Wednesday, 3 February 2016

{RECIPE} Hot Pink Glazed Carob Valentine Cookies

Deceptively easy and festively pink! these might be a little over the top, but hey!  Feel the love! Despite their hot-pink prettiness, these treats are actually 100% naturally coloured.  That's right! No food colourings, just my secret ingredient for pink: beetroot juice. If you don't have any, you can use traditional colouring or play with other naturally tinted dog-safe foods and create your own concoction (if so, do share in the comments!).

Carob Cookies

1/2 cup yogurt
1 egg
2-3 tbsp peanut butter
2-3 tbsp carob powder
Approximately 1 + 1/4 cups rice flour
Additional flour and/or water if/as needed to adjust consistency
Optional: beetroot juice, water, and  cornstarch or arrowroot/tapioca flour for "icing"
Optional: Grated carob to sprinkle on the icing

Preheat over to 180C. We usually recommend a plain natural yogurt for treats (see additional comments in the tips below), but we used a strawberry in this one for a little extra indulgence - smelled fabulous with the carob! Plain will work too, of course! Mix in your yogurt, egg, and peanut butter to combine. Add carob powder. Incrementally add flour until the dough has a nice workable play-dough like consistency.  If your mixture is looking a bit dry, add a little bit of water. If it isn't firm enough, add a touch more flour.  On a floured surface, roll your dough and cut with the cookie cutters of your choice.  Dipping the cookie cutter lightly in flour before you cut will help with release, especially if cutting complex shapes. Place on a prepared cookie tray and lightly brush the surface with a pastry brush or damp clean cloth to remove any excess flour.  Optional: Chill on the pan for 30 minutes to help hold shape whilst cooking.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Cooking time will vary with size, so keep an eye on the oven. Cool before icing, if using icing (see below), serving, and storage.

Option: Hot Pink Glaze  -  For a small batch of glaze, start with  2 tbsp arrowroot, 1tsp beetroot juice, and add cold water mixing slowly until it just starts to flight you back when stirring - kind of like a school science project!  This means it is fluid enough to dip in (or drop from a spoon as is my preference for tidier looking treats) but also has some tension to hold it onto the top of your treat.  Do a test glaze and add more flour or water to adjust if/as needed.  Tip: Just like fancy human icings, edging and flooding works well for this glaze if you wish to try it.  If you wish to also use grated carob for sprinkles, sprinkle quickly before the glaze sets. Colour may bleed slightly into the adjacent dough as you can see in some of the images. The glaze will harden when it dries, but may flake a little or scratch when handled roughly or if treats are bagged/stacked.  If freezing, you may wish to omit the glaze.

 Tips and Tricks:

  • This is a big batch recipe, great for sharing! The dough and/or cooked treats can be frozen. If freezing, you may wish to omit the glaze as it is likely to scratch (see notes above).
  • This pink colour is completely natural, but if you dog doesn't like beetroot or has a sensitivity, you can get a similar result with food colouring or experiment with other less-intense but still natural reds, like strawberries - yum! You can also skip it completely - it is only an aesthetic addition, not for flavour, so you dog won't care at all!
  • When using ingredients like yogurt and peanut butter for dogs, go natural or take care when when shopping to avoid the artificial sweeteners, particularly xylitol, which is extremely dangerous for dogs. Xylitol may also be labeled under as sweetener code 967.
  • Rice flour is a starchy gluten-free baker's option that works nicely to create a smooth rolling dough for cookies, and it is gluten-free if you have a sensitive pup. You can substitute another flour, if you wish, but may need to adjust quantities for consistency. 
  • Different carob products may be stronger/weaker in smell and flavour. My go-to carob powder is quite potent.  Not sure about yours?  You can probably get a very good sense from the smell, but don't be shy to try a little taste taste. :)  It's pretty might even get hooked!  Adjust quantities if/as needed to suit your supply and tastes. Happy baking!

Hungry for more tasty treats?  See all of our recipes here. Remember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt, have a chat with your vet.

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