Homemade Christmas Dog Treats

22 Dec

I love dogs, and I’m the proud owner of the slightly reactive but always cute Buster Bear Peters. First things first, I don’t dress him up, stick him in my purse, feed him from the table, or let him sleep in my bed. But I do own 2 dog cookbooks. I got them from my mom for Buster’s big 2nd birthday. It has taken me till now (oops) to get around to trying a recipe, mostly because dog recipes require ‘fancy’ ingredients. By fancy, I mean not readily available at my local Kroger. So today, I ventured out to Fresh Market (had a blast) and finally found the missing component of Buster’s holiday treats. This recipe is from “The Good Treats Cookbook for Dogs.” It wasn’t too hard, and Buster kept licking the floor after finishing his first homemade treat so I’m taking that as a 2 paws up rave.
If you think about it, baking for dogs is a great pastime for people who love to bake, but don’t love to feel sick after eating too much cookie dough. So if you have a fur friend or people with fur friends in your life, try this recipe out! It is a fun, cute, cheap way to say “Merry Christmas!” to the dogs and dog lovers in your life.

Again I got this “Peanut Crunch Biscuits” recipe from “The Good Treats Cookbook for Dogs” by Barbara Burg (pg 82-83). I think my mom bought it from Sam’s, if you are interested.

The Players:

By the way, the most elusive player was the wheat germ. I finally found it at Fresh Market for about $5.

The Action:

1. Set the oven to 300. Not too cold, not too warm, but just right.

2. Mix the super healthy dry ingredients together. 1 C wheat germ, 3 C whole-wheat flour, and a ½ C whole rolled oats. This may be the healthiest cookie recipe I’ve ever attempted. And it was for my dog.

3. Add the rest of the stuff. 1 C peanut butter (at least get a jar that says “Natural” on it, bonus points for making your own in your local health store), 3 T oil, 1 egg, & 1 C water.

4. Mix it up. There aren’t a lot of wet ingredients so you may have to dig in and get your hands dirty. Just make sure to wash your hands before getting them dirty again.

5. Lightly flour a surface in your kitchen (love using flour as a verb btw). Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Confession: I think I may have sprained my wrist with all that rolling, so be patient because this step takes a while. Plus you will have to keep re-rolling the scrapes left by the cookie cutters in again and again. Tip: Make sure to have some good tunes playing to keep you rolling, rolling, rolling.

6. Tell your dog to sit patiently too.

7. Here’s the fun part! Use the cookie cutters of your choice to make these treats as cute as possible. I went with the obvious holiday theme, but next time, who knows? The sky’s the limit!

8. Prepare the pans with a little help from Pam. I used 3 sheets when it was all said and done. Arrange whatever festive shapes you went for on your prepared pans.

9. Bake biscuits for 40 minutes. Take some of that time to clean up the inevitable flour coating your kitchen recently acquired. Or is that just my baking strategy?

10. When the 40 minutes is up, turn the oven off, but leave the biscuits in for another hour so they can get all crunchy (just like Fido likes ‘em).

The Product:

There you go! Cute, festive, irresistible treats (for dogs)! Ok, I tried one. Not so bad, but it definitely would not satisfy my monstrous sweet tooth. Using pretty large cutters, this recipe yielded over 40 treats. So this is a great recipe for sharing.

Place the extra treats in an airtight container. Good thing I had these cute Christmas tins just lying around. Now I can share with my parents’ dogs in Houston.

The Reaction:

No hesitation from my Buster. He immediately took the treat, ate it, and continued licking the floor afterwards. Success!

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