March 16, 2009

dog biscuits II: peanut butter crunchables

When I mention that I spend a couple hours of my free time once in a while making dog treats for my dog (and organic, for that matter), my words are usually met a grandiose roll of the eye. "You make treats for your dog???" they ask, as if I've just explained that yes, I've always had this second nose, and no, I'm not endowed with a superhuman olfactory sense.

The truth of the matter is, it's cheaper to make 'em than to buy 'em--for $8, you can buy a 1-pound bag of "all natural" dog treats. However, you've got to carefully read that label for any kind of funky fillers. But for about $2 at home (or less, possibly), you can make two pounds of treats with pantry staples.

Besides, making them at home is more fun. I enjoy being in the kitchen, but baking is a skill I'm working on (stay tuned later this week for my olive oil cake adventure). Why not practice on my canine cooking capabilities and spare Ryan the joy of playing guinea pig once in a while?

And how cute are those cookie cutters? I found them at Hobby Lobby for less than 50 cents. An unnecessary, but really cute, detail for homemade dog biscuits, especially for such a small price tag. 

Here's one of my--I mean, Fin's--favorite new recipes.Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Dog Treats (People: don't be afraid to try one, they're super tasty!)
Adapted from

1 cup water
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups whole wheat flour

Egg wash:
1 large egg
2 tbsp. milk

Preheat the oven to 325.

Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Add oats and butter; stir together and let sit for ten minutes. Then stir in the cornmeal, sugar, salt, milk, and peanut butter. Mix thoroughly. Add the flour, one cup at a time (you may not need the entire amount) until a stiff dough forms.

Knead dough on floured surface until smooth, about 3 minutes. Roll to 1/4" thickness and shape with cookie cutters, or simply cut into squares. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment--no need to space out too far, since they don't spread or rise. Ready the egg wash (mix egg and milk together), then brush onto biscuits with pastry brush. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, then toss one to your pup who's been anxiously waiting! Store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks or so. 

For a tropical twist, reduce the peanut butter to 1/3 cup and add one very ripe, mashed banana. Fin says yum!
These should turn out nice and crispy, but if they're on the soft side (it happened to me...) try adjusting your cooking temperature or time. You can also let them cool in the oven--they'll get dried out and will offer a nice crunch for your canine compadre. 

Fin knows where I've been keeping the new homemade treats, as does Ryan since I repurposed the human cookie jar for our dog, and now when I walk in that direction she starts doing her newest trick: the Fin Spin! 


Brittany said...

Hey Amber! I sent my grandma this recipe for her dogs! She said the treats she has made for them before had a lot of herbs in them, so she knows they will be happy with peanut butter!! Thanks for the recipe Amber! :)