Category Archives: Recipes

Cheesy Twists Recipe

I love this recipe as it’s a great treat for training and puts you in control of how much to give.  One treat can last a short walk or trip into the store if you need the dog’s attention.  You can also just give them a whole twist as a snack.  Personally, I love being able to break small pieces at a time off and give while training.  No mess, no fuss!

As with most of my recipes you have flexibility in what to put in these treats.  I used Parmesan cheese but you can certainly change it up to a number of dog friendly cheeses.  These also include Flax Seeds which are an amazing supplement for you dog.  You can’t go wrong with these treats!

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups of Organic Spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup of Organic Oat bran
  • 1/2 cup Flax Seeds
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Organic Brown Egg
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Sunflower Oil
  • 1 cup water
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 300.
2.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3.  Mix egg, sunflower oil, water and cheese until well blended.
4.  Add in Flax seeds and Oat Bran.
5.  Mix in Spelt Flour slowly until well blended.
6.  Roll out dough on a well floured counter.
7.  Using a pizza cutter, cut these into a length and width you want.  I would go about 4-5 inches long and about 1/2 and inch in width.  Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on depth, and width.
8.  Once you’ve got these cut into the correct width and length, twist these and place on cookie sheets.
9.  Bake 20 minutes.  Remember to check earlier so they don’t burn.  It’s also a good idea to flip these 1/2 way through baking to they have an even bake on both side.

You can see the ultra nutritional Flax Seeds in this dough!

Pizza cutter works best to cut this dough.

You can make these as tight or as loose in the twisting

Turn for even baking. Otherwise you'll end up with flat twists.

A great treat to break apart or give as a wholesome snack!

Bone Appetite!  


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Squealer’s Delight Recipe

I’m really behind on posting recipes.  Thurston’s test kitchen has been extremely busy lately but blog posts seem to be left for last.  I’ll make an attempt to get caught up without flooding you with recipes.

This is a kitchen favorite.  Decadence of a different kind!  What canine wouldn’t love the taste of bacon and cheese in one amazingly tasty cookies?!  In case you’re wondering, in general, it’s a good idea to not give your dog pork products.  However, there is so little pork in these that as an occasional treat it’s perfectly fine and safe.  I’ve heard folks complain this recipe is just too fatty and while I admit that there is quite a lot of “bacon” in these I make sure to use low-fat cheddar cheese and the amount of bacon spread throughout the entire batch isn’t too bad.  It’s entirely up to you what to feed your dog though!

 

Ingredients  

  • 2 c. Organic Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 c. low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb of bacon
  • 1 Organic Brown Egg
  • 1/2 c. Water OR Left over Bacon grease from cooking the bacon*
* I like to use the bacon grease that gets left over to make these treats extra special.  If you want to cut the fat back use water instead.
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Cook bacon until well done and crispy.  Set aside on paper towel to cool.  If you’re opting to use the bacon grease, put it in a container and set aside to cool.  IMPORTANT: You want to cook your bacon ahead of time and set aside to cool before starting this recipe.  All ingredients should be ready to go before you start.
3.  Chopped bacon into extremely small bits.
4.  Combine water (or grease), egg and cheddar cheese in mixing bowl.  Blend thoroughly.
5.  Add bacon and blend thoroughly.
6.  Slowly add in spelt flour.
7.  Put on floured surface and cut to desired shape or roll by hand and flatten on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
8.  Bake 20-25 minutes.
9.  Turn off oven and let cookies sit for 1-2 hours.
10.  Remove from oven and let sit on wire rack to cool.
11.  Store in an air tight container in your fridge.

Cook bacon well ahead of time so it has time to cool and handle.

 

Give your bacon, and especially the grease, time to cool. You don't want hot bacon grease cooking your egg!

 

Chop bacon as fine as you can.

 

The dough smells great! I could imagine a bacon/cheddar breakfast biscuit for people!

 

Pigs!!! A natural choice for these treats.

 

Ready for baking!

 

Look at the bacon pieces in those! A favorite treat!

 

Bone Appetite!  

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Minty Fresh Breath!

After the liver treats your dog is most certainly going to need something to get rid of that smell.  Blizzard and I have just the thing for you!  Minty Fresh Breath treats are sure to help out.  Comprised of parsley, mint and peppermint not only will it help your dog’s breath but peppermint also aids in digestion.  It’s win-win.

