A large part of my rural life involves dogs. Not so much as working breeds – although mine do serve as mentors and tattletales – but more because my wife and I serve as a foster home for sick or wayward dogs. We work with the local animal shelter to help save some of their dogs from an untimely death.
Our own dogs, Blondie and Cochise, were rescue dogs that we adopted. They are both excellent companions. While they may never herd sheep or guard chickens (mostly because we have neither), they do help us in mentoring the hooligan dogs that come into our program needing ‘behavioral modification.’
Because they are such good members of our family, and helpful in our volunteer work, we spoil them just a bit. Part of that spoiling involves daily treats. Some are earned; some are just because we love them.
Recently there has been a flap about commercially made dog treats being tainted with all manner of unsavory things. Many dogs have been made very sick or died as a result. So I decided to strap on my apron and take a stab at making my own doggie treats.
Credit Where Credit is Due
I found this recipe floating around on the Internet. The poster said it originally came from Paula Dean’s website. I’ve modified that to comply with what I have on hand to work with. Below is my version.
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
3/4 cup milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and peanut butter. Add the baking powder and flour (in stages) to make a very stiff dough. You’ll need to abandon the spoon and use your hands to work in the last of the flour.
Flour a work surface and roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Thicker dough yields softer biscuits, for crunchy biscuits, stick to the 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired sizes (or use a cookie cutter) based on the size of your dog.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking tray for approximately 20 minutes (a little longer for harder biscuits). Turn biscuits over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Move from cooking sheet to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Blondie likes to help out in the kitchen. Here she is saying, “What’s the hold up here, Doug, why can’t I sample one?” They’re hot, baby-girl, you’ll burn yourself.
I used a biscuit cutter, which yielded about 2 dozen biscuits that are 2 1/4 inches in diameter: a suitable size for our 80-pound bulldogs. OK, they’re closer to 90 pounds: too many cookies, not enough running in the yard. Spring is coming (one of these days), and we’ll rectify that second part.
Do they like them? Do they ever!
We made this quickie video for you: https://vimeo.com/86156659
In fact after a few days of these cookies, I offered Cochise a commercial dog cookie. He eyed it suspiciously, sniffed at it, gingerly took it between two teeth, dropped it to the floor, looked at it, then at me, “You don’t expect me to eat THAT do you?”
Did I mention they’re a little spoiled?