Monday, February 15, 2010

Homemade Dog Treats

My two dogs, Lucy (beagle mix)and Willie (part basset hound, part tiger we've decided), admittedly will eat anything; thus, these may not actually be that great. Nonetheless, making homemade dog treats (that while not exactly "organic" have to be better for them than most packaged treats) makes me feel a little better about feeding them far too often. To see them gobble them up as though they are in fact quite good is also fulfilling in a odd (some might suggest "sad") way. It is something I can put on one of my many "to-do" lists that is easy, takes little time, and produces an immediate and uncontroversial response - I never wonder if they really do like them or if they're just being polite; I don't have to worry about odd facial expressions or curious sighs; I don't have to question the sincerity of a verbal response. For at least a few minutes of the day, I actually, with no hesitation, tell myself that I am a fantastic cook. Homemade dog treats are also my apology for occasionally dressing them up in holiday costumes.

I have played with the original recipe so much that I have reached a point where I honestly have no idea how much of each thing I put in them. It really is a matter of looking for the "right" consistency (shoot for something along the lines of "no-bake" cookies). The amounts below are estimates of what I think I put in (definitely the start of a great recipe, I know...)

1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 c. quick-cooking oats
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. apple cider spice
2-3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 egg
1 - 1 1/2 c. pumpkin
1/2 apple finely chopped
1 c. peanut butter
2-3 tbsp. honey

Preheat oven to 325. Mix all ingredients and spoon onto greased cookie sheet (think no-bake cookie size). Bake for 25-30 minutes (I typically take a fork and flatten down at 15 minutes).
* If push comes to shove, these really aren't that bad if you can't find any other snack for yourself.

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