Monday, May 25, 2009

Cookie Time!

First of all, Happy Memorial Day!!! I had to go in to work for a little while this morning and took the dogs with me so that they could go play at one of the parks in the area (not frequently used by other dogs, but lots of un-landscaped area to run around in!) and burn off their energy. They had a great time running in and out of the creek, through the tall grass, and all over in between. Other than that, we decided to have a nice, very mellow day since our it's so rare that Adam and I both have a day off that we don't have it packed with things to do, either dog related or not. So I thought today would be a great day to try out a dog treat recipe! I got a new doggy cooking book yesterday, "The Everything Cooking For Dogs Book" by Lisa Fortunato. It's got some pretty neat looking recipes. I'll write down the recipe with my little notes added in []. While the dogs really like the cookies, they didn't quite turn out the way that I had hoped.

Peanut Butter, Carrot, and Wheat Germ Biscuits

Yields 30 biscuits [I got 23 biscuits after the couple pre-cooked cookies that Heffner filched off the counter when I took my eyes off of him for all of 3 seconds!]

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unflavored wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted natural peanut butter
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup filtered water [um, yeah, my dogs are really okay drinking unfiltered water from the tap. But then again, Oregon has pretty good tap water.]

1) Preheat the oven to 325 F.
2) Measure the unbleached flour, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
3) Combine the peanut butter, carrot, and water in a glass measuring cup. Stir with a fork until smooth and creamy.
4) Make a well in the flour, and pour in the peanut butter mixture. Mix on medium speed using a paddle attachment until combined.
5) Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured surface and gently knead until dough is smooth and still soft. Roll dough 1/4-inch thick and cut biscuits into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
6) Place biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes [I ended up doing the full 15 minutes] until dry and firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave bisuits in another 20-30 minutes. Remove them from the oven, cool them on a baking rack, and store them in a cookie tin.

I must confess that I'm actually now ejoying going out to New Seasons to pick up some of the ingredients that aren't easily found at Albertson's (closest to my house) or Fred Meyer. They have this REALLY cool little machine that grinds out fresh, all natural peanut butter for you right before your eyes! And it smells and tastes sooooooo good! I let the dogs have some licks of it when we brought it home and they were definitely digging it!

Now onto the "baking!" Step 1, piece of cake. Step 2, another piece of cake.

Step #3, easy again. I ended up grating more carrot that I needed so I decided to see what the dogs though of it. Heffner wasn't horribly impressed by it, and turned away after a little try. Bess on the other hand really loved it! Or I should say, as long as it was in my hand she would gobble it down. For whatever reason, when I put it in the food bowl for her, she wasn't interested. But then if I picked it back up and held it out for her to eat, she would gobble it down again!

First part of Step #4 went well.

For the second part, for whatever reason I decided that I could hand stir the ingredients into a dough. Let me tell you, that REALLY just doesn't work! So I plugged in the mixer and followed the directions. Only the ingredients never turned into an actual dough. It all stayed pretty dry and crumbly.

Step #5 I totally changed. The mixture wasn't even close to a dough unless I hand packed it together. Instead of rolling it out on a lightly floured surface, I packed it into little balls in my hands. The mixture was dry enough, the last thing that I needed to do was add more flour! I would have loved to use the cute little dog bone cookie cutter that I have, but I settled for squashed balls.

Step #6 went off without a hitch and the cookies came out looking not much different than they went in.

Regardless, both of the dogs thoroughly enjoyed their cookies! I'm not really sure what to do differently with this recipe aside from maybe adding more water and using the mixer the first time around. Though I'm not really sure that using the mixer after hand stirring it would really make any difference. Oh well!!


Andrea said...

Did you try them yourself? Mike always eat the dog cookies (both the one I make or store-bought) - that guy needs help.. LOL
Now, change a few ingredients and girl, you're baking for real :)

Kennedy said...

This is great. :) I'm not surprised about Heffner...I seem to remember a story about him and muffins (wasn't that a whole tray?).

Andrea's can easily start swapping out/adding ingredients. You can make it meat flavored with baby food, use broth instead of water, add carob chips, etc etc. :)