Love Thy Pet. Make Them Treats!

by Crystal Cook

First let me start off by saying I have a new appreciation for pet photographers. I would easily put them in the same category as grossly underpaid service industry workers or teachers. I took at least 8 billion pictures (you think I am exaggerating, but trust me – I am not!) of my pooch, Bessie, and her friend, Noonan, during a recent play date – desperately trying to capture that perfect shot. Needless to say, I never got it. The whole “standing still” thing is hard for dogs!

bad dog collage

It’s a total shame, because there was a lot of cuteness going on that day. Oh well! Now that we have established that I am a hopeless photographer, let’s move on to the inspiration for this post – homemade dog treats!  On multiple occasions I find myself asking W.W.M.D (What Would Martha Do? Stewart, that is!) Aside from that little prison mishap, Martha is my idol. And who am I kidding, that stint in prison gave her some street cred – made her more “real”. Don’t you think? Anyhow, I am sure if you asked Martha what she was doing for  Love Your Pet Day that she would tell you she was making some new dog collars out of recycled twine and stamps, and whipping up gourmet dog treats made with leg of lamb and fresh vegetables from her garden. I figured the least I could do for Bessie is let her have a friend over and bake them something homemade, albeit a little less glamorous!

I have to admit that I don’t know much about making my own dog-friendly foods, so I went to the Google machine and did some research. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t feed my babies anything that would harm them! After many hours, I settled on Apple Cheddar Pupcakes from the Brown-Eyed Baker and Soft Pretzel Dog Treats from The Driven Cook because the recipes were straight forward and used many ingredients I already had on hand. Plus I figured if they sounded tasty enough for me to eat – then the dogs would love them too.

Ingredients for muffins

Ingredients for Apple Cheddar Pupcakes.

mixing wet and dry muffin

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, water, oil, honey and eggs.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just barely blended.

Add apples and cheddar

Fold in the apples and cheese.

filling cupcakes

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. This recipe made 12 pupcakes, and there still was a little extra batter. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Now it’s pretzel time!

Ingredients pretzels

Ingredients!

pretzel dry collage

In a large bowl, combine flour, Parmesan cheese and baking powder.

wet pretzel collage

Add the oil and chicken stock to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough starts to form.

dough collage

Move dough to a floured surface and lightly knead. Cover and let rest for about 15 minutes until easier to form. Take pieces of dough about the size of a ping pong ball, roll into thin ropes and shape the ropes into pretzels.  If it gets hard to form or dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time.

collage

If you want your pretzels to have a nice sheen, brush on a little egg wash and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. The egg wash also makes the sesame seeds stick to the pretzel.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, until firm.

Finished product

Ta-dah! Time for puppy treats and fetch!

Apple Cheddar Pupcakes – from the Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup traditional rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup applesauce
½ cup water
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
1 apple, peeled, cored and minced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, water, oil, honey and eggs, then stir in the apple and cheese. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just barely blended.

3. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling almost full (you may have a couple spoonfuls of batter leftover). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Makes 12 pupcakes.

Soft Pretzel Dog Treats – from The Driven Cook

Ingredients:

-2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
-1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
-1 teaspoon Baking Powder
-1 Cup Chicken Stock (or water)
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-Pinch of Garlic Powder
-Sesame Seeds, for sprinkling (optional)
-1 Egg, beaten, for egg wash (optional)

In a large bowl, combine flour, Parmesan cheese and baking powder.  Add the chicken stock and oil and stir until the dough starts to form and get shaggy.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Let rest for about 15 minutes until easier to form.

Take pieces of dough about the size of a ping pong ball, roll into thin ropes and shape the ropes into pretzels.  If it gets hard to form or dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time.   If you want your pretzels to have a glossy appearance, brush on a little egg wash and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until firm.  Store in a tightly sealed container. Makes about two dozen pretzels.

Pup Tested Pup approved!

A dear friend of the Queens sent us this pic of her dog, Prancy Pants, performing a trick just moments before eating a soft pretzel dog treat that Bessie gave to her! The verdict came in shortly after: Prancy loved it!

pants revised

And then there was my poor Bessie, who is still begging for another treat. Obviously homemade treats are the bomb! Now that I have learned more about what ingredients are dog-friendly, I will continue to make them and experiment with my own recipes.  Stay tuned!

please sir

Please sir, may I have some more?

5 Comments to “Love Thy Pet. Make Them Treats!”

  1. Thank you for trying out my soft pretzel dog treats! I’m thrilled to read that all the pups loved them. Hope you had as much fun making them as I did. 🙂

  2. Yes it was so much fun – and I was surprised by how easy it was! Thank you for the great idea.

  3. I bought “Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” because I was making food for my dog Zoe for a while and it had some good recipes. It’s got recipes for meals as well as treats, but I haven’t made any of the treats yet even though I bought the ingredients for one of the recipes. D’oh. But maybe I’ll try and make them this weekend!

  4. I will have to check that book out! Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent
    for this information! Thanks!

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