Trick or {Dog} Treat

Trick or {Dog} Treat

Kate cooks some snacks for her four-legged friends.

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Lola and CooperAmong my family and friends and even our two dogs, Lola and Cooper, I’m known for my baking. Each evening when my husband and I are relaxing after our days, Lola (the brown one) starts “singing” and pawing at me. Cooper then joins in, tilting his head to ask if it is indeed time for biscuits. Not only have they learned that I’m the one who gives treats, but they also know they can convince me to whip up a batch from scratch if we’re all out. They haven’t quite figured out that they have to wait to eat them from when they first smell the peanut butter in the recipe until the timer goes off, signaling they’re done in the oven.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would make homemade dog cookies when you can buy many brands in the store. I mean, really, you can even buy treats that are a higher quality than a lot of human food. I bake my own for a few reasons. One rationale is that I enjoy figuring out how to make everyday items to see if the homemade version is better than a purchased one. I also like to know what the ingredients in items are so that I know what comes out of our kitchen and how I can substitute ingredients if necessary. Our little guy Cooper has special dietary needs, which is fairly common in both boxers and Boston terriers (he’s 50 percent of each). After trying many foods and treats and finding that he can tolerate this recipe, we decided to not disrupt his very sensitive digestive tract and just bake biscuits ourselves. While these are all pretty great reasons, the primary reason for homemade dog biscuits is because I love our furry children and it brings me joy to see them happy. Just like you read in my last blog, I’m a huge fan of spending time in the kitchen for those I love.

This recipe can easily be doubled and frozen, which we often do. It is gluten- and dairy-free as well if your dog, like ours, has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon.

Banana Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

From Whole Foods

Ingredients

  • – 1 very ripe banana, peeled
  • – 1 cup oat flour (use food processor or blender to turn old-fashioned oats into oat flour)
  • – 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • – 1/2 cup dried parsley (if you don’t have this much, feel free to reduce the amount or omit)
  • – 3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened peanut butter
  • – 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Put banana in a large bowl and mash thoroughly. Add oat flour, oats, parsley (if using), peanut butter and egg and stir well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each; transfer to a large Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to flatten each ball a bit. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
  3. Storage note: It’s best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them to give to your pal later; just be sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.