Today Radar and I made some doggie treats!
Radar is pretty picky when it comes to food. I don’t know how much money D and I have spent just trying to find a food he’d eat for more than a month without suddenly losing interest, or treats that he’d love that weren’t “gourmet” and outrageously priced. On one of our many trips to the pet store I found these really cute and fancy organic treats and read the ingredients and thought to myself – I could totally make that! I did some online searching for recipes and realized it’s really easy to whip up a batch of dog treats. I love making treats for him because it’s really inexpensive and I know exactly what’s in them. I figured out that I made this batch of a dozen and a half treats for less than 70 cents and he LOVES them. I think part of the reason he likes eating them so much is because I let him “help” in the kitchen (which means he sits and watches me the whole time and if he’s good he gets to try some of the batter). I really do think he enjoys the whole process of seeing it go in and out of the oven and knowing that they are all just for him!
The recipe I use for this is pretty basic. It is my adaptation of this recipe. Most of these ‘sweet’ dog treats seem to me to be the base for a human cookie, but with no sugar butter or eggs added. You can basically go crazy with ingredients if you know what your dog likes (just make sure to stay away from grapes, onions, garlic and of course chocolate – those things are not good for dogs).
You will need:
1 large apple (I used macintosh but any kind will do)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Remove the core and finely mince the apple. Put the apple pieces into a bowl and add the water, oatmeal, molasses and honey.
When those ingredients are incorporated add the whole wheat flour a 1/2 cup at a time. You want to end up with a stiff dough. If you dough is too wet and sticky, add a bit more flour, if it is too dry, add some water.
After you reach a good consistency, you can either drop balls of the dough onto a baking sheet or you can use cookie cutters to shape the dough. To do this, roll out the dough on a floured pastry board or some parchment paper (I just use my hands to make a relatively flat sheet instead of using a rolling pin). Use a cookie cutter and cut out your cookies and place them on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. After 30 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 30 minutes at 325 degrees. They will come out nice and crunchy. Let cool completely before serving to your dog.
I even made some heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day. And they are Radar approved:
(Radar’s cousin Daisie liked them too, but she is camera shy).
You can pretty much throw whatever you want into the cookie using this base recipe. Try adding a little cinnamon or vanilla, or using just honey insteat of molasses, or vice versa. I’ve also made honey-craisin cookies for Radar and I’m going to try honey & sweet potato in the future. Cooking for dogs is so easy because, let’s face it, most of them will eat anything! But I love the satisfaction of coming up with something Radar will actually eat. Now if I ever find out how to make doggie-treat appropriate royal icing we are all in big trouble.
Totally unrelated: I went to a Spaghetti Supper tonight to benefit my church’s sunday school and won two things in the raffle! I came home with a Southern Living cookbook and this beautiful bouquet of cake pops:
Looks like everyone will get a yummy treat tonight! And I can’t wait to try out some new recipes!