I do a lot of baking at Christmastime. I bake for neighbors, friends, teachers, family...and dogs. Let me explain.
Up until a couple years ago, we only had our cat, Callie. She's really worth a blog post all her own, and if you know her you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, Callie is notoriously picky (she won't eat treats) so usually her monogrammed Christmas stocking was filled with wet cat food. Actually, if I'm being totally honest, I never really thought about making cat treats for her. I laughed at those people on TV who treated their dogs like children. And then we got Ginger.
One look at that face and I go all softy. (Like, "No dogs on the couch!" became "Sure sweetie, come on up here, you want to be more comfortable????" on the first night we had her.)
So, needless to say, when I'm baking for Christmas I also include Ginger in my baking plans. And her friend Tess and "cousin" Clancy.
Last year was my first time trying a doggie recipe. I made Carob and Peanut Butter Bark from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. It was good enough for us humans too. And it's beyond easy.
Carob is a dog-friendly alternative to chocolate, since chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
Melt the carob in the microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Melt your peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds and add it to the carob. Swirl, chill and you're done.
This year, while making gingerbread for a cookie-decorating party for my daughter, Ginger was all over me. The smell of the gingerbread was driving her crazy. I gave her the tiniest piece and she almost took off my hand she wanted it so bad. So, I decided to make doggie gingerbread. I found this recipe from all-natural-dog-treat.com
and decided to give it a try. It's similar to regular gingerbread, but with no eggs or dairy.
It rolled out easy - almost better than regular cut-out cookie dough. Much less sticky (probably because there is no butter in them). I have a Scotty Dog cookie cutter but thought that was just a little...wrong. So I made gingerbread men instead.
I had some extra carob chips left over from the bark recipe. Since the cookie man was kind of small, I used them as buttons. I used a toothpick to make eyes and a nose.
They dried out very well and were very crunchy. What about Ginger, you ask? What did she think?
(That's her, licking her chops.) So I think it was a good recipe!
Hopefully the other doggies in Ginger's life love the treats just as much as she does.
Merry Christmas! Woof!