Wednesday, 25 April 2018

{RECIPE} Carrot and Peanut Butter Dog Birthday Cookies

These dog cookies get their gorgeous golden glow (and a boost of fibre and vitamins) from yummy carrot.  Our dogs love carrot (especially Humphrey, who is a rather messy raw carrot fiend) so when I was preparing the plan for Oli's Golden Oldie birthday, carrot was on list of ingredients I could work with for creating delicious naturally coloured goodies. They're also vegan, since the combo of carrot puree and peanut butter work well as a base. We definitely don't advocate a vegan diet for dogs (as you can tell by the wide array of recipes shared here), but we do understand that some folks like to keep their personal kitchen a meatless or fully vegan zone and would still like to make special treats from time to time, which is why  we added the vegetarian and vegan-friendly tags in our quick search labels.  If you'd prefer to swap the coconut milk for a low-sodium stock or alternative dog-friendly liquid (including plain old water), that's a-ok too!

Carrot and Peanut Butter Dog Birthday Cookies

1/2 cup cooked carrot, finely pureed
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp ground LSA or flax
Approximately 1 cup of brown rice flour or equivalent substitute
Optional: sprinkle of ground black pepper and/or dog friendly herbs for added flavour
Optional: sprinkle of turmeric if you feel your dough could use a little extra colour boost

Preheat oven to 180C.  Cook carrot until soft and puree (I was making extra puree for my party meatballs). Combine carrot, peanut butter, coconut milk, LSA/flax, and optional add-ins (I used pepper) in a mixing bowl. Incrementally add flour, mixing into a cohesive workable dough.  The amount of flour required will vary depending on your individual ingredients and any optional add-ins or substitutions. Missed the mark? No worries! You can add a little bit of water, a small amount of olive oil, or additional flour to adjust consistency if/as needed. Rest dough (optional). Roll, cut into desired shapes, and place on a prepared baking pan (see notes below on shaping and stamping). Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary with shape/size, so keep an eye on the oven. Cool before serving and storage.

I really wanted to make numbers for decorating the birthday cake, but the little tiny fondant number cutters I have are so fiddly for working with dough that I didn't want to make many and I was worried that they might overbake or break (they actually came out great - unexpectedly!). I opted to make both a couple of numbers as well as use the cutters to stamp numbers onto treats. Worked like a charm and I really like how the final cake came together.

Tips and Tricks:

  • When using ingredients like 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 labelled under as sweetener code 967.
  • Peanut butter can be particularly tricky to measure perfectly. Don't stress about it - close enough is good enough! There can be big differences in consistency of peanut butters as well. Little variations like that as well as variations in egg size, temperatures, etc are all  part of why we work incrementally when mixing our doggy doughs. 
  • The 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.  
  • Resting the dough before rolling and/or after cutting your shapes on the pan before baking is optional as this is a low fat dough, but it can help with handling and/or holding shape, just like human cookies.
  • 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 a 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 hereRemember, 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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