Recipe: Qora Cookies

My boss’s family adopted a beautiful border collie x lab mix over the holidays. They named her Qora, which means “black” in Uzbek. She had given birth shortly before being picked up by the SPCA, and this little girl was so skinny! In addition to a nutritious diet, I figured she could use some special treats made with healthy fats.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 small granny smith apples with peels on, but cores removed
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened and unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
3 tbsp olive oil

Grind flax seeds in a food processor. Remove the cores from your apples (the seeds of apples are poisonous to dogs), and puree in the same food processor. You should end up with about 1 cup of blitzed apple. Place all ingredients into a mixer and combine thoroughly.

Roll your dough out into 1/2 inch sheet and cut into the desired shapes.

Bake at 350 for 25 min.

Store in fridge or freeze.

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These cookies are really high-value (blurry photo evidence of Qora’s excitement above!), but remember that since they’re higher in fat content, you’ll want to limit the number of treats you give your pups.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Truffle found a few Valentines at the dog park, so we shared some Heart BEET and Ricotta Cookies. Here are some of the furry friends we met at Point Isabel this weekend…

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Manny (short for Manchego… Go cheese dogs!), a fun lab mix who liked to butt-bump Truffle. Also pictured, an Aussie shepherd who wandered over to get in on the treat action. 😉

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Racing Olly the rocket dog. This was one of the few times Truffle got in the lead.

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Molly, what a cutie! She really wanted that cookie.

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Friday the Formosan Mountain Dog. We checked out a few FMD rescues before we found Truffle–they are beautiful dogs. These two had a great time running around. Hope to see you again soon, Friday!

Heart BEET and Ricotta Cookies

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Valentine’s Day is coming up, and it’s a perfect excuse to bake some special cookies for Truffle and friends.

I love the amazing fuschia of red beets. Peeling them makes for stained hands, but luckily, you can find cooked red beets at lots of markets now. We had some part-skim ricotta leftover from lasagnas. You can substitute an extra egg if your dog is lactose-intolerant, but Truffle has no problem with cheese… except the problem of NOT getting enough cheese!

Ingredients:

250g cooked beets, pureed
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Roughly chop the cooked beets and puree in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup part skim ricotta and mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients, including 1 beaten egg to 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Bring together using a stand mixer, or do it the old-fashioned way if you want pink hands for days!

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Half-inch thickness works well for smaller cookie cutters. Cut out your shapes and bake in oven for 15-20 min. The longer you bake the cookies, the less pink they’ll become, so it worth checking after 12 min. or so. Let cool and store in fridge or freeze for up to a couple months.

Recipe: Tuna Brownies

This recipe is for Hoopa the happy black lab who we met at Point Isabel on Christmas Day. His owner Jenny requested a high-value treat to motivate Hoops to bring the ball back when playing fetch.

Tuna brownies are popular training tool because they’re smelly enough to get your dog’s attention, and many pups will do tricks for just a little nibble. There are quite a few variations in recipes I’ve found online, from including eggshells, to adding Parmesan cheese… This is my version, and one that Truffle really enjoys.

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Ingredients:

2 cans of tuna in water (along with the water)
2 large eggs
1.5 cup whole wheat flour
2 garlic cloves, Microplaned (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup chicken stock or water

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch brownie pan with olive oil.

Using a blender or food processor, puree your tuna, along with the water in the cans. Finely grate your garlic (Microplanes are the best!), and chiffonade your parsley. Eh, just make it small 🙂

In a mixing bowl, bring this all together with the beaten eggs, flour, and chicken stock or water. When the mix resembles a brownie batter consistency, pour it into the pan and bake for 20-25 min. Test with a toothpick–if it comes out clean, your pupple brownies are ready!

Let the brownies rest for a bit, but make sure to cut them while still warm. We use a pizza roller to make long bars and freeze most of the batch. I take out a few bars from the freezer at a time and cut or break off bits for training.

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Jenny, and any other readers out there, let us know how these tuna brownies work out for you!

Recipe: Chicken Liver Biscuits

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You might not think these biscuits smell like daisies, but Truffle begs to differ!

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
170g cooked chicken liver (about 3/4 cup)

Rinse raw chicken liver in cold water. In a pot or pan, add enough water to cover livers, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 min. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

In a food processor, blend your cooked chicken liver with olive oil. Add this pate and your wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and bring together by hand or with a stand mixer until you have a ball of cookie dough.

Roll out your dough to about a 1/2 inch thickness, and go to town with your chosen cookie cutter.

Bake on parchment paper or on a greased cookie sheet at 375F. for 20 min. You can go up to 30 if using a large cookie cutter or if you want a harder biscuit. I personally like dog treats I can break into smaller pieces without crumbling.

After the biscuits have cooled, store in fridge for up to a week, or freeze.

DOG REVIEW: Office dog Cosmo gave these biscuits 2 paws up and a “Can I have another please?” face!

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High-value dog snacks

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I like giving out homemade treats when Truffle makes friends at dog parks. We met Luca at Point Isabel last month. His owner Roko took this nice photo of one of my Braunschweiger and Oat Shepherd Biscuits. We’ve run into each other a few times since then, and Roko said she broke off little pieces of the shepherd biscuit to keep for when Luca needed a high-value treat. She refers to us as the “high-value couple” — what a compliment! I’ll be posting that recipe later, so stay tuned!

Review: Trader Joe’s Turkey & Cranberry Dog Treats

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I was drawn in by the delightfully silly box art.

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These treats are shaped like turkey legs, and they measure about 1.5 inches on the long end. They’re very hard, not at all crumbly, which is good if you want to put a few treats in your pocket or something… But, the first time we gave Truffle a biscuit, she pushed it out of her mouth. She wasn’t sure what to do with the size (too small for gnawing on, too big to chew normally). Once I broke it in half, she ate it, and she’s been fine with them since. She doesn’t get super excited but she will GOBBLE GOBBLE them regardless.

Trader Joe’s lists the ingredients as: turkey, wheat flour, molasses, canola oil, cranberries, rosemary, thyme and soy.

Recipe: Carroty Quenelle Cookies

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Ingredients

3 carrots, grated or chopped in a food processor
2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine your dry ingredients, then bring together with the wet ingredients, either by hand or in a stand mixer.

Make your Quenelles by using 2 spoons (I chose small teaspoons so the cookies would fit in our medium size Kong). Scoop a ball of dough, then scrape with the second spoon to form the shape of an American football… or perhaps a rounder version of the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator??

Bake for 35 minutes. The cookies should be cooked through to the center but easy to break apart without crumbling.

Truffle loves her veggies, so I wasn’t surprised that she was into these cookies. The surprising thing was when we brought some out at her favorite dog park, and all the dogs started to flock to these treats. Some of the people said their dogs usually turned their adorable noses up at carrots, so it was nice to be able to sneak some in cookie form.

Hello snacks!

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I was all set to start for a food blog for humans. Then along came Truffle… Puppies require a lot time, and some puppies require a LOT of SNACKS. Given her appetite, I’ve been experimenting with healthy homemade treats. We’ll be sharing recipes, reviews, and lots of dog photos. But enough chatter. Let’s snacks!!