Yesterday was a very special day for the Assistant Chef.
It was his first birthday! Assistant Chef Louie is my constant companion in the kitchen. He’s my shadow! When not on shadow duty, Louie can be found surveying the side yard through the big window by the kitchen table. He is really waiting for the neighbor cat, Yin Yang, to appear on the fence. Once she’s spotted, there’s a mad dash to the back door followed by quite the chase scene down the fence line. I really don’t know what they’d do without each other. We seem to have our own special little Tom and Jerry show going on around here. Back to the birthday business, being the crazy dog mom that I am, I just had to whip up a little something special for the Assistant Chef. Who’s the boss around here anyway?!
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- Dog Bone Cookie Cutters (Optional) – I used these: R & M International Best Selling Set of 4 Classic Dog Bone Cookie Cutters Great For Homemade Treats and Crafts 6.5″, 3.5″, 2″, Mini
- Mixer (Preferably Heavy-Duty) – Of course, a heavy duty mixer is absolutely not a necessity to make dog biscuits. When dealing with stiff dough, one of these does make life easier though. I’ve been using the model in the link below for years and years. Should you bake a lot and be in market for a heavy-duty mixer, this is an excellent price for a refurbished Kitchen Aid: KitchenAid RRK150SL 5 Qt. Artisan Series – Silver (Certified Refurbished)
- Rolling Pin – A marble rolling pin is definitely easier to work with as it helps keep dough cool. I use one like this: Cucina Pro Marble Rolling Pin (451) – Heavy Weight With Large Comfort Grip Wooden Handles and Cradle
- Parchment Paper (Martha Stewart would be proud.) Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets Parchment Paper (Non-Stick, 22 Sheets)
- 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1/4 Cup Peanut Butter (Xylitol-Free) Note: Please, please, please make sure your peanut butter does not contain xylitol. It is extremely toxic to dogs. I use Jif.
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 1/2 – 3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour. Note: This recipe is not gluten-free, but it is so much healthier than store bought dog biscuits. I will work on coming up with a gluten-free version.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium high until well blended.
- Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of flour. Your dough should resemble gingerbread dough. If your dough is not stiff enough, add more flour by 1/4 cup increments until it looks like this:
- Turn out your dough onto a floured surface, and knead until it all comes together. Be sure not to knead more than required. Once your dough looks like the photo below, go ahead and stop kneading:
- If you have time, chill your dough in the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out. My dough for this recipe was not chilled yesterday. I can just hear my grandmother, who taught me how to bake, saying “You should have chilled the dough, honey.” 😉 I’ll admit, I did have to use a little spatula to gingerly get the cutouts off of the granite that I rolled them out on. My dear Grandmother was right, of course.
- Roll out your dough with a rolling pin until it’s approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- Now, for the fun part! Let’s get out those cute dog bone cookie cutters. Assistant Chef is a 31 pound Labradoodle, so I ended up using the smallest cutter. You can buy these through this link: R & M International Best Selling Set of 4 Classic Dog Bone Cookie Cutters Great For Homemade Treats and Crafts 6.5″, 3.5″, 2″, Mini Any cookie cutter that is the appropriate size would be cute though (stars, hearts, gingerbread men, etc.). Another option is to roll the dough into balls, and press a fork across them in a crisscross pattern as one would a traditional peanut butter cookie. That’s what I did with the scraps left after all the biscuits/bones had been cut out (rolled them into balls the size of a large marble). Those scraps made the cutest miniature peanut butter cookies!
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until edges start to brown.
My Assistant Chef must taste test anything new before deciding whether it’s up to his standards to actually eat. These are a keeper! Judging from the level of begging for these treats, they must be oh so delicious! Do you have an assistant chef? If so, I hope they enjoy these treats.
Y’all come back, now. I’ll be posting regularly during the week.