Lots of thanks to Lauren Salas for her guest post, and her greyhound Dilly for being such a good taste-testing sport.
I’d like to brag about the refined palate of our dog, Dilly, and the fact that she’s so far the only dog I know to reject Beggin’ Strips. However, I’ve also seen her thoughtfully chewing on a rock, so I don’t think she’s the next furry food critic. Still, I figured she’d be a good test subject for my first foray into cooking dog treats.
I ventured onto Allrecipes.com and picked out two recipes to test. The first was simple, based in cornmeal and chicken broth with the adorable title of Best Friend Doggie Biscuits. The second seemed more gourmet, jumping on the sweet potato trend with the aptly named Super Simple Sweet Potato Dog Treats.
They were both simple to make, following the absolute basic steps of dump and stir. However, in order to get adorable or at least biscuit-like morsels, you have to roll out the dough. I don’t have a rolling pin (fear of nagging wife stereotypes?) so I just patted and pushed the dough into something resembling a smooth surface. I used a glass rimmed with butter to make circle shapes as a bone-shaped cookie cutter was also not in my arsenal. The Best Friend Biscuits were much easier to cut, as opposed the starchy Sweet Potato Treats, and looked almost gourmet with their pretty parsley flecks. After quick bakes in the oven it was time to put them to the ultimate taste test with our tough critic.
I laid out two treats for Dilly, who immediately flopped down and started whining in confusion. Clearly my delicate presentation was much too confusing for her. After some time and gentle prodding she finally approached and, after some quick sniffing, went right for the Sweet Potato Treats. Score one for the potatoes. Next, to further taste test, I laid each of the treats along with one of her regular treats. Again, she went straight for the Sweet Potato Treats, followed closely by the Best Friend Biscuits. The regular treat? Untouched.
Overall, she seemed happy. I wasn’t willing to taste the treats myself so I’ll take her word for it. If you have the ingredients on hand these could ultimately end up being for cost-effective than buying them at the store, but you also have to be willing to do a weekly baking session for your doggie. I think we’ll keep these as a once-in-a-while treat. Sometimes I’m just as lazy as Dilly.
Best Friend Doggie Biscuits
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 1 cookie sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg together with the oil. Stir in the chicken broth and parsley. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring to combine and make a soft dough. Working on a lightly floured surface, lightly knead dough. Roll out to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies one inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until firm.
Super Sweet Potato Dog Treats
- 1 sweet potato (the store had yellow sweet potatoes but I’m sure any variety would work)
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I found that I needed more than this, almost half a cup but I wasn’t exact with the sweet potato)
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prick sweet potato several times with a fork.
- Heat sweet potato in a microwave on high until tender, about 6 minutes. Cut potato in half and scoop flesh out of the skin into a bowl; discard skin. Mash potato with a fork or potato masher and transfer about 1 cup to a large bowl. Save any remaining sweet potato for another use.
- Mix whole wheat flour, applesauce, and eggs in the large bowl with the sweet potato until a dough forms. Turn dough out on a well-floured surface and roll dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter or cut dough into strips with a pizza cutter. Arrange cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake until crisp, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.