Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RECIPE: Pumpkin-Peanut Butter dog biscuits

A few months ago when Zuzu had a digestive upset (and believe me, I made that sound MUCH more pleasant than it actually was), the vet recommended a few tablespoons of plain canned pumpkin added to her diet for a few days, telling me that it's a sort of wonder-cure for gastro-intenstinal complaints in canines.

I thought this was very interesting and Googled around to find out why, coming up with nothing more informative than "pumpkin is a natural source of fiber" and "pumpkin adds needed nutritents to a dog's diet." It can stop diarrhea and aid constipation, so I'd say that makes it a pretty much all-purpose sort of veggie. Plus, dogs seem to think that it tastes really good, so I invented a new dog treat combining that flavor plus peanut butter, another canine favorite.

I can't give you a yield on this recipe because it will all depend on whether you use a cookie cutter -- and what size that cookie cutter is -- or a pizza cutter. You would make fewer treats, obviously, if you used a if you used a 6" sized bone-shaped cutter rather than a 1 1/4" mini dog bone cutter. With the pizza cutter, you can just quickly roll out the treat dough and then just run the cutter over them, making square-shaped treats as large or a small as you want them. I used Good Dog Express.com's mini heart shaped cutter, which is also available in several different and inexpensive sizes.

Dog biscuits are very quick to make and easy to bake: it is a much better deal than you get buying them at the grocery, and all done with ingredients you probably already have on the pantry shelves.


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups old-fashioned or quick oatmeal
1 small can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons honey

--> approximately 3/4 cup of cornmeal, to prevent sticking when rolling out the dough (I like to use the finely-ground cornmeal of the type used for making tortillas, rather than the coarser kind used for corn muffins.)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide the dough in half. Shape half the dough into a ball with your hands. Sprinkle a rolling mat or counter top with corn meal and roll the ball of dough around in it. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to desired thickness, depending on whether you have a large dog with a large mouth or a small dog with a small mouth. (Since our dogs are small, I roll my dough out to about 1/2 inch; this dough does not "raise" while baking.)

When the dough is rolled out, cut the dough with your preferred type of cutter, making as many treats as you can. Re-form leftover dough into a ball and re-roll to make more treats. Transfer treats carefully with a metal spatula to a lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Remove from oven when finished and set aside.

While the first sheet is baking, repeat directions with second ball of dough. Bake second batch of treats. When finished baking turn off the oven; put all the dog biscuits plus the ones on the first tray back into the oven and allow them to dry out for two hours or so.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Hey, I think I have all those ingredients in my pantry. But I'll be a pizza cutter kind of gal, for sure.