Monday, 18 July 2016

{RECIPE} Chicken Cheese and Herb Dog Treats


Although I make a lot of different homemade treats, I have struggled to find a recipe that works well for taking with us on walks/runs. That recently change when I discovered the secret superpower of my little fondant/cookie plunger cutters.  I was making tiny treats to go with a gift for a puppy and decided to use my plungers.  These inexpensive little tools make it possible to quickly and easily make A LOT of tiny little biscuits from any rollable treat dough. Of course, we made extras. :) It was then that I discovered that the small size and circle shape helps reduce crumbling when I tote them around in my pockets.  I can even carry them in my running wristlet when jogging! I was expecting a big mess, but they held up beautifully. Hooray!  Now I can use any suitable rollable recipe for walkies and reinforcing training-on-the-go.  Using a nice solid biscuit dough helps ... preferable something smelly and delicious, of course!

Homemade Chicken Cheese and Herb Dog Treats (Large Batch)

1/2 cup of homemade (or ready-made unsalted unseasoned) chicken stock*
1 egg
3 tbsp ground flax
a dash of kelp powder (optional)
a generous sprinkle of dried parsley and/or other dog-friendly herbs of your preference
1/2 cup wheat germ
~1.5 cups of rice flour
1/3 cup firm cheese very finely grated* 

Preheat over to 180C. Mix together stock and egg. Add flax, kelp, herbs, and wheat germ and stir to combine. Incrementally add flour until the dough has a nice workable play-dough like consistency. Flour quantity will depending on the wet ingredients and your add-ins, so work incrementally. If it isn't firm enough, add a touch more flour. If your mixture is looking a bit dry, you can add a little bit of additional water/stock to adjust. Add cheese and ensure that it is very thoroughly mixed through. Roll, cut, place on a prepared baking tray, and bake for approximately 10 minutes (less if you're baking small circles).  Cooking time will vary with size and thickness, so keep an eye on the oven.  Cool before storage and serving.


Tips and Tricks:

  • My chicken stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade food. It can be VERY hard to source ready-made unsalted and unseasoned stock.  
  • To facilitate cutting and baking, especially if you are making small treats like my mini-circles, make sure that the cheese is very fine and well combined to avoid melty deformed biscuits.  If you made your dough in a food processor, through the cheese in a whiz it well - works great!  
  • Rice flour is a great option for making a smooth rolling dough.
  • These treats can be kept refrigerated and should be frozen for longer storage. 

Hungry for more tasty treats?  See all of our recipes here. Remember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about your dog's diet and health, have a chat with your vet.


5 comments:

  1. Great idea! I have cake decorating fondant tool but never thought to use them for treats. You're right they will be perfect for making tons of small treats quickly. Thanks!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray! It's always great to discover new uses for things you already have on hand, isn't it? Glad you found our post helpful. :)

      Delete
  2. Do you have the different size ones and does it matter which size circle you use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Allie! I have one of the small three circle sets, and have used different sizes since experimenting with them for treats. It doesn't matter what size, but do watch the cooking time as the smaller the treat the faster it will bake through. I do recommend using a dough that is rolled roughly as thick as the plunger allows for a sturdier treat than a very thin dough if you are going to try carrying them in your pockets. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  3. Great reader question via email on how to get a crunchy little circle treat, so I thought I'd share my reply here too. :) Here it is:

    I usually aim for a rolled thickness of around 1/2 to 3/4 cm depending on the dough. Any thicker than that and it might be to thick for your plungers to work freely. The thinner the treat the quicker it bake and easier it is to dry for crunch.

    Baking time depends on the dough and temperature. Unless I'm trying really hard not to brown the edges or have an extra sensitive dough, I bake most treats at 180C so tiny treats would usually be done in around 8 minutes, give or take. You can press to check for firmness or watch for the edged to start to brown.

    Since most healthy homemade dog treats don't have much fat or sugar, which give our human cookies snap once cooked and cooked, removing moisture is the way to make treats crunchier, much like a cracker. I like to bake normally and then dry. To do this, any baked treat can be left in the cooling oven for a crisper texture or, if you want to get things extra crunchy you can place the baked treats in the dehydrator (fresh from the oven or later) and dry them out. Totally optional, of course! For the small circle plunger treats, I usually find just leaving them to cool in the oven with the door ajar does the trick nicely since they have lots of surface and not much middle. You can do a quick snap-test anytime, and they will be their crispest after they are cooled to room temperature.

    ReplyDelete

WE LOVE COMMENTS! Almost as much as treats. :) Thanks ever so much for taking the time to leave us a comment - we read each and every one. We appreciate you taking the time to say hello and share your thoughts.