Wednesday, 17 August 2016

How to Make Dog-Friendly Edible Birthday Candles

Instead of using normal birthday candles on Humphrey's second birthday cake, I decided to make some edible candle treats instead - safety and tastier! :)  I usually leave normal candles unlit and remove before cutting to serve, although Oli got to have his photo taken with very briefly lit candles on his recent 10th birthday. Such a good boy! Humphrey isn't yet a patient poser, so I decided to forgo candles altogether and make treats instead.

You can apply this technique to any rollable dough and any combination of colours. Tip: If you are making these for a human treats then a rollable cookie dough, pastry, or even a sweet bread dough would work nicely.  For sweets, you can use flour as per the instructions below, or swap in a little bit of icing/confectioners sugar for rolling.  I made a simple sour cream and chicken stock dough to get my base white-ish and a combination of food colouring and natural tints/add-ins for each colour in the treats shown.  Since the base dough is rather plain, I also included some dog-friendly seasonings with the different colours as well which is why you can see some flecks and specks in the treats.  Healthy turmeric is particularly handy for yellow, but a touch of yellow also helps a light red or beetroot tint look redder vs. pink. I added a dash of black pepper (to compliment the turmeric) to the blue and dried herbs to the green. Once your chosen dough is prepped and ready for shaping:
  • To form a basic stick, simply hand roll a small ball of dough into a cane shape on a lightly floured surface and trim the ends if/as needed. 
  • To form a multi-coloured twist, like the treats shown, roll a cane of each colour separately on a lightly floured surface. Starting from one end, gently twist the two canes together. Optional: As shown, lightly roll the twisted cane for a smoother shape and trim the ends square.
Tip: If you are using a stretchy dough, this is exactly the same as making bread sticks.  If you are using a biscuit dough, you need to be a little more careful in shaping and handling so as not to crack or break your candle sticks before baking. 
Bake according to recipe, but keep an eye on the oven (the smaller/thinner the cane, the shorter the baking time). Depending on your treat recipe, cooling in the oven after baking may help with a crispier crunchier dog candle if you wish.  Tip: When inserting biscuit candles into a cake, it helps to make a small hole for each candle first so that you don't accidentally crack the candle trying to push it in.  This is especially important if you have a dense cake, like our meatloaf birthday cake.  

I have to confess, after making these twists, I am already plotting Christmas treats! Are you 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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