Monday, 26 November 2018

{RECIPE} Cranberry Chicken Christmas Cookie Dog Treats

Mmmm...the holidays are so close we can almost taste them! It's one month until Christmas, and here's the first of our barkmas-themed posts for this year. Woofs! As blog dogs, our boys taste test holiday and special occasion treats well before the calendar (they never complain!) and if you are currently swimming in leftover turkey, dry turkey meat would make a great substitute for the cooked chicken in this recipe. You can bake and freeze your treats or (like often do, and as was used in these treats) freeze some small batches of cooked meat for future use. Winner winner, chicken dinner! 

In previous experiments with pureed cranberry treats, I found that the puree needed a binding/hydrating buddy far more than most pureed fruits and (chunky bits of skin not withstanding) the pretty pink dough colours usually ended up looking pale post baking.  This recipe pairs pureed cranberry with moist yummy apple and uses natural (and healthy/delicious) add-ins to boost the colour.  

Cranberry Chicken Christmas Cookie Dog Treats

1 egg
1/4 cup pureed plain cranberries (I used frozen, defrosted, pureed, then measured)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp beetroot powder and 1 tbsp turmeric powder (both optional for colour)
1/2 cup finely chopped dry cooked chicken
Approximately 1 to 1+1/4 cup rice flour (or equivalent substitute flour) 

Preheat over to 180C.  Combine cranberry puree, applesauce, egg, chia seeds,beetroot powder, and turmeric powder in a mixing bowl. Stir in chicken. 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 into small bite-sized balls, place on a prepared baking tray, and gently flatten with a fork. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary with shape/size, so keep an eye on the oven. Cool before serving and storage.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Fruit purees can vary quite a bit in liquid content, so it's extra important to work your flour in incrementally per the note and tips in the recipe instructions above.
  • As shared in our detailed tips on pinks and reds, when you add a red tint to treat dough, it tends to create a pinkish treat.  Adding a yellow or and orange, either with the base ingredients or as a partner tint, helps to warm the pink closer to a reddish tone, especially after baking. 
  • Want some greens with that red? Dog-friendly herbs like parsley or rosemary would be great as an add-in ingredient with these flavours/scents. 
  • I decided to stick with simple ball treats as the chunky cranberry skins and bits of chicken in this recipe makes for kind of messy roll-and-cut shapes, but this dough could be rolled if you'd like to give it a go. 
  • These 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.
  • 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.  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, have a chat with your vet.

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