Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas “Cookie” Dog Treats

Okay, I know this is late…and just so you know, I’m not a bad doggy dad—I’m just a bad blogger. I made these the week before Christmas; but with the holidays I couldn’t get them posted. Then after Christmas, I had to get prepped for New Year’s which we spent with Rob’s family in Bonne Terre—like last year…and then I had to take the Christmas decorations down, etc…again, I’m a bad blogger.

These three treat recipes were all fun to make, and there’s enough to share/exchange with your fellow doggy parents. The Red-quinoa and green pepitas muffins were meant to imitate the colors of Christmas; however, the turmeric turned these gluten-free treats orange. Then we have the traditional gingerbread cutout cookies which will let you get as fun and festive as you want when you chose your cookie cutters. Lastly, we have red and green Carob-chip treats which get into the Christmas spirit as you divide the dough to color red and green with beet root and spirulina powders.

FYI: spirulina powder makes me sneeze. Like after I added it to the half I was turning green, I went on a 15 minute sneezing fit which included going outside and blowing my nose. It was a fun part of the baking experience. And the powders are optional—omit them if you don’t want a festive treat.

Caution: Turmeric can stain white dishes, sinks, or cookware. Use caution unless you want everything you own to gain an orangeish tinge.

Also, I’ve called for a new ingredient (or at least one I’ve never used before) in the muffin recipe below—Brewer’s Yeast. Brewer’s Yeast is a byproduct of beer making and smells faintly of beer but not the same as
Nutritional Yeast which is generally used by vegans to add a cheese flavor to different dishes. From what I’ve read, Brewer’s Yeast has several health benefits and my dogs were greatly intrigued by the smell (I opened the jar and let them sniff).

Overall, all of these treats were well received by my boys; but the gingerbread was the clear favorite amongst those treats we shared with the Red & Green Quinoa Muffins being favored by the boys at home and amongst a few of our other dog friends. All of these treats freeze wonderfully but will definitely yield enough of each to share.
2016 Christmas Picture

Red & Green (but really orange) Muffins

½ cup raw red quinoa (prepared according to package directions)
240 grams gluten-free baking mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup brewer’s yeast
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tsp agar agar
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup water

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare mini-muffin pan by spraying with non-stick spray (I recommend coconut oil spray).

Prepare and cool your red quinoa according to the package directions.

Combine the dry ingredients and whisk together in a separate small bowl.

Beat the eggs and applesauce before adding rest of the ingredients and mixing until well combined. Add cooled quinoa and fold into other ingredients. Once quinoa is incorporated, add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Dish into prepared mini-muffin pan until cups are ¾ full and bake for 15-20 minutes (a tooth pick inserted should come out clean). Yields 43 mini-muffin treats.

Gingerbread Dog Treats

1 egg
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup molasses (black strap preferred)
½ cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
2 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup ground flaxseeds
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare cookie sheet by spraying lightly with cooking spray or by covering with parchment or silpat.

Beat egg, applesauce, and molasses. Add melted coconut oil, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon and mix until well combined. Add flaxseeds, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and baking powder and mix until a still dough forms and you can no longer see any dry flour.

Chill dough for 10 to 30 minutes before flouring rolling surface and rolling out to ¼ to ½ inch thickness. Flour cookie cutters and cut shapes rerolling as needed. Place on cookie sheet leaving only a nominal amount of space between treats and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how firm you’d like your treats.

Yield depends on size and shape of treat you choose to make.

Red & Green Carob-Chip Cookies

2 ripe, medium-sized bananas
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ tsp vanilla
¾ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup carob chips
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

To color;
2 tsp spirulina powder
2 tsp Beet Root powder

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit, prepare baking sheets by spraying with cooking spray or by covering in parchment or silpats.

Mash bananas until barely any lumps remain. Continue to mash lumps with the back of a spoon or spatula as you add the remaining ingredients (except coloring powders) one at a time until everything is mixed.

Once dough is formed, divide between two bowls. In one bowl, add spirulina and mix until the green powder colors the mixture. In the other bowl, repeat process using the beat root powder.

Drop colored dough using a teaspoon or small cookie scoop onto baking sheets leaving approximately two fingers width between to prevent spreading. Then bake for approximately 10 minutes. Treat will be lightly golden around the edges and feel somewhat set. 

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