Monday, 30 January 2017

{RECIPE} Peanut Butter Carob "XO" Valentine Dog Treats


Yummy carob and peanut butter are the perfect couple!  These tempting little bites of love can be made as shown for an extra special treat or baked in any shape your heart desires for your favourite furry Valentines.
 
Peanut Butter Carob "XO" Valentine Dog Treats

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp carob powder
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 egg
Approximately 1/4 cup water

Don't let the "wheat" in buckwheat mislead you, as the flour is actually made from the ground seeds of the buckwheat plant. Buckwheat flour can be used as a healthy grain-free/gluten-free option for homemade dogs treats, which can be helpful for dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. It's also low GI and full of healthy goodness, which is why I sometimes use it for making treats. You can substitute another flour if you prefer, and adjust the liquids if/as needed to get a nice consistency for rolling.

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine flour, flax, and carob together in a mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and egg and stir to distribute through the mixture. Incrementally add water until you have a good consistency for rolling and shaping. If you rest your dough or are working from thawed frozen dough, re-knead before you roll for better workability.  Roll, lightly brush to remove excess flour, and cut to shape. Place on a prepared cookie tray and bake until firm. Baking times will depend on the size of your treats. My small letters were done in approximately 8 minutes while the large hearts were approximately 12 minutes, and I let them cool in the oven (see tips below) for a little extra crunch. Cool before assembling (or before serving and storage for plain treats).


The treats shown are made using heart shaped cookies cutters and the "X" and "O" from a set of small alphabet fondant/cookie cutters. With small thin shapes like the letters, it's important to have a firm but forgiving dough that handles well, as it can be tricky to get the cut dough out of the little cutter without damaging the shape or cracking off any pieces.  You can also gently use a small blunt object to give the dough a gentle push out. The handle tip of a tiny spoon is my favourite helper with tricky cookies - it sometimes makes a small dent, but I'm ok with that! :) 


To assemble the edible 3D "XO" heart valentine treats, you'll need a little bit of (tasty!) "glue". A small amount of dog-friendly melted yogurt or carob drops works very well. I used yogurt drops with a just a little coconut oil to help with melting and consistency. When melting carob, I like to use either coconut oil or peanut butter.  A little squeeze bottle makes it extra easy to apply.  Let the "glue" cool to set firmly and then the treats are ready for sharing.


I made a few special heart "XO" Valentines and a whole jar of itty bitty edible hug and kisses. As an alternative treat idea, this dough would also work very nicely for stamping impression letters for personalised edible Valentines.


Tips and Tricks:
  • Go natural or take care when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients like yogurt or peanut butter for your dogs – xylitol (also identified as sweetener E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs.
  • Any baked treat can be left in the cooling oven for a slightly crisper texture or, if you want to get things extra crunchy without overbaking/burning, you can place the baked treats in the dehydrator (fresh from the oven or later) and dry them out.  These will be a little less like a homebaked cookie and a bit more like a crunchy biscuit.  Totally optional, of course!

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.

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