Ingredients  

  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 3 Tbs unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c. dried mint
  • 1/4 c. dried peppermint
  • 1/2 c. dried parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. water
Remember all of the above ingredients can be bought as organic and that’s what we use!  It really does make a difference.
Also, for this recipe you can use a 1/2 c. dried mint or a 1/2 c. peppermint but I highly recommend that if you go with something different you should go with more mint and less peppermint.  I can’t find prepackaged dried mint so I purchase fresh organic and lay it out to dry.
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Mix together egg, water and applesauce.
3.  Add mint, peppermint and parsley.  Mix until well blended.
4.  Add flours slowly and mix until well blended.
5.  Roll out dough on flour surface.
6.  Cut into shapes or simply roll into balls and put on cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Note: if you decide to roll into balls you can skip step 5.
7.  Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes until crispy but not brown.
8.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
9.  Can be stored in airtight container outside of fridge but for longevity I suggest storing in the fridge.

This dough is packed with herbal goodness!

 

Heart shaped because who doesn't love fresh breath?

 

Ready for the oven! ❤

 

Cooked and ready to eat!

 

Bone appetite!  

 

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Chicken? Don’t attempt these liver treats…

Seriously, these liver treats are NOT for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach.  However, the drool factor on these are off the charts!  As my daughter and I were making these we had a pool of drool to contend with from Blizzard who was going batty over these.

These are A+ grade treats that even the finickiest of dogs will eat; that is, if their human has the stomach to make them.  First, they just *look* wrong in the process  of baking… (you’ll see why below).  Second, they don’t smell bad as you’re making them but about 5-10 minutes into the cooking on these you’ll wish you had left the house and that’s AFTER you left all the windows open.

If you think you can stomach it, then here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. Oat Flour  
  • 1 1/2 c. Rice Flour
  • 1/2  c. Water
  • 1/2 c. Oat bran
  • 1 1/2 c. Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 lb. Chicken (or beef) livers
  • 3 Tbs applesauce
  • 1 egg

Important tip: To save on the smell of the livers while making these, use livers that are still slightly frozen.  If you use slightly frozen ones they work just as well and will not smell as bad initially.

 

 

 

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2. Take your liver and blend it until it becomes like a pate substance.  Immediately remove from blender and put in mixing bowl.

3.  Add egg, applesauce and water to liver mixture and mix until well blended.

4.  Add in Oat Bran and Oats until well blended.

5.  Blend in rice flour and oat flour slowly until  well blended.  Dough will form and be extremely stiff.

6. You have two options for what to do with the dough depending on how you want to present it.  You can just roll out small – medium balls and flatten.  Place on parchment paper on your cookie sheet.  This is the easiest and quickest way to go.  If you want to be more creative you can roll this out and cut into shapes.  Be forewarned!  This dough is really one stiff dough and will take some hard work to roll it out.

7.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

8.  At this point you have two options.  You can leave the treats in the oven over night until nice and crunchy (I recommend this).  OR you can remove right away and cool.

9.  These treats MUST be store in the fridge.

Put your livers in your processor. Slightly frozen help with the smell.

 

Nope, not a crime scene!This is what you want the liver consistency to be.

 

Super stiff dough.

 

Why did the chicken cross the road? To become tasty liver treats!

 

We also made *tiny* bones for the smaller dogs!

 

This week I had a very special helper in the kitchen!

My daughter Fiona is helping and learning tricks of baking!

 

Yummy liver treats! Variety of shapes and sizes for any tastes!

 

Bone Appetite!

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Announcing….

Thurston’s Barkery is opening soon!  The website is currently up and ready for viewing.  Please go to:

http://www.thurstonsbarkery.com

We are currently working on all Washington State licensing and registration and once that has all cleared Thurston’s will open for business and the online store will be up and running!

Thurston’s will need a little booster help and as soon as I have all the information I’ll pass that along.  Look for future information on how you can help support the growth of Thurston’s on Kickstarter IndieGoGo.

We’ll be starting off with the online store and doing local events/shows.  The eventual goal is to house Thurston’s in a physical store here in Washington and we’ll work towards that happening down the road!

