Yep — dog biscuits. This year, instead of making treats for people, I’m making them for the furry friends in my life. Believe it or not, it’s not that easy to find affordable treats for dogs that don’t include grain or poultry, which quite a few dogs I know are allergic to. Plus, fancy dog treats are fun.
The ones we made smelled amazing. OK, yes, I tasted them. All human grade ingredients, why not? They were good going down but the aftertaste was a tiny bit bitter. I don’t know if it was the parsley or the flaxseed flour that was responsible for the bad aftertaste but my taste-testers (Roscoe the cat, and canines Banjo, Banana, and Liversnap) all loved them without reserve. Miss Banana is super picky, so it was a good sign.
While browsing online, I was alarmed to see dog biscuit recipes that included ingredients that are bad for dogs. Some, like baking soda, may even be toxic. I wanted to find a recipe that not only didn’t make anybody’s dog sick (happy holidays!) but that even the most food-allergic pooches could enjoy. You don’t have to use peanut butter with no added sugar, but sugar is really bad for dogs — even worse than it is for us.
We used ground flaxseed flour in the recipe and millet flour for rolling them out. It was so much fun to roll these out without having to worry about the cookies getting too tough from over-rolling. The only downside to this recipe is that these biscuits are real, fresh food and therefore need to be stored like homemade people cookies in airtight containers and consumed or frozen within a week or so.
Peanut Butter Banana Gluten-free Dog Biscuits
(adapted from a Whole Foods recipe)
2 bananas — well-mashed
2 cups flaxseed or other gluten-free flour plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 cups oats (you don’t need these — dough would actually roll better without them)
1/2 cup dried parsley (for fresh breath!)
6 tablespoons peanut butter (make sure you get the kind without added sugar — in other words organic, fancy kind, no Skippy or Jif)
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat your oven to 300.
Mash everything together till it looks like dough. At this point, you can chill it for a bit, to make it super easy to roll out, but you don’t have to, since using lots of extra flour to combat stickiness won’t spoil the taste the way it does with human cookies.
Make a big ball of your dough. Put a liberal amount of flour (in my case it was millet flour) on your board or if you’re lucky, granite counter, rub some more flour on your rolling pin, and roll out the dough as thin as you please. We did about 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick and they baked beautifully in about 30 minutes.
You can use cookie cutters. Our most appropriate shape was a hydrant but it came out looking strange. I think the most successful shape was a pig. Fun! I can never get real cookies this thin or precise because I’m worried about overworking the dough.
You will know the biscuits are done when they are brown and crunchy looking. This recipe yielded about 50 biscuits but obviously yields will depend on the size of the cutters you use.