The “test kitchen” was extremely busy last night. Up until the witching hour baking dog treats. The kitchen smelled amazing! Made me crave all kinds of pumpkin sweets; bread, pie, cookies… mmmmm
This time I focused on pumpkin treats! Pumpkin has great benefits for dogs and many individuals will include pumpkin as a regular part of their dog’s diet. Pumpkin is high in fiber and packed fully of healthy nutrients (vitamin A and potassium) and tests have shown it helps boost a dog’s immune system. So these treats serve not only as a good tasting treat but one that is good and healthy for your pet as well! This recipe is wheat and corn free for those who are sensitive as well! It’s low fat, and high in fiber! It’s a win-win recipe all around.
Now, you might be thinking, “But Erica, it’s just about summer… pumpkin is a fall treat!” I admit that baking these last night had me thinking of cider mills and Halloween but pumpkin has such good benefits that it doesn’t hurt to remind you that pumpkin can and should be given to dogs throughout the year. The only thing I would change is that come fall, I’ll be cutting these into cute pumpkin shapes!
The basic recipe for these treats is the same. What is different is the potential topping(s) you can add. So, let’s get on with the basics first!
- 1 c. Oat Flour
- 1 c. Brown Rice Flour
- 1/2 c. Pumpkin (can be canned or fresh)*
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/3 c. Water
- 1 egg
* I have discovered that there appears to be only one manufacturer of organic canned pumpkin and I can’t seem to find it in my area. You can order it online at Amazon.com. Just make sure that you use 100% pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie mix. Canned pumpkin comes just as pumpkin only (nothing added) as well as in pie mix form and the pie mix is far to sugary with additives to give to your dog.
1. Preheat Oven to 350.
2. Mix pumpkin, water, egg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl until well blended.
3. Slowly add in your oat and brown rice flour until dough forms.
4. Roll out dough. You can either simply roll these into balls or cut them into any shapes you want.
5. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I have discovered the wonders of parchment paper! Eliminates the need for greasing your cookie sheets AND saves them from staining or ruin. This also allows you to not have to worry about whether or not you are using a human sheet or a doggie sheet since nothing actually gets on the cookie tray. You can pack the cookies fairly close together as they don’t expand during cooking. So take advantage of the space you have!
6. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until treats are crispy.
7. Dry on wire racks until cool.
8. Store in an airtight container or in your fridge.
I have a couple of other frostings/spreads/toppings coming up. These treats are certainly good on their own but you can jazz them up with a special topping! A regular cream cheese topping would be fantastic or even a carob flavored cream cheese frosting would be good. For this round I went with a straight carob topping to jazz them up!
Carob chips (How much you use is up to you. I used approximately 1/4 c. for the batch listed above and had some leftover).
As a friendly reminder, never ever under any circumstances give regular chocolate to your dog!
1. For this you’ll need to use a double boiler to melt down the carob. Don’t have one you say? You can easily put one together out of stuff you already have in your kitchen. I used a small sauce pan and a metal bowl. Caution! If you use metal on metal like I did it will get very hot! Even with silicone holders my hands were a wee bit charred.
2. Fill your bottom pot half way with water and bring to a gentle boil. Place the second bowl/pot/whatever you use on top of the first.
3. Place your chips in the top. You will have to stir these constantly! Don’t stop stirring as if your life depended on it. I find a high temperature rubber spatula works best.
4. Once your chips reach a workable temperature take them off the stove and immediately use! Careful! Carob will reach it’s melting point and then quickly solidify again. You have to be extremely fast working with this.
5. You can spread or drizzle these onto your cookies. How you use it is entirely up to you! Just don’t go overboard or else the carob will overpower your fragrant pumpkin cookies.
I’ll get some alternative topping recipes up here for you to experiment with.
Up next; Pumpkin Recipe #2! Something a little different – a soft chewy treat!