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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

Highland Cows ... or Is It Coos?

Aren't they cute? Highland cows (Scottish Gaelic: Bò Ghàidhealach; Scots: Hielan coo) ) are a hardy breed first brought to Scotland in Neolithic times. They have two coats of hair, making them perfect for the harsh environment of Scottish winters. When a friend and I took a train trip around the Scottish Highlands with McKinlay-Kidd in 2016, we saw them from a distance, but never had a chance to get close. Click here for some fun facts about these fascinating animals.

They are a very popular attraction these days, and you can find lots of souvenirs depicting them.These are a few cute examples from The Scotland Shop.

In At the Crossroads, Highland Cows come up as cupcakes, served at breakfast instead of as a dessert. And they are adorable.

Mum comes in with a platter of cupcakes.

“The pièce de résistance,” she exclaims loudly, spearing my sister and sister-in-law with a look before they can protest. “A special treat.”

“So adorable, and realistic too. I love Highland Cows.” Cress clasps her hands over her mouth.


“Coos.” Diana makes the correction kindly. “Fresh from Cuckoo’s Nest Bakery in Edinburgh. Mrs. MacDonald picked them up for us while we were away.Although I assumed they were for dinner.”

Meggy tries to snatch one off the plate before it reaches the table, but Ian slaps her hand.

“You’re in for a treat, Cress. Cuckoo’s makes some of the finest baked goods in the country.” Dad’s already reaching for one of the delectable little cakes. He breaks it in half and feeds it to Bristol.

“Dad, you know cake isn’t good for him,” Meggy scolds.

“A little won’t hurt.” He puts another piece on the palm of his hand and holds it out to the eager dog.

“Waste of good food,” Meggy grumbles, and turns to Cress. “Whisky ganache center, sticky toffee pudding, topped off with a creamy vanilla buttercream to make the coo frosting.” Meggy’s eyes squeeze shut as she licks her lips.

The table falls silent as we stuff our faces. When Diana nods, Sean takes one while the sprogs eat a nonalcoholic version in bright pink.

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