Monday, 11 June 2018

{RECIPE} Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Marbled Dog Treats


Delicious blueberries and tangy cream cheese? Yes, please! Cue the doggy drool...and I have to say these smell rather tasty by human standards as well. :) These treats are a blueberry adaptation from our marbled strawberry treats, tweaked a little to suit baking with blueberries in the recipe, tips, and tricks below.

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Marbled  Dog Treats 
Adapted from our Strawberry Cheesecake Marbled Dog Treats

1/3 cup cream cheese, well-softened
1 egg
1/4 cup water
Approximately 1 cup and 1/4 cup cup of rice flour (Note: divided for second mixing of additional flour and fruit)
Approximately 1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), finely pureed
Sprinkle of Celyon Cinnamon (optional)
Natural tint(s) and/or food colouring(s) (optional)

First mixing: Combine cream cheese, egg, and water in a bowl. Incrementally add flour until the dough has a nice firm pliable consistency. Flour quantity will vary with your wet ingredients and optional add-ins, so work incrementally. If it isn't firm enough, add a touch more flour. If your mixture is looking a bit dry, you can add a little bit of water or a very small amount of olive oil to adjust.  Divide the dough roughly into to two uneven pieces, one roughly a third and the remainder roughly two thirds.  Adding the fruit and flour will bulk up the smaller portion in the second mixing below.

Second mixing: Working with the smaller (one third) portion, mix your pureed blueberries, cinnamon, and tint/colouring into the dough.  Blueberry treat dough tends to lose some of its colour during baking and (optional) adding a small amount of tint/colouring can help it hold a more vibrant colour through the baking process. Blueberry dough is purple, so I used a small dash of beetroot powder along with wee bit of blue food colouring to slightly augment the natural colour. Incrementally add flour until the dough has a nice firm pliable consistency for working.  Flour quantity will vary depending on your berries, especially if using fresh vs. frozen, but my experience has been roughly one-to-one.  Work incrementally. If it isn't firm enough, add a touch more flour. If your mixture is looking a bit dry, you can add a little bit of water or a very small amount of olive oil to adjust.  


Marbling and baking: Preheat oven to 180C.  Separate the doughs into small pieces.  Ensure a good distribution for variety and don't make the pieces too tiny, else your marbling will be muddy when rolled.  Gather the pieces together and squeeze into a loose ball. Tips: You can keep some of your starting pieces aside to add back in on a later re-roll to extend the marble-life. Since repeat reforming and rolling will muddy the marbling, cut your larger shapes first and the smaller-pieces from the gaps and any re-rolled dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll your dough and cut into shapes. Place on a prepared cookie tray and lightly brush the surface with a pastry brush or damp clean cloth to remove excess flour, if necessary. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes depending on size and thickness. Cool before serving and storage.

Tips and Tricks: 
  • Blueberries tend to puree a little less smoothly than many fruits due to their skins. Puree as smoothly as you can for easy mixing and cutting, but the chunks don't detract from the marbling - they arguably even add to it, creating a nice natural flecked look.
  • Blueberry treat dough tends to lose some of its colour during baking, so to keep my berry dough brighter in the marbled mix I used a touch of colouring.  Blueberry dough looks purple, not blue, so I used a dash of beetroot powder and blue food colouring to help boost the natural purple and hold it brighter through baking.
  • I used brown rice flour for the treats shown, so the "white" dough is not as bright as it would be if a white rice flour or other suitable equivalent was used, but I like baking with the slightly healthier brown for treats. Totally a personal preference.
  • 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. 
  • Cream cheese cookies/treats tend to bake a bit harder/dryer than baking with fats like butter or peanut butter treats, so older treats may break or crack easily. I've learned to favour baking them slightly thicker and I like to keep all treats, no matter what the flavour, frozen for ready-use in small fresh quantities. :)
  • 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. You can let them sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or pop the baked treats into a dehydrator and dry into a cracker-like crunchy biscuit. 
  • These treats can be enjoyed or fresh frozen for longer storage. 

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 or have questions about your dog's diet and health, have a chat with your vet.



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