This is extremely exciting to see a dream become reality!  Thanks for being along for the ride and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most amazing treats ever made!

Barkculture will continue to provide you with all the interesting and fun tidbits you’ve come to enjoy.  We’ll still post recipes and occasional updates on Thurston’s Barkery but rest assured this blog will remain a fun source for opinion pieces and information.  You can follow us on Twitter @tbarkery for updates, coupons and discount codes for our treats!

Thanks!

Erica & Blizzard

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It’s coming….

Blizzard and I have a super exciting announcement.  We can hardly contain ourselves!  We won’t spill the beans yet though…

 

So we leave you with this teaser and this message:

IT’S COMING!

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Human Cookie! Inspired by the Cranberry/White Chocolate Chip Treat

So, yesterday as I was baking the decadent white chocolate and cranberry dog treats they smelled so good I wanted to eat one myself.  Needless to say, I did indeed try one and while it wasn’t “bad” it certainly wasn’t for the human palette either.  I wanted to prove my husband wrong as well when he said that he didn’t know if it would taste good; i.e. his skepticism was showing.  So, tonight while he was at an appt I went ahead and baked up a batch of these for the humans of the world!

Braewyn, my 18 month old daughter helped.  And by help I mean she watched and oohed and aaah’d at the mixture while throwing cranberries in for me.  I found these much quicker to make than dog cookies; probably because I didn’t have to roll and cut anything else, I simply dropped them on the baking sheet.

Needless to say these cookies were indeed absolutely delicious!  In case you’re wondering, no…the test kitchen isn’t about to switch business and go for the human kind.  I just wanted to share with you this recipe inspired by the dog treat so you can try it at home yourself.

Oh and Blizzard was VERY upset with me.  He’s still pacing the baking area wondering where his delicious freshly baked treats are.  He knows I baked something and when I bake (up until today) I ONLY bake for him.  Talk about a bent out of shape fuzz-face!  As I write this I’m trying one out and Blizzard is all eyes on me and pacing.  Silly dog!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup dried/unsweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 a bag or 11 ozs  of white chocolate
Just because these are human treats doesn’t mean to skip on the organics!
If you’re using the freeze dried cranberries I recommended from the dog treat recipe you should soak them in hot water for 10-20 minutes so soften them.  That way you can strain them and put them in the mixture and don’t have to worry about the cranberries sucking up the moisture and making the dough too stiff.
These cookies are really sweet as it is so I STRONGLY suggest you don’t use sweetened cranberries!
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.  In a large bowl using an electric mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter; mix well to cream together.
3.  Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
4.  Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.
5.  Fold in the oatmeal, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips- making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed.
6.  Drop dough 3 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden.
7.  Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
Enjoy my two legged friends!

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Cranberry/White Chocolate Recipe

I was going to upload something other than a recipe but I just couldn’t wait to share this exciting one with you!  The final product was utterly adorable and Blizzard loved them.  They were fun to make and are a great decadent treat for your dog.  This is the type of treat for the rare and super special occasion.  They looked so good at the end in fact that I’m now thinking of how best to turn this recipe into something for human consumption!  I think it would be delicious!  My husband has his doubts….

White Chocolate

A few notes before we get into the recipe.  You might be looking at the title and be saying, “But I thought chocolate was bad for dogs!?”  And you’d be right.  Chocolate IS something you should never, ever under any circumstances give your dog.  Theobromine is the ingredient found naturally in cocoa beans that hurts your dog.  Depending on the type of chocolate, this occurs in higher or lower doses.  A Hershey bar has this but in slightly lower (although not any less lethal) doses than say pure baking chocolate.  White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all and contains no cocoa in it’s pure form.  It does contain coco butter which does have Theobromine present, just in very small amounts.  So small in fact that your dog would have to eat A LOT of white chocolate to actually get sick.  In fact a 20lb dog would need to eat 250lbs of white chocolate to show any signs of chocolate poisoning.  Likewise a 40lbs dog would need to eat 500lbs!!!  The offshoot of this is that white chocolate is probably not something you want to feed your dog regularly but as an occasional decadent treat they will enjoy this “forbidden” specialty!

