Monday, 28 November 2016

{RECIPE} Gingerbread Jiggler Dog Treats with Yogurt Frosting


Gingerbread Jiggler Dog Treats with Yogurt Frosting

Gingerbread Layer:
1 cup cold water
3 tbsp plain gelatin powder
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Frosting Layer:
1/2 cup* cold water
3 to 3.5 Tbsp plain gelatin powder
1/2 Cup low fat yogurt

*Note: You can use more water and less yogurt if you prefer, just keep the total liquid ratio at 1 cup per 3 tbsp of gelatin. More starter liquid can be easier for blooming.  I also like to use a pan instead of a pot, as it's easier to sprinkle the larger surface area to hydrate and bloom.

Gingerbread Layer: Measure water into a small saucepan.Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom/gel.  Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat, as this can reduce the setting strength of your gelatin.   Add molasses and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone molds (shaped gummies). If you get little air bubbles on the surface from pouring into the pan, you can pop them before chilling. Chill to set while you prepare the frosting layer, which will need to be added when the the gingerbread layer has set to a gentle touch so that the liquids don't mix, but before it has fully set and cured to adhere the layers - just like making layered jelly for humans.

Frosting Layer:  The frosting layer is mixed in two steps to help preserve the healthy probiotics in the yogurt. Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom/gel.  Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat, as this can reduce the setting strength of your gelatin.   Remove from heat. Check that your liquid temperature is below 50C (120F), then add the yogurt and stir to thoroughly combine. Pour gently over your gingerbread layer. Chill to set fully before slicing into small treats or removing from molds. 

 
Tips and Tricks:
  • Remember to go natural or take care when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients like yogurt for your dogs – xylitol (also identified as sweetener E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs.  If you are using a thick-style yogurt, you may find it helpful to water it down for easier mixing. I also find measuring the yogurt and letting it sit to warm a bit while I prep the rest of the gummy base can be handy for smoother blending than straight cold yogurt.
  • In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people); however, it's not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used. 
  • These are firm gummies, since I like to supplement my dogs with gelatin, especially my senior.  If you prefer, you can use less gelatin for a jigglier jelly treat. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger/weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
  • Yield will depend on your size and thickness, but two cups (both layers) of gelatin mixture will make roughly 24 large molded gummies or a small pan of firm sliceable gummy treats. Volumes are easily scaled and you can mix/match as you please, making a layered treat, layered shapes, or single flavours.
  • If you're using shaped pans, keep them simple for easy breakage-free removal. I find that flexible molds work best as stiff molds can be tricky for removal. Supple silicon molds are tricky to move when full of liquid, so place of a portable surface to help you get things into the fridge without mess and stress.
  • Once set, they are now ready to eat, but for an even better "real" gummy texture/feel, after you have taken the treats out of the mold (or cut into pieces from your pan), return them to the refrigerator on a plate/tray uncovered to dry for a day before normal container storage.
  • These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although this can affect consistency. If gummies are frozen, I find that defrosting in the fridge uncovered on a plate or dishtowel helps to make sure that they thaw semi-dry instead of getting a little slippery. Freezing causes gelatin to separate which tends to bleed out some liquid content in addition to condensation factors.  If thawed dry (and upright) this can also help reduce leaching/staining into the white from the brown...not that the dogs will care! :)

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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