Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cookies for the Cow Dog.

Just about every week I bake something that makes our house smell like an absolute dream. While I am known for having amazing olfactory senses thanks to my large nostrils (in their defense, they are just trying to fit in with my big nose), I can only imagine how tantalizing these smells are for dear old Hank the Cow Dog. So I decided to throw him a literal frickin' bone this week and make him some homemade doggy biscuits. I like making him treats myself because alongside really loving to gloat and feel superior, homemade stuff means I can make them much healthier than the various processed crap from the pet aisle at Walmart. I mean, I somehow don't even think their fresh vegetables are actually healthy, let alone their puppy treats.
Sadly, not for human consumption.
Thanks to the internet and Amazon Prime's amazing ability to let me experience buyer's remorse for much cheaper than a regular department store, I found myself stumbling around the virtual aisles looking for cookie cutters because the 52-piece set I bought over the summer simply wasn't "cute" enough or remotely dog-themed. I managed to find a set, but made the mistake of not reading the fine print. Hank is a medium sized boy, so I was looking for cookie cutters that would yield treats fitting of his stature (read: average, but refined and adorable). Little did Hank know while barking at the UPS man like the guy just tried to knife me or something that the gifts he bore were for Hankenstein himself. Although I think we were both collectively disappointed to open the box and find cookie cutters that looked like they were made for treats better fitting a small chihuahua/large rat (I am told there is a difference between the two, but I cannot manage to discern it).
I should've included a banana for scale.
The other fun thing about these cookie cutters? The first time you take them out of their equally tiny tin, you will spend a solid ten minutes trying to get them to all fit back in. Upon completion of this miracle, you will take a place-marker photo so that you never feel bested by a tin of kitchen accoutrements ever again. Or at least for the rest of the week. Once I got over the initial size shock, I found these to be quite adorable- a tiny bone, a miniscule fire hydrant capable of putting out equally as miniscule fires, a wee paw print, a dog house big enough for fleas, and the world's smallest dog. Variety is the spice of life, they say.
Yeah, I didn't realize powdered milk was a real thing. Where have I been? Middle-class paradise, apparently.
The ingredients for these treats are relatively simple:
  • 3 C whole wheat flour because the regular stuff is good enough for you, but not your yuppy puppy.
  • 1/2 C powdered milk...it smells surprisingly good. I wanted to lick some but resisted my urges.
  • 1/3 C melted butter because even dogs can't live without the stuff.
  • 1 large egg (I honestly have nothing clever to say about this. Just get the damn egg.)
  • 3/4 broth of your choosing. Although, if you choose vegetable broth, I think you could be fined for animal abuse. Stick with chicken or beef so as not to break your dog's heart.
I somehow managed to use way more dishes than I needed for this.
 Don't be like me and create an unnecessary mess because you think you can take a shortcut when, in fact, you just need to pay attention. Place your wet ingredients into your mixer's bowl. Congratulations if you guessed the next step- turn on the mixer and beat things together. While your wet ingredients blend, mix the dry stuff together in another bowl. Gradually add this a cup at a time into the mixer until you've got dough:
I'm really glad this doesn't have to look pretty.
Take your favorite bludgeoning tool, and get ready to relieve some stress.
 I mentioned the merits of beating out dough like it owes you money when I made the cinnamon roll cookies, and it still stands true. Once you've placed your dough onto parchment paper, throw another sheet on top of it. Then flatten it out by first just repeatedly hitting the dough lump with your rolling pin. Eventually you'll have to use the rolling pin like a normal person and flatten out the dough to about 1/4" thickness...but be sure to enjoy yourself at first.
Then line up your tiny cookie cutters and have at it!
I evenly rotated through the cookie cutters, and only had to reshape a dough ball and rough it up again once to make sure I wasn't wasting ingredients. Place your cutouts on a foil or parchment paper lined baking tray- I needed two because I excessively bake in a small kitchen and don't have space for giant trays.  One day...
One of these things is not like the other...one of these things was moved for spaaaace.
The original recipe called for these to bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Since other recipes have burned me in the past, and I didn't want to literally burn Hankasaurus Rex's treats, I watched these like a hawk. I lowered my temp to 325 since my trays are dark metal, and they were still done after about 20 minutes. The bottoms were browning and the tops were golden- this is what we're going for. Dogs love the satisfying crunch that we humans find repulsive when it comes to cookies. Gotta love our less picky sidekicks.
"You bake and you bake...but never for Hank..."
I am pretty sure the dog knew these were for him because he's either quite perceptive and realized these treats were in the shapes of some of his favorite things, or because he was just really hoping he'd have his day thanks to the adorable cuteness he regularly emits to get things. Either way, once these were completely cool, I put them into a small Tupperware. I had to give him a few and spoil his dinner (as if) so I could close the lid.
His ears are too big and magnificent for close ups.
 I could've given him anything (as long as it wasn't salad) and he would've eaten it, but I received several dog licks and a sigh of general content after he finished chomping down a few homemade dog treats. Knowing I have a happy dogchild makes me a happy dogparent. I highly recommend if you have a spare fifteen minutes to throw these together for your dog that you do so; he or she will reward you with an even higher outpouring of love than usual, so in other words, it is totally worth it. They go the extra mile for us every day, so it is the least we can do in return. Back to baking human homemade treats next week, but my waistline needed to recover from last week's cupcakes first! Til next time, my fellow eaters!

2 comments:

  1. Made your momma cry- miss you & Hank soooo much!

    ReplyDelete

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