Flip cutouts so their flat sides are up. Melt chips; stir until smooth. Spread the top of a graham cracker cookie with some chocolate; attach to body area of cutout. Repeat with remaining cutouts. Let stand until set. Set aside remaining chocolate.
- For icing, in a large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and water on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint as desired with food coloring. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth.
- Flip cutouts right-side up; decorate as desired with icing. Let stand at room temperature for several hours or until icing is firm.
- To assemble horses, reheat chips until melted. Place a caramel candy on a work surface in front of you; brush the long sides with chocolate. Pair up two cutouts so they align, forming a rocking horse.
- Brush graham cracker cookies with chocolate; press the cutouts together, forming a rocking horse. (Rocking horse halves are attached in the center by the graham cracker cookies, which join the body, and the caramel candy, which supports the rocker.)
- Gently place rocking horse on its side; let stand at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Repeat for remaining rocking horses. With ribbon, tie bows around rocking horses' necks if desired. Yield: 20 rocking horses.
Originally published as Rocking Horse Cookies in Country Woman April/May 2011, p45
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