Friday, 16 March 2018

{RECIPE} Peanut Butter and Carob Coconut Oil Easter Treats

Is anyone else a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate? It's one of my personal favourite (human) treat combos, so I couldn't resist combining them into a peanut butter chocolate egg inspired Easter treat.  The treats were created in layers, as shown, but can also be created as a homogeneous mix  if you prefer, or you can adapt to make without the carob and/or peanut butter to suit your dog's sensitivities, palette, and/or your own personal preferences. Easy peasy!  My dogs both enjoy coconut oil straight-up too!

Ready-made carob drops/chips are easy to use for dog-friendly special treats like these easy Easter dogolates, but these treats use carob powder in coconut oil.  Unlike carob drop/chip treats, coconut oil treats need to be kept chilled to avoid remelting.  I also find that when I use carob powder instead of carob melts (like these treats) to flavour/colour coconut oil treats that the colour of the cooled treats tends to get a little mottly looking, especially if I'm using lower carob concentrations. Because I was using my pretty little Easter egg molds, I decided to layer the treats with a peanut butter and carob combo so that the fun designs could really shine. 

Peanut Butter and Carob Coconut Oil Easter Treats

Ingredients can be easily scaled to suit your own mold (see tips and tricks below) and you can strengthen/weaken the flavouring add-ins to suit your preferences. Measurements are indicative only.  Note: In dividing my coconut oil for layers, I used an uneven split of 2/3 peanut butter and 1/3 carob so that I could ensure that the designs on my eggs were within the peanut butter portion of the treat with a tasty little carob backing. You can easily adjust if you prefer a different combination or flavour strength.

1 cup coconut oil, divided (see notes above) to create the separate peanut butter and carob layers
Approximately 1-2 tbsp of peanut butter
Approximately 1-2 tbsp of carob powder (you can substituted melted carob drops, if you prefer)

Working incrementally so each layer sets to the touch before the next is applied, melt together part of your coconut oil with the peanut butter. Layer the liquid into the mold. Tap lightly if needed to evenly cover, and then refrigerate until set to the touch before adding the next layer. When ready, melt the remaining coconut oil with the carob powder. Layer the liquid into the mold. Tap lightly if needed to evenly cover, and then refrigerate (or freeze) until thoroughly set before removing from the mold. Store refrigerated or frozen (see tips and tricks below).

Tips and Tricks:
  • Flexible silicone molds or ice-cube trays work great for making fun little shaped treats.  If you want a precise measure of a specific mold's capacity, you can do a test pour from a measuring cup of water to measure the volume required to fill your tray. Volumes are very easily scaled, and you can customise the type and amount of flavour add-ins to suit your pet. 
  • Be mindful of treat size/consumption relative to your pet's size and any other individual factors. I give my dogs small quantities of coconut oil (often with turmeric as they boost the benefits) on a regular basis, but always in moderated portions.  
  • Go natural or take care when when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients peanut butter when used for your dogs - xylitol (E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs.
  • If you are using carob drops instead of powder, carob drops are often sweetened, whether you are buying them from the human baking good section or specially marketed dog treats. Many are a combination of sugars and oils with carob powder, some are unsweetened carob and oil mixtures.  Yogurt drops are much the same.  Either way, there's nothing wrong with an occasional special treat, but always read your ingredients to know what you're buying and eating/sharing.
  • These treats should be kept refrigerated or frozen as coconut oil will soften and may melt at warmer room temperatures - especially with the softer peanut butter middle. They can be eaten from frozen too, if you dogs like icy treats. 

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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