Monday, 9 July 2018

{RECIPE} Carob and Pumpkin Stamped Dog Treats


This pumpkin-based treat dough is simple, yummy, and easy to work with for roll-and-cut treats.  If you're not keen on cutting shapes, you can also use it to make simple flattened balls or use our shortcut for making "cut" treats en masse. Easy peasy!

Carob and Pumpkin Stamped Dog Treats

I often use pumpkin baby food instead of puree in treats because canned plain puree is not readily available where we live; however, these treats can also be made using plain bought or homemade puree or with other non-pumpkin based dog-safe baby food flavours. See tips and tricks below for substitutions.

1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin-based baby food or equivalent substitute (single serving jar, measured to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup carob powder
1/4 cup low fat milk powder (optional)
2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
Approximately 1 to 1+1/4 cups of brown rice flour or equivalent substitute.

Preheat oven to 180C. Mix the egg, pumpkin/baby food, milk powder, and optional add-ins/seasonings. Incrementally add flour, mixing into a firm dough. Flour quantity may 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. Rest dough (optional).  Roll on a floured surface and cut, then place on a prepared baking sheet.  Alternatively, the dough can simply be rolled into small balls and flattened gently if you want to skip the rolling/cutting or you can use a shortcut cutting method. 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.



To use cookie stamps on treats, you need to ensure that you have a nice cohesive dough (see adjustment tips above) that will roll smoothly without cracking and take an impression cleanly.  Low fat doggy doughs are often rather tricky.  When working with plungers and stamps, any rising/leavening ingredients in the dough are a risk to the design as they can puff during baking. There are lots of human cookie options without leaveners, but I find many egg-free doggy doughs either too sticky, too soft, or too textured to be good candidates for detailed plunger or stamp designs so I like to gample a little.  Underbaking slightly and then using a dehydrator can help with holding shape without puffing or crackling.




Tips and Tricks:
  • If your chosen baby food is vegetarian, then so is this treat recipe; however, you can use any dog suitable baby food or equivalent substitute you'd like for your treats.  
  • Always check your ingredients to ensure the contents are dog-safe if using baby food. As liquid content will vary, you may need to adjust the flour quantity to get a nice workable consistency.
  • Adding milk powder adds extra richness as well as nutritional value, but I find it also enhances the consistency of low-fat gluten free doggy doughs for better handing and creates a slightly firmer/crisper baked result. Our local grocery store sells powered milk as well as powdered goats milk and powdered coconut milk, which can be used as alternatives to dairy milk, or you can omit the powder from your dough all together.  
  • Resting dough is optional for most of our treats, but when working with gluten-free flours and low-fat doggy doughs I find even a brief rest ~30 minutes can help to ensure consistent hydration (absorbing liquid into dry ingredients) and improve general handling. I work with most doughs at room temperature since, unlike human cookies, there are no/few butters or other fats to chill for consistency.
  • Treats can be broken for smaller dogs, made bigger/smaller, or you can substitute simple balls for cut treats - just keep an eye on your cooking time - the smaller the cookie, the shorter the baking time. Full sized cookie stamps like these are way to big for a single treat, but are easily broken for multiple smaller treats or sharing a snack amongst furfriends.
  • For a crunchier treat, you can let baked treats sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or pop the baked treats into a dehydrator.  
  • Homemade doggy treats don't use preservatives like commercial treats so they have a much shorter shelf life.  The dryer the treat (such ad dehydrating) the longer they will last, but I like to use fresh or freeze for longer storage.  Freezing is a great way to have a variety of treats on hand for mixing things up as well. Yummo! 

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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