Adding a puppy to the household has certainly upped the pet food bill. After reading the ingredients on some commercial dog biscuits and seeing the price tag on some of the better quality ones, I decided to make my own.
Thanks to two nice folks on the Labrador Retriever Chat Board, I found two recipes that sounded pretty good.
Here’s the first one – Peanut Butter Yummies. Devin loves peanut butter but, strangely, he didn’t really care for the peanut butter flavored biscuits that I bought (and he’s a Lab – he eats ANYTHING). Frankly, I didn’t like them much either after I tasted one.
Dry ingredients: 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 tablespoon baking powder.
Wet ingredients: one cup of skim milk and one cup of peanut butter. I used 1/3 cup of non-fat dry milk powder + water to equal 1 cup. I also use reduced sugar/salt peanut butter. Why do items that have ingredients LEFT OUT cost more? (Never mind, that’s another topic.) I despise scraping peanut butter out of measuring cups, so I take a 2 cup glass measuring cup, add the one cup of milk, then add peanut butter until the milk level reaches 2 cups.
I put the mixture in the microwave and heated it gently to make it easier to mix the peanut butter into the milk.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, then place measuring cup on floor for easy clean-up
Mix it thoroughly and dump it out on a floured board to roll out the dough. It’s pretty oily so I didn’t need much flour at all.
After it’s rolled out about 1/4″ thick, cut into shapes. I did some round ones with a biscuit cutter…
some squares, and some bone shaped. I prefer to use parchment paper, but the original recipe called for greasing the pans. They don’t spread, so it’s OK to crowd them pretty close on the cookie sheet.
Bake at 375° for 13-15 minutes (possibly as long as 20 minutes depending on your oven). I did flip mine over about halfway through the baking time. Next time I make these, I’m going to experiment with adding a wee bit of honey and some anise seed (the catnip for dogs). One spice you shouldn’t give dogs is nutmeg, so stay away from that (as well as chocolate, onions, grapes and raisins – the jury’s still out on garlic. Some say it’s OK, some say it’s not, even though you find it in a lot of commercial dog food).
Devin’s vote: 2 paws up. BarBBQ Bill’s vote: pretty good (his idea to add some honey – yes, he taste-tests all of Devin’s food).
Next, I tried Banana Bites. Another simple, healthy recipe.
2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water (the original recipe added a beef bouillon cube to the water, but I couldn’t find any that weren’t 1000% salt)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
2. Knead for 2 minutes on a floured surface. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
3. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter and place on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake at 300° for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Devin’s favorite: actually the ones in the center of the picture. After I got bored using the cookie cutters, I simply rolled out the remainder of the dough into a rectangle, spread it with peanut butter, rolled it into a log and cut into slices. Next time, I’ll do them all this way.
Daddy, STOP eating all my treats!