Monday, 16 April 2018

DIY Stamped Dog Treats (Plus Peanut Butter Bacon Bones!)


Santa Paws brought all sorts of interesting little goodies for crafting and baking (clearly the elves had read our post with Christmas Gift Ideas for Dogs and Dog Lovers) including a set of DIY alphabet cookie stamps. I have a number of cute cookie stamps and presses in my baking stash, including a set of larger letters, but these mini letters are perfect for using on smaller treats and are just the right size for my favourite bone-shaped cookie cutter.



For small stamps and stencils to make the clearest impression (whether on human cookies or doggy treats) and stay clear after baking, you need a smooth roll-and-cut dough with low spread and low rise.  To test out my stamps, I opted for a variation on our go-to smooth roll-and-cut peanut butter treat dough including some very finely chopped bacon. The bacon is a little chunky, so not as neat as plain peanut butter, but extra doggone delicious! We happened to have some cooked bacon on hand (these test treats were baked back during the holidays...blog dogs are always ahead of the times!) and I thought it would be a great opportunity to make some extra yummy treats as well as test the new stamps in a slightly textured dough.  Not bad at all!  Since you are likely to see these stamps in action at Oli's barkday, I thought I should share the intro post first. :)


Stamped Peanut Butter Bacon Bone Dog Treats

1 egg
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup of very finely chopped bacon 
1/4 cup of low-sodium stock or alternative dog-friendly liquid
Approximately 1 cup rice flour (or equivalent substitute flour)

Preheat over to 180C.  Combine egg, peanut butter, and bacon in a mixing bowl.  Stir in stock.  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 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.


If you are stamping your treats, you will need to make sure that your chose cutter and stamps are a compatible size. Remember that your letters must be positioned in reverse order as well as backwards individually in order for the stamped work to come out correctly. If you are stamping different words, stamping all of each word before switching saves effort swapping letters around. My alphabet stamps are very basic (and cheap) but versatile, and I'm happy with their use and outcome. In order to separate the letters for initial use, you will need a pair of sharp utility scissors as the slide-in holder won't cooperate if you don't snip the letter base cleanly from the plastic tabs.  They can be tricky to clean (washing in a colander is a great way to avoid losing any) and I keep the separated letters and a base in a jar for easy consolidated storage


Tips and Tricks:
  • 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. 
  • Go natural or take care when when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients peanut butter when used for your dogs - xylitol is particularly dangerous for dogs.
  • The finer you chop the bacon, the smoother and easier to cut/stamp your dough will be. I processed mine into a very fine bacon meal in a food processor. This can be tricky if your bacon isn't dry.  If you are having trouble getting your bacon to process, adding some of your liquid ingredients can help to free things up and puree as a smoothie-style slurry instead. 
  • 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 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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