Story and recipe by Sue Carroll, owner of Bones Du Jour in Fort Collins, CO
Dogs love freshly baked dog treats. Baking up some delicious homemade dog treats is just the thing to warm you and your pooch up on a chilly winter day. They seem to know that the cookie sheet is being loaded with homemade dog snacks just for them as they lift their noses and breathe in the scent even before you put them in the oven. Once baked and cooled, these delicious treats disappear in mere seconds when offered as a snack! Convincing dogs to pace themselves is a hard sell with fresh baked biscuits.
Use organic ingredients when you can find them and omit ingredients you won’t need such as salt, sugar (in any form), preservatives, or added oils to make a healthy dog treat. Anything that is toxic to dogs or can make them ill should not be used. Here is the ASPCA list of human foods that are best left out of dog treats. Select ingredients using flavors that you know your dog loves. It’s the time of year for pumpkin everything, make yourself a pumpkin latte and whip up some pumpkin treats for your favorite dog! If you are in the pumpkin spirit, try this recipe.
Size and shape are often overlooked when making dog treats. Bones shapes are great but it’s fun to shake things up a little by making different sizes and shapes. Try bow ties, twists, and shapes that fit in interactive toys like a KONG, and tiny treats for training. Speaking of training treats, a delicious softer training treat is Tuna Fudge and it’s a favorite recipe that HABIC Director Helen Holmquist-Johnson loves to bake for her dog.
I love making Snackaroons! They are versatile, can be easily made in any size and they are easy to break into smaller bits if you have a very small dog or want to use them for training. These delicious treats are pretty hard and firm straight from the oven but they tend to soften up in the refrigerator. Because they are made with chicken they will need to be refrigerated and will last for a week or two.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ can chickpeas (drained, no salt added)
- 1 cup cubed chicken (boneless and skinless)
- 1 small apple (cored, seeded & cut into chunks)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, process ½ cup of rolled oats into flour. Add the apple and chicken, process until they are ground and incorporated. Add the drained chickpeas and egg, process until the chickpeas are completely incorporated. Stir in or use the pulse setting of your food processor to pulse in the last ½ cup of oats. The dough will be thick and sticky.
Drop the dough by the spoonful onto a silpat or parchment lined cooked sheet. Once placed on the sheet (they can be close together; they won’t spread), take a heavy drinking glass and wrap the bottom with plastic wrap. Gently press the cookies flat to about the same thickness so they will bake evenly.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the edges turn a little brown. Turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven until the treats are baked through and dry. Make sure they are dry all the way to the middle or they will mold. Place the treats in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze them; they do not have preservatives and they will not keep on the counter.
Sue Carroll is the owner, chef, and biscuitologist at Bones Du Jour in Fort Collins, Colorado.