 

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 c. Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 1/2 c. Oat Flour
  • 1/2 c. Dried Cranberries*
  • 1/2 – 1 c. Water**
  • 1 egg
  • White chocolate (can be chips or chunks)
*I had a VERY hard time finding dried cranberries that were not sweetened.   You can purchase two varieties of sweetened cranberries; ones with sugar and ones that are juice sweetened.  NEITHER should really be used.  You’re already adding white chocolate which has plenty of sugar.  I did finally find freeze dried cranberries at my local Whole Foods store.   The product “Just Cranberries” is just that…only cranberries.  I recommend these unless you can find another source for your dried cranberries.  If you do, please let me know!
** Your water is variable depending on the type of cranberries you use.  Freeze dried cranberries will suck up the water and other moisture in your recipe so you’ll need to add more water if using this brand.  
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Cut your cranberries into quarters.  You want them small enough to be in bite size shapes but not so small that they turn to power (especially if you’re using freeze dried).
3.  Mix water, egg and cranberries together.  Mix for awhile until the cranberries appear soft.
4.  Add oat flour and brown rice flour alternately until dough starts to form.
Your dough may come out broken.  You will want to simply knead it back together on your counter.
5.  Roll out your dough and cut into shapes.  For this particular recipe I HIGHLY suggest using an ice cream cone cookie cutter because of the end result.  However you are free to use whatever you want!
6.  Place parchment paper on your baking sheets and put the cookies on the paper.  You can pack these as close as possible because like all previous recipes they will not expand.
7.  Cook approximately 20 minutes until cripsy.
8.  Cool on wire racks.
9.  As the cookies are cooling, prepare your double broiler.
10.  Once cookies are cool enough to touch you want to melt the white chocolate in the double broiler.
11.  Using a high temperature spatula or cake frosting knife spread the melted while chocolate onto the cookies.  If you use the ice cream cone shape you’ll put the white chocolate on the “ice cream” part only.
12.  Optional step: Put some of your cranberries into your food processor and run until they are a fine powder.  This only works if you are using the freeze dried cranberries.  Use the powder to sprinkle on the white chocolate while still warm.
13.  Let dry over night on wire racks.
14.  These treats can be stored in the fridge or in an airtight container at room temperature.
Some folks may ask me why I chose a white chocolate over something like a yogurt topping.  Yogurt toppings ARE much healthier in general but there are a few drawbacks.  First, you have to store anything that has a yogurt base topping in the fridge.  Second, it never hardens so you always have a soft frosted treat.  While there is nothing wrong with this I wanted a treat I could store in the treat jar at home or safely ship to friends and family.  So long as these decadent treats are fed on special occasions and not as a treat staple there should be no issues with giving your dog this fun and yummy treat!
Bone Appetite!  

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A is for Apple – Recipe

Hi Readers!

I have a back log of posts to get up but thought this would probably be best since the “test kitchen” will be cooking up some more goodies this weekend.  I see Blizzard helped out letting  you folks know I was out of town on a business trip for work.  Guess I should have watched who I gave my password to!

Upcoming I have some exciting news about the “test kitchen” and some posts about getting into showing dogs, as well as some tips for training!

Remember there’s still time to get your applications in to be a treat taste tester!  I have already had a number of applications come in and it’s looking good so far but you still have an opportunity to join this elite (and lucky group) of dogs.  I am in definite need of some picky dogs so if your dog is picky send in an application!  Who knows?  You might learn something your finicky canine loves to eat.  Send those along to: barkculture@gmail.com

I picked up some new cookie cutters this weekend and found some new and exciting ones online as well!  Can’t wait to get more.  As crazy as it sounds I actually get inspiration from cookie cutter shapes for new recipes.  Part of the fun of making dog treats is the creativity that goes into them.  Just because your dog can’t appreciate it doesn’t mean you can’t!

Today’s recipe is one of the “test kitchens” favorites thus far.  They smell good, are great for your dog and provide some wholesome nutrition packed in a great crispy treat.

Ingredients   

  • 1 1/2 c. Oat Flour    
  • 1 1/2c. Brown Rice Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. Oat Bran
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2 Tbs. Honey
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 1 apple (small to medium) diced (do not include core, stem or seeds but DO include skin)
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Dice the apple into small bits.  These should not be huge chunks.  Note: You can use whatever brand of apple you would like.  I personally prefer using Fuji or Braeburn for these recipes.

