Monday, 19 March 2018

{RECIPE} "Hot Cross Gummy" Easter Dog Treats

These Easter dog treats were inspired by the aroma of beloved hot cross buns. Drool...  Hot cross cross gummies...smelling oh so yummy we would like them in our tummies! Hot cross cross paws... tasting so delicious when we get them in our jaws!  

Gummies are some of the simplest treats we make (one of our go-to favourites), but they're also some of the healthiest. In the spirit of our Year of the Dog pledge to always have gummies on hand in the fridge as "treats" we're playing with lots of flavour combos and mixtures.  My dogs love the smell of Blackstrap molasses. Using a small amount (it's strong stuff!) of this nutritious add-in to make treats extra smelly and tasty is guilt-free in my books.  These are the final molded treat for this year's Easter posts, and I've loved giving my Easter egg mold a work out before putting it back in the holiday box. We still have a yummy baked treat and Easter freebies left to share before the long weekend break, so stay tuned for more pawesome Easter ideas.

"Hot Cross Gummy" Easter Dog Treats

1 cup cold water or low sodium stock (pale works best for tinting)
3 tbsp plain gelatin powder
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
Sprinkle of ginger (optional)
Sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon (optional)

Measure cold water/stock into a suitable pot/pan. Tip: I've recently started using a pan instead of a pot when prepping gummies. More surface area makes for easier blooming. 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 spices (optional) and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Pour the finished gelatin mixture into your molds and chill to set fully before removing from molds. 

Tips and Tricks:
  • Molasses and gelatin are enticing enough flavours that dogs will enjoy these treats made with water (like the treats shown), but you can also use stock if you'd like. We might wrinkle our noses but dogs will find the combo downright drool worthy. My go-to stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade food. You can also buy stock, but where we live it's hard to source ready-made unsalted or truly low-sodium stock. 
  • 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 treat size and thickness. Volumes are easily scaled.  If you want a precise measure of a specific pan/mold capacity, you can do a test pour from a measuring cup of water to measure the volume required to fill.
  • 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. 

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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