This week, I made enchiladas for dinner. One of my shortcuts, which always yields excellent results, is to buy a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast and then cube the meat that I pick off of it. Tender, juicy and ready to layer into the enchilada 'casserole'. This was my first time with a bird at home, while I had a dog at my feet. I remembered that he gets sick from people food, but also that dogs are supposed to get lean protein in addition to their dry kibble, so I figured a little bit couldn't hurt. The big black dog loved it. I emailed my friend later that night to ask if she'd ever done the chicken or chicken and rice thing, and she assured me it was fine. She also mentioned that she would occasionally make peanut butter 'cookies' for him, and that if I googled it, I'd find lots of recipes for homemade dog treats.
What?! A new baking project! I was on it!
First of all, I had to go to the store to buy natural peanut butter because I use Jif in my kids' sandwiches. What?! I'm going to buy natural peanut butter for my dog while I feed my kids a sugar and salt laden preserved glop? Yes. But, then, if I felt that there was a threat that my kids would vomit or poop on my floor for me to clean up if they got too much salt or it would otherwise mess with their sensitive system, I'd probably be building up my tri-ceps stirring up the jar of Adams for them too.
That said, I did get the big jar with the intent that I'd phase out the Jif, since I was feeling a touch guilty about this conundrum. Then, I licked the spoon after stirring... blech! I'm sorry, I'm like the Beastie Boys when it comes to sugar. I suppose I could aquire a taste for it, and I will use natural peanut butter in baking and in oatmeal so that you're not adding sugar where you don't want to, but a good ole PBJ calls for Jif and homemade jam. But I digress...
With the kiddos romping in the yard, I busted out a pyrex bowl, whisk and spatula...that was all I needed for these Peanut Butter Goodness treats.
Whisk 1c. water, 2T oil and 1/2 c. peanut butter. Add in 1.5 c. Whole Wheat flour, followed by 1.5 c. flour (which I thought was too much, and would cut down to 1 c. regular flour next time as there was a lot of flour that failed to incorporate in). Knead the dough to form a ball. A very stiff, tough ball I might add. Basically think of the texture that would make you cry were you attempting a pie crust, and you've got the perfect consistency for dog treats. Roll the dough out on the counter to 1/4 inch thickness. The directions say to cut into 3-4 inch pieces, but I actually used a cookie cutter, because that's just how I roll.
I didn't have to flour the counters or wash my hands aggressively to get off cemented blobs of four and dough. I'm assuming it's because of the oil in the peanut butter, married with the 2 T of oil that you add, but this is the easiest dough to work with, and work with it you must; a lot of kneading in what I think is slightly too much flour and cutting, rolling then cutting again (and again).
All ready to go in a 350 oven on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
Again with the olfactory disappointment, I was expecting a yummy whif when I opened the oven door as the timer dinged, and that's just not what you get, it's not that pungent smell of regular dog biscuits, but it's also so not warm peanut butter cookies. Ease and speed of preparation paired with the fact that the cost is significantly less than a gourmet or 'green' commercially packaged treat, and I think we've found a winner. There are a ton of resources online for homemade dog treats which incorporate vegetables and fruits, so bon apetit to your friendly pooch.
I sure wish I had me a treat...