Monday, November 10, 2008

Horseshoe Cookies for Martinmas

St. Martin of Tours is also represented with a horse (in addition to a goose). That being the case, horseshoe cookies, or cakes, are another great food to incorporate into your Martinmas celebration!

"In Poland, rich cookies shaped like horseshoes were baked for St. Martin's snow-white horse, on which he "comes riding through the snow" when one least expects him." The Cook's Blessings

There are lots of recipes for horseshoe cookies and cakes. If you have a Horseshoe Cookie Cutter or Horseshoe Cake Pan, you could use that with a recipe of your choice. Catholic Culture recommends St. Martin's Horseshoes, Horseshoe Cookies, Hobby Horse Cake, or Almond Horseshoe Cakes. The following recipe, from Martha Stewart, is the one I am hoping to make:

Vanilla Horseshoe Cookies


1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, very cold


    Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar and the almonds. Process until finely ground. Add flour and salt, and pulse to combine.

    Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod. Add seeds to the flour mixture. (Reserve bean for the dusting sugar.) Add butter a few pieces at a time. Quickly pulse to combine. Do not over process. The mixture should resemble coarse meal.

    Place the reserved vanilla bean on the prepared baking sheet, and let dry out in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

    Remove dough to a clean work surface. Blend dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand. Gather it up with a bench scraper, and continue process until dough will peel easily from the work surface in one piece.

    Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a cylinder 5/8 inch in diameter and about 22 inches long. Cut each log into pieces about 3 inches long. Curve each piece into a horseshoe, and place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

    While cookies are baking, cut reserved dried vanilla bean into small pieces. Place the remaining cup confectioners' sugar in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until well mixed, about 1 minute. Sift sugar into a small mixing bowl to remove any large pieces of the vanilla bean.

    Remove cookies to a rack to cool. After cookies have cooled a little, about 5 minutes, gently toss warm cookies in vanilla sugar to coat. Remove to rack to cool completely. Once cooled, dust again with remaining vanilla sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

    *These can also be made for the feast of St. Stephen on December 26th. Pin It

    1 comment:

    1. We don't have a horseshoe cutter but are planning on using a "U" cookie cutter, hopefully it will work out!

      *I don't have the ingredients for your recipe, but it looks good.

      We will also make Martinmas lights with tin cans! It's cold and snowy today so we will have cookies with hot cocoa and our tin can lights! And of course use Charlotte's coloring sheet to color!