It’s common knowledge that I have two dogs that I love and dote on. Here they are, gnawing on bones under the coffee table.
They’re my babies, but with all the time I spend in the kitchen, I’ve never made them anything more special than a hardboiled egg. I have had a recipe for dog treats for a while but decided to finally give it a try. I could tell from the directions that it would be as time consuming as making sugar cut-out cookies at Christmastime, but I bought smaller cookie cutters and figured it would make a lot of treats, so I was willing to give it a shot.
First, start off with some oats.
Add some butter and boiling water, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the following: shredded cheddar cheese…
A beaten egg…
And milk (I poured it in with the egg)…
The recipe says to include cornmeal, but some reviewers opted for wheat germ instead, since cornmeal isn’t the best thing to be giving dogs. I wasn’t sure how that would change the consistency, so I went with a mixture of both cornmeal and wheat germ, in addition to a touch of sugar and some beef bouillon granules. I figured that I wouldn’t be feeding these treats in large quantities, so a little bit of cornmeal wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Mix all of that (the cheese, egg, milk, and dry ingredients) in with the oatmeal mixture.
Next, start beating in whole wheat flour.
As it gets stickier and more stiff, curse yourself for doing it by hand instead of in your Kitchenaid mixer like a normal person would have done.
Finally, it should be a big, smooth lump.
Roll it out on the counter with a rolling pin and start cutting. The recipe said to leave it a 1/2 inch thick. That seemed pretty thick and I tried to go with it, though my second batch was thinner.
They baked for a lot longer than sugar cookies, about 40 minutes. I did two trays worth, both as packed as the one shown here.
Luckily they didn’t expand. I didn’t think they would, since they didn’t have much butter or oil or anything that would help them spread out, but I was glad nonetheless.
These treats won’t last nearly as long as regular milkbones that you’d buy, since they’re not full of preservatives, so I have mine in a big zip lock bag in the fridge. I suppose I should move some to the freezer.
More importantly, the verdict?
The dogs LOVE them. I do break them into much smaller pieces, but the dogs do really like them. This is significant, as they’re picky. Max has been known to reject most of the treats that the people at the store thought he might like, actually spitting out pieces of beef and venison and looking at the staff like, “Why would you give me that? It tastes like crap!” But he and his little sister, Kaya, both really like these. In fact, when I bring them on walks, both dogs are absolute angels. Wonderful!
P.S. Yes, I tasted them. Not bad. But not good either