IDBAD!? really?

February 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’ll bet you and your best four-legged (or in my case, three-legged) friend didn’t know that today was 
International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! I found this bit of canine culinary history in the online edition of the Green Valley News.

The earliest dog biscuits, courtesy of the Romans, were very old, hard, stale bread. Later, in the 19th century, hunters fed their canine friends hard barley meal biscuits for energy to sustain a long hunt. In 1860, James Spratt, an electrician from Cincinnati, created Spratt’s Patented Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes. Today there is a wide variety of dog biscuits and treats available for our furry friends.

So in the spirit of IDBAD, and because it snowed again today which made it an official Bake Day, I came up with a new dog cookie for Hana. It’s based on Morning Glory muffins which have carrots, apple, nuts and raisins. Just be sure to leave out the raisins, one of the four foods NOT to feed your dog (grapes, raisins, onions and of course chocolate).

Some of Hana’s favorite foods go into these dog biscuits including a HUGE locally grown carrot

Good Morning Dog Biscuits (yields about 6 dozen small biscuits)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat, emmer or spelt flour

1 cup barley flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 carrots, grated

1 apple, grated

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Combine all of the dry ingredients and set aside. Combine the wet ingredients (everything else). Add the wet mixture to the dry mix and mix until blended and you have a stiff dough. You may need to adjust the consistency by adding a little flour or water, depending on the size and juiciness of the carrots and apple. Drop by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet allowing about an inch of space between each. Bake for an hour or slightly longer until completely hard. Turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven as it cools to completely dry out.

Hana patiently waits for her cookies to come out of the oven. WOOF!

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lucky dog treats

January 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

If you like making cookies or biscotti and have a dog(s) in your family, you’ll love making doggy biscotti! As heart warming as making chocolate chip cookies for your children, and no worries about raids on the cookie jar! Here you see the biscotti lined up for their second bake to dry; they take up less room this way and no turning over needed (a double batch). Two views of Hana’s cookie jar, one filled with the fresh-baked biscotti and one with Hana waiting in the background.

Here’s the recipe I use. It’s very flexible, so feel free to substitute various flours, seeds, herbs, chopped veggies or fruits, even leftovers. Adjust the amount of flour or liquid towards the end of mixing to make a fairly stiff dough. Unless your dog needs a GF (gluten-free) diet, I recommend some wheat flour (either white or whole) to make the dough easier to shape and stay together. Just remember that dogs aren’t supposed to eat chocolate, onion, grapes or raisins.

DOGGY BISCOTTI (Yields 1 sheet pan full)

1 cup whole or white wheat flour

1 cup oat or barley flour

1/3 cup rye flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

2 oz. fat (room temp butter, peanut butter, oil, etc.)

2-3 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin, yogurt, or other liquid ingredient

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream the fat if it is solid, add the eggs and mix until blended. Add your liquid ingredient(s) and mix on low speed until a stiff dough comes together, adjusting with a little more liquid or flour if needed. Divide the dough in half, shape into logs and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Flatten the logs so they are less than 1/2 inch tall and somewhat even in height and width (length doesn’t matter). Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes or until firm and starting to brown. Turn the oven down to 250°F. Let the logs cool until just warm (15-20 minutes), then slice with a serrated knife into 1/4-1/2 inch wide biscotti. Place back onto the same parchment-lined pan and bake until dry, up to an hour. Turn off the oven and leave the pan in the oven overnight. You want the biscotti bone-dry, so that they will keep well and have a good crunch.

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