Monday, 27 March 2017

{RECIPE} Dog Cross Bun Easter Treats

Dog cross cross ha'penny, two ha'penny, dog cross buns... In our local supermarkets and bakeries, hot cross buns seem to sneak onto the shelves ridiculously early, sometimes even replacing Christmas treats at the start of the year! In honour of the beloved bun, these Easter treats are made with a deliciously spiced dough and topped with a cross; however, instead of yeasty bread buns these are snappy biscuits without the doggy no-nos often found in human hot crossed buns, like nutmeg, raisins, currants, and other unhealthy ingredients.

Since these treats are really all about the simple shape and embellishment, to make your own Dog Cross Buns, you can use any dog-friendly roll-and-cut treat dough; however, for an authentic spiced sweet bread inspired scent we recommend opting for a dough that includes cinnamon and/or blackstrap molasses. Some of our archive recipes that could work particularly nicely for dough include Molasses and Peanut Butter "Gingerbread" (used for the treats pictured in this post, but I mixed things up a little with a combo of rice and buckwheat flours), Autumn Apple Puppy Pies, or Blackstrap Banana Biscuits.  You can also tweak your favourite rollable treat dough by altering the wets to include some blackstrap and/or adding a sprinkle of cinnamon. Easy peasy!  Here is how we made our treats:

Dog Cross Bun Easter Treats

Prepare your dough and preheat the oven according to your chosen recipe (see notes above). Roll and cut into circles using a round biscuit cutter or similar. The mini buns used a circle plunger cutter - one of my favourite little gadgets for quick and cute treats. Place on a prepared cookie tray and lightly brush the surface with a pastry brush or damp clean cloth to remove excess flour. Score a cross into the top with a flat object, such as the back of a knife as shown. Bake according to your recipe and size (see tips below) and cool before serving and storage.  You can let them sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or these are great popped into a dehydrator (as shown) and dried into a crunchy biscuit. Once snappy, the cross marking makes it extra easy to break them into quarter portions as well if you wish - bonus!

Tips and Tricks:
  • 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. 
  • Treats can be broken for smaller dogs, or made bigger/smaller - just keep an eye on your cooking time - the smaller the cookie, the shorter the baking time.  The cross marking makes it extra easy to break these dog cross bun treats into quarters, just like the scoring on a pill. :)
  • Any baked treat can be left in the cooling oven for a slightly crisper texture or, if you want to get things extra crunchy without overbaking/burning, you can place the baked treats in the dehydrator (fresh from the oven or later) and dry them out.  These will be a little less like a homebaked cookie and a bit more like a crunchy biscuit.  Totally optional, of course!

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 or have questions about your dog's diet and health, have a chat with your vet.

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