I’ll always have a special place in my heart for polka dots. When I was younger, my mom used to wear what we fondly called the “birthday shirt” for what seemed like most of our birthdays. It was royal blue with big white polka dots, and is immortalized in numerous birthday photos, including the great one below!
The “birthday shirt,” along with this cute spotted horse, inspired me to tweak the base dough from this post to create these fun cookies! The tiny chocolate chips perfectly mimic this horse’s flecked mane, and also serve the very useful task of keeping the dough from rolling too thin!
Dutch artist Paulus Potter finished this work sometime between 1650-1654, right before he died from tuberculosis at the age of 28. He specialized in uncommonly realistic portraits of animals within landscapes and was very well-respected as an artist despite his young age. The main (or mane!) subject of this work is a beautiful spotted horse, called a piebald, whose light coloring stands out against the cool, dark landscape. Painted from a low perspective, the horse turns its head to the left, as if it sees something in the distance that we cannot see. He or she roams the fields untethered, and stands proud and well-groomed before open farmland. This was probably a specifically-commissioned horse portrait paid for by the wealthy owner, who would have been very proud of his livestock investment.
These cookies are a fun excuse to break out my horse-shaped cookie cutter (because what other occasion is there?) and practice my piping bag skills! The dough comes together quickly, and can be made just as in my earlier post, just omit the dried fruit and replace with lots of mini chocolate chips!
Recipe previously posted here.
Featured art: Paulus Potter, The “Piebald” Horse, circa 1650-1654, oil on canvas