It dawned on me that we are moving out of this house soon. This same house with the ample-sized refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen. And a spare refrigerator/freezer unit in the garage . . . right next to the upright freezer that is also in the garage. And, of course, the beer (etc.) refrigerator/freezer sitting in the basement with the home brewing equipment (J’s “man cave” or the “pout house”, depending on the day that you ask him).
And so begins our mission to use up the freezer(s) foods in preparation for the big move. Ack! Naturally, I started with the fun stuff first (hey, life is short!) Since we were on the road (house-hunting around Lake Tahoe – woot!) during the Christmas holiday, I only baked one batch of Hanukkah cookies and left the other two batches of dough in the freezer. Now, Hanukkah cookie dough has been re-purposed into Valentine’s Day cookies with the aid of hearts and lips cookie cutters.
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Of course, we don’t exclude our greyt boy from the treats. He is so spoiled that when he sees the rolling-pin come out of the drawer, he practically dances around the kitchen! To his doggie brain (and I take full responsibility for this perception of his) the rolling-pin = homemade doggie treats.
Since it is almost Valentine’s Day and since I still have a mess of steamed baby beets in the freezer from J’s parents, I made red cookies for the greyt boy. He loves them!
They also make greyt sandwich cookies with peanut butter, his absolutely favorite food item on the entire planet:
Greyt Dog Cookies
Makes about 7 dozen small dog cookies
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons canola or flax oil
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup “flavoring” (whatever your dog likes): we have successfully used pureed baked sweet potato, pureed steamed beets, pureed pumpkin (not the pie filling), unsweetened apple sauce, mashed bananas or smooth peanut butter.
Whisk together the broth, oil and molasses in a large measuring glass and pour into the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the flat beater blade.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ and flax meal. On speed 4 of the stand mixer, slowly add in the flour mixture. Lastly, add in the pureed fruit or vegetable or peanut butter. Mix until a cohesive dough ball forms. Add more broth, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too dry.
Divide the dough in half and refrigerate for a few hours (if the dough is not refrigerated it will just take more flour to keep it from sticking to the counter surface and the rolling-pin).
When the dough is chilled, pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Work with one dough ball at a time; leave the remaining dough ball in the refrigerator until ready to use. Lightly dust the work surface and the rolling-pin with flour and then divide the dough ball into thirds. Roll each third to 1/4-inch thickness*, cut into desired shapes and place on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then flip them over, and bake an extra 10 minutes. Remove each baking sheet from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
Store the cooled cookies in a tightly sealed container. These cookies will not keep too long (refrigeration extends their shelf life) because they are not loaded with preservatives, but isn’t that the point of making your own dog treats?
*I use these handy rolling-pin rings to roll out a dough of uniform thickness.
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