For this recipe I used an Organic Fuji.

One small apple yields quite a bit of finely diced apple. Be sure to sample as you go!

3.  Mix egg, applesauce, honey, water and cinnamon together until well blended.
4.  Slowly add in your oat and then brown rice flour.
5.  Add in the oat bran.
6.  Carefully add in your apple to the mixture.  Note: Your mixture will have produced a stiff dough.  Adding in the apples is a challenge as they tend to fling out of your mixture.  Once the apples are added they will also soften your dough considerably.  If you find your dough too soft to work with add more oat flour to the recipe.

After realizing the dough was too soft to work with I simply kneaded in more flour.

7.  At this stage you can either roll small balls or roll the dough out and cut with a shape of your choice.  I made both “poppers” and cut cookies from this recipe.

I just picked up an apple shaped cookie cutter so the next time I make these treats I'll be using an apple shape and A's!

8.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Parchment paper really is a baking wonder!

9.  Bake about 20 minutes or until crispy.
10.  Cool on wire rack.

Crispy, crunchy, cooled apple A's

11.  These can be stored in an airtight container out of the fridge.  No refrigeration needed for these!

You can see the diced apples! These smelled good enough for me to want to try them!

Don’t forget, if there’s something you want to see baked let me know!  Want to know how to go about making something crafty?  We can do that too!  Specific product you want reviewed?  Yup, we do that!  Have something on your mind, related to dogs?  Send along the query and we’ll make sure to answer it in an upcoming post.
Bone Appetite!

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Pumpkin Recipe 2 – Pumpkin Swirls

Here’s another recipe from the “test kitchen”.  The jury is still out on the success of this but I thought I’d share none the less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe has some pro’s and con’s.

Pro’s

  • This treat is a softer chewy treat so it’s different than most.
  • It has a really nice bright orange color (not so meaningful for the dog but something different for their human companions).
  • Pumpkin is the feature of this recipe; great given the fantastic nutritional properties for your dog.
  • These are fun to make!
Con’s
  • This treat contains dairy.  While not horrible for you dog it’s not really the type of ingredient I like to see in a treat.  Even with organic non-fat powered milk the test kitchen isn’t sure if this is the way to go.
  • Even though these are a “chewy” treat and the dogs will eat them they feel like a rubber toy once cooked.  This could have been an error on the test kitchen’s part (and hence why we call it the test kitchen) or simply the way these will always come out.
  • These don’t have a very long shelf life and need to be stored in the fridge for longevity.  While I’m not opposed to this and many of the test kitchen recipes need to be refrigerated this makes the texture even more rubbery after being stored for awhile.
Overall this recipe is considered still “in development”.  I’m going to test the original batch with some of the bone-affied treat taste testers to see their thoughts.  Once I get feedback (the issues could be mine alone) I’ll redesign the recipe and take it from there.  So look for an update in the near future!  Now…on with the treats!
Ingredients 
15 oz can of pumpkin or fresh pumpkin *(see pumpkin recipe 1 for tips and cautions)
3/4 cups of Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup of Powered Nonfat Dry Milk
Carob chips (a small handful should be enough)
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (or oil the sheets lightly).
3.  Mix pumpkin and powdered  milk together until well blended.
4.  Add in Brown Rice Flour slowly and blend thoroughly.
5.  The dough should be soft in texture but firm enough to hold a shape.  This is NOT a dough to roll out so it shouldn’t be very firm (more like a stiff cake batter).
6.  Using a pastry bag (the type used to decorate cakes) put your mixture in with a star shaped tip.  If you want to make bigger treats then use a bigger star.
7.  Carefully pipe swirls directly onto the parchment paper.  Size of treats is up to you but you should at least make them big enough to get the swirl shape.
Alternately you can make pumpkin “dots” with these as well.  The test kitchen much prefers these  to the larger swirl cookies.  You just pipe a small amount onto the parchment paper and add one carob chip to the top!
8.  Add a carob chip or two to the middle of the swirls.
9.  Bake 15-20 minutes.
10.  Cool on a wire rack.
11.  Store in the fridge.
These treats make a fun, brightly colored soft and chewy (albeit rubbery) treat.  If you have suggestions for the test kitchen let us know!
Bone Appetite! 

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