Christmas Cookies for Your Dog

Have you started your Christmas cookie baking yet? Don't leave your dog out! Now as we all know, you can't give your dog chocolate, but many of us still want to include them in the holiday traditions. Carob makes a good substitute for chocolate, and your dog will always appreciate peanut butter or cheese-flavored snacks.

Beagle puppy and cookie batter
Your dog will love homemade cookies as much as you would.

General Instructions

Store dog treats just as you would those you make for your two-leggers. Where and for how long you can store your treats depend on your local weather conditions - heat and humidity cause molding and spoilage. In addition, the amount and type of fat in the recipe is a key determinant. Animal-based fats - including butter - tend to get rancid if not refrigerated, while vegetable-based fats will be fine at room temperature.

Most treats can be refrigerated or frozen to prolong their storage life. Although this may not be a concern if you have more than one dog, it's good to know you can portion out the treats into tightly-sealed containers or zipper bags and save some for later. Typically, you would allow the treats to fully thaw before giving them to your dog to prevent tooth damage, but if you have a dog who likes to chew on ice cubes, you might see if they enjoy frozen treats.

Feed treats sparingly. There's no reason your dog has to gain weight over the holidays like the rest of us do. The good folks at Gourmet Sleuth have a list of ways you can decorate your dog cookies without adding a ton of sugar or that dreaded chocolate.

Holiday Peanut Butter Bites (from See Fido

3 cups all purpose flour
1- cups whole wheat flour
1- teaspoons molasses
3 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter
3 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a bowl mix the all purpose flour and the whole wheat flour together and set it aside. In a separate large bowl stir the molasses, peanut butter and oil together. Then add the flour mixture into the molasses mixture and whisk it until it is smooth.
Use your hand to break the dough into small ball size pieces and roll each one into log shapes about 1/2-inch in diameter. Then cut the logs into 1/8-inch thick discs. Place the discs on two un-greased baking sheets. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheets.
Store in airtight containers for up to 14 days, or wrap in freezer wrap and keep in the freezer for up to 60 days.

Sweet Potato Chews

1 raw sweet potato or 1 very orange yam

Preheat oven to 250F. Wash the sweet potato or yam. Cut it down the middle lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise again into slices about 1/3-inch wide. Place the slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake at 250F for 3 hours (chewy) or longer to make them crunchy.

Carob-Molasses Treats (from Gourmet Sleuth)

6 cups white rice flour
1/8 cup peanut oil
1/8 cup margarine, preferably the kind made with safflower oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 oz carob, chips melted
1 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup non-fat dry powdered milk

Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease cookie sheets or coat with non-stick spray. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Dough will be stiff. Chill at least 30 minutes.
Roll out dough to -inch thickness on a greased cookie pan and cut into shapes. Bake 1 hour.

Diabetic Dog Treats (from All Recipes

What if your dog is diabetic? It can be hard to find a treat that won't raise the dog's blood sugar unacceptably high, but these will meet your need, provided you dole them out in small quantities.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 pounds beef liver, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Pulse the liver in a food processor until finely chopped. If you have room in the processor bowl, add the flour and eggs, and process until smooth. Otherwise, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the flour and eggs using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is firm. Cool, and cut into squares using a pizza cutter. The treats will have a consistency similar to a sponge. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

weiner dog shaped cookie
Go ahead and get creative decorating your dog cookies.

Christmas Carob Mint Dog Cookies (from the Dog Luxury blog)

1 cup flour
1 cup baking mix (Bisquick or Jiffy)
5 drops mint flavoring
-cup milk
2 tablespoons margarine
1 egg
1 teaspoon corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all ingredients and roll out onto a floured surface to approximately -inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. When they are cool, dip cookies halfway into melted carob or spoon the carob icing over half of each cookie. Store these treats in a sealed, airtight container for freshness.

Christmas Tree Dog Treats (from Best Dog Treat Recipes)

1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon dry milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Carob or yogurt chips for coating
Colored sprinkles

Place all the ingredients (except the carob or yogurt chips and colored sprinkles) in your bread machine, using the dough setting. When the dough is ready, remove it, divide it into 2-3 pieces and roll the dough until it is 1/4" thick.
Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet or baking mat.
Bake the cookies at 275 F for about an hour or until lightly browned. Turn off the oven, and let the cookies continue to dry overnight in the oven.
The next day, melt the carob or yogurt chips for the coating. Either dip the cookies in coating or brush the melted coating onto the cookies with a pastry brush. While the coating is still semi-liquid, top with decorative sprinkles.

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