Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dog Treats

Procrastination runs deep in my veins, I can't help it sometimes! But I am back and this time with a quick and easy recipe for that special person in your life (is today Valentines day? I hadn't noticed) and by person I mean dog. Our house belongs to two sweet pups named Otis and Ramona (and one psycho cat named Cortez but this post isn't about him). Notice how thrilled my husband looks about his picture being taken.

So you may be asking why am I bothering to make dog treats for my dogs when I can just run to the grocery store and by some? Well, again, there isn't any kind of specialty store around here for miles, we have to drive about a half hour to buy dog food. No, the main issue is we don't want to feed our dogs junk. Otis, as a puppy, had a pretty severe food allergy to some of the popular brands that you find your local grocery store and the poor dog would itch until his hair fell out. So, we worked with our vet and I'm sad to say but these dogs eat better than we do! They are on organic/premo dog food but we believe it's for the best. No more dog allergies though! Dog treats, especially the organic or locally made stuff can be pretty expensive so when I came across a recipe, I thought I could easily turn it into something both my dogs would go nuts over and for relatively cheap.
Alright, let's begin!

 BC Doggy Treats!
(adapted from A Muse in My Kitchen)
-2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
-2 eggs
-1 cup canned pumpkin
-3 tbl peanut butter (my dogs LOVE peanut butter so I added a little extra)
-1/3 cup shredded carrots (could use 1/2 cup, whatever you like or omit if your pups don't like carrots)
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 tsp cinnamon (dog friendly spice, fine in moderation)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. With a hand mixer/stand mixer or by hand, mix all ingredients together. If the dough is too moist, add a little more wheat flour, if the dough is too dry, add in a tablespoon of water and mix until dough is not too sticky and easy to work with. Cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let them cool and then be devoured!

(and yes, I have traditional cookie cutters but where is the fun in that?)

With a grater, grate out a 1/3 cup of carrots, If you are doing this by hand, please be careful not to grate off your hand, the carrot can be slippery! I only added 1/3 cup but you may add up to a 1/2 cup of shredded carrots. It is much cheaper to do it by hand than to purchase the already shredded carrots, but whatever you have time for.

The beauty of this recipe is that nothing has to be exact and there is no sifting ingredients, just toss everything into your bowl and mix! (or your brand new kitchen aid mixer that you have been waiting for since you were a teenager, thanks hun).

Don't worry about any kind of mess, someone should be waiting patiently to clean your floor.

Either with a mixer or by hand, mix ingredients well. I mixed on medium with the paddle attachment for about a minute. If the dough comes out too dry, which is what I had an issue with, just pour a little of water (around a tablespoon) and mix some more. If the dough is too soft, add a little more flour. The dough should be a little dry but not brittle and easy to work with.

On a clean work surface, throw down some left over wheat flour for your rolling out and hey, if there happen to be some left over carrot pieces, no biggie!

Throw your dough down and make form it into a rough circle.

Now take a rolling pin and roll it out until the dough it about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. This dough is VERY forgiving, do not worry about over working it at all, get your aggression out and beat it if you didn't get flowers from your valentine!

We aren't very traditional people. I picked up a 101 cookie cutter set for about 15 bucks on amazon and I saw the dog bone cookie cutter and thought 'awe, how cute' and then I saw the T-Rex and thought 'ohhh yeahhh Otis treats'. I thought it might be a little odd to use the cat cookie cutter, although my husband would probably think it would be funny.

For our 6lb papillon Ramona, who struggles to eat even a normal sized french fry, I had something else in mind. I'm currently taking cake decorating classes at the next town over and can't help myself from the wall of cookie cutters that I sit by every week. Last week I saw the mini-pig and lost it. I came home and my husband said 'what the heck can you make out of that?? animal crackers??' No Chris, Mini-Piggy Ramona sized treats!! 

Like I said, I couldn't help myself...

I used a parchment sheet for the little pig cut outs but for the T-Rex cookies I didn't bother and they came out just fine, so it's just up to you and whatever cookie sheet you have. The ultimate goal is to have a crunchy treat, not something soft. My dogs aren't picky eaters, but cater to whatever your dog likes to eat. I loved how you could actually see the carrots in the cookie.


And no, that is not photo shopped :)

As Always, Happy Eating!

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