I’m always on the lookout for new, interesting, healthy treats for my pets. There are countless options out there so I decided to try my hand at making some of my own. But, was there anyone out there as obsessed with pets as I am? Someone that would have a fantastic recipe? I only had 1 option: Martha Stewart. To be fair, I did search around for other recipes but this one used ingredients I already had in my kitchen so it won out over the others. Some interesting ones can be found at www.BullWrinkle.com and www.DogTreatKitchen.com.
I picked up a bone shaped cookie cutter and 2 other small, round-ish ones that were on sale. I followed the recipe exactly as described and was left with a pretty sticky dough. The recipe suggests using a toothpick to write on the bones. When I attempted this technique I realized that the bone shape cookie cutter I used was too skinny in the center. I ended up with clumps of dots that, if you squinted and knew what to look for, actually spelled something. Lesson learned: when choosing a bone cutter be sure to buy one with a thick center bar for decorating. You may be thinking Who cares?! The answer is: ME! If I’m going through all the trouble to make my own damn biscuits you bet your bottom that I’m going to go all the way with it!
Here is the other lesson I took away from my first round of homemade biscuits: As long as you end up with a dough and don’t put anything poisonous in the bowl, you can use any ingredients you want! I went through all this trouble to follow the recipe precisely as indicated before realizing that most dogs have a “Joey” mentality when it comes to food. Chicken, good. Apples, good. Peanut butter, good. Putting them all together in one package makes little difference.
After becoming thusly enlightened, I decided to have another go at the biscuits. After all, I now had extra chicken stock laying around so I might as well do something with it. I am about to share with you the recipe for Leftovers Dog Coookies.
Step 1: Combine any wet ingredients you have in your fridge fit for dog consumption. I had some mealy, but not rotten, apple wedges leftover from a camping trip that quickly became applesauce. I also had some leftover cooked chicken that took a quick spin in the food processor before being added to the bowl. Following Martha’s lead, I added a little canola oil and chicken stock to the mix.
Step 2: Add dry ingredients until you get a slightly sticky dough. I definitely did not measure out these ingredients. I simply added flour and wheat germ until I had something that was the same consistency as my previous batch. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and you’re ready to roll- literally.
Step 3: Roll out dough on a floured surface. Choose whatever thickness you’d like for your cookies.
Step 4: Cut with cookie cutter and decorate as desired. Brush with chicken stock.
Step 5: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Brush with chicken stock again. Bake for another 10 minutes and let cool in the oven.
Unfortunately, I don’t have adequate feedback on how Leftovers Dog Cookies turned out because I only made it through Step 2 before one sneaky black dog raided the kitchen counter while I was attending to something else for about 1.5 seconds. However, he ate the entire bowl of dough without complaint so I’m going to take that as positive feedback. (Note: I did keep an eye on him for the rest of the night and he was fine. Fortunately, I omitted the yeast from this recipe. I’m not so sure what the side effects of that might have been if he had eaten the uncooked yeast.)
And so, the final lesson in baking homemade treats for your dog is: Never turn your back on them!
Hopefully this has inspired you to try your hand at your own homemade dog treats and think twice before tossing last night’s leftovers into the trash. It’s also a fun way to give in to your “I just feel like baking something” mood without ending up with a gigantic chocolate cake or 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Speaking of chocolate, most pet owners know that chocolate is bad for your furry friends however, white chocolate is OK so go ahead and dip those minty dog biscuits in some melted white chocolate for an extra tasty treat!
For quick reference here is a list of poisonous foods from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/ask-the-expert/ask-the-expert-poison-control/people-foods.html If you’re like me and you have cats that clean up the dog’s scraps be sure to make a treat that’s safe for cats too!