Dogs are some of my favorite people. Usually happy, eager to please, content to accept things (and people, for that matter) for how they are, rather than how they might wish them to be. They’re excellent foot warmers (especially our male Lab, Bently, who likes to lie under the coffee table), they help keep the floor clean in the event of spills, and they try to lift your spirits when you’re feeling blue. And here’s the best part. They don’t ask for much at all in return. Just skritches behind the ears, tummy rubs, the occasional stick or ball throwing, a run to the dog park on the weekends, and maybe a tug of war game or three. Oh, and if you could put the TV on Dogs 101 every now and again, that would be cool too. Vala (our female Lab) is addicted to that show. If it’s on, she’s glued to the set for the entire hour, excepting commercials. No dogs in those, so she doesn’t care about them (well, maybe the dog food ones with David DeLuise. He always has big dogs in those). But the thing they want most, at least if mine are any indication, is TREATS!
Store bought treats are usually accepted pretty well by both of them, but sometimes it’s nice to do a little extra for them. OK, OK. You got me. My dogs are spoiled. Plumb rotten, completely and totally spoiled. Worst part is, they know it. Bently has an entire recliner that he’s claimed for himself. If you sit in it, be warned. He will probably try to join you. Vala, on the other hand, owns the middle cushion on the couch. She doesn’t mind if you sit next to her, as long as you let her use your leg for a pillow. So yeah. They’ve got a tough life. And today, it’s going to get tougher. Today, they get to try homemade treats for the first time.
Making the treats is really easy. All you need is whole wheat flour, a couple of eggs, some peanut butter, some canned pumpkin and five or six bacon strips. Chop the bacon up super fine in your food processor so it’s easier to mix throughout the dough.
Combine everything into a large bowl and start kneading. Seriously. Get in there and mash and squish and knead that dough until it’s been kneaded within an inch (2.54 cm for our metric readers) of its life, or until everything is thoroughly combined.
Once the dough is mixed, form it into a ball and get out the rolling pin. Smack it a few times to show it who’s boss, then start rolling. You’ll want to roll it out to about 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch (0.3175 cm to 0.635 cm) thickness. Once you’ve got it flattened, break out the cookie cutters and get to cutting. You can use any shape you want. Some folks like hearts, some like stars or snowmen. Use whatever works.
I happened to have a bone shaped one we found somewhere for a dollar, so that’s the one I used. They’re dog treats, after all. A bone seemed best. Arrange them on a baking sheet as close together as you like. They’ll puff up a bit, but they don’t spread out, so make the most of your cookie sheet real estate and cram those suckers on there. As you go, just roll your dough scraps back into a ball, flatten it out again and continue pressing out cookies till all the dough is used. I have a couple of oddly shaped ones, but no dough was wasted in the making of these treats. Hey, that’s kind of a big deal for me!
Pop the treats into your oven that I completely forgot to tell you to preheat to 350 F (177 C) and bake them for 20 to 30 minutes (20 to 30 minutes. What? I’m converting units over here! Gotta be consistent.). The longer they bake, the crunchier they’ll be.
Once they’re cool, feed them to your no doubt drooling fur baby post haste. They’ll thank you. And then immediately beg for another. Be strong though. OK, just one more though, alright?
- 2 ½ Cups whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter (we used creamy)
- ⅓ Cup pumpkin puree
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked and finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together by hand until mixture is uniform. If it’s a little crumbly, add a little bit of water. If it’s sticky, it’s too wet, so add a little more flour.
- Form the dough into a large ball, then roll out into ⅛th to ¼th inch thickness.
- Cut cookie shapes, or you can just cut it into strips.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Shorter for softer, longer for crunchier. It all depends on what your dog likes.
- Allow them to cool completely before feeding them to the dogs.