Although I have no statistics to back this up, I feel like it’s safe to say that the holidays are probably the time when serious baking is undertaken the most. I know it’s when I am more likely to make fresh bread or try to recreate (with some similarity) one of the complicated recipes in my Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America cookbook. So, during my most recent trip to Fresh Market, I was wandering the aisles in that “I only came in for a couple of things, but now I need all of this stuff too” stupor that always overtakes me the second I walk through the door, when I stumbled upon the small but well-stocked pet section.
And that’s when I decided I would actually bake treats for my dogs.
I’m pretty sure I went for CloudStar’s Buddy Biscuits partly because the cute burlap-style packaging and bone-shaped cookie cutter had me at hello, but hey, why not do something a little different and bake fresh treats for my furry little children?
And bake them I did…
These bake at home dog treats could not be simpler, and that includes the ingredients—unbleached white and whole wheat flours, dried cheese, lecithin (it emulsifies), rosemary powder and parsley flakes. That’s it. No preservatives, salt or sugar, and no faux flavors or colors. All you add is warm water and vegetable oil to the pre-packaged mix, stir it up with a spoon until it’s all combined, and then knead it for a bit. And just as you would a batch of cookies, roll out the dough, cut out the treats and bake.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never been able to cut out cookies—what should be a tree or star always ends up a misshapen mess. But I recently learned a new trick thanks to some show on the Food Network: instead of rolling the dough out onto a separate surface, roll it out onto your baking sheet, and cut out your cookies/dog treats as you normally would. Gently pull up the rest of the dough and you’re ready to bake.
After 45 minutes or so…
Horray! Homemade dog biscuits! And even better, they smelled so good while they were baking. A lot like focaccia bread, actually.
Even though the second batch cooked a little longer and some have a little baked-in flour decoration, ultimately they turned out great (yes, of course we tried a bite) and the dogs totally love them.
The kit makes around 48 little biscuits, which can be kept in an airtight container or even frozen. Because while I don’t see baking homemade dog biscuits becoming a weekly thing, making and freezing a few batches might not be such a bad idea, as these two can be quite demanding.