It has been hot here in Ohio. And humid. A friend described the recent weather as “walking around inside someone’s mouth.” Indeed.
Instead of enduring the wicked weather during the afternoon heat, I searched for indoor activities to occupy Lil’s boundless energy in the relative cool of the air conditioning.
A few days ago, we made homemade dog biscuits. Making dog treats is a perfect activity for a young chef, as the recipe employs lots of fun techniques, the ingredients are cheap, and most dogs will eat anything you put in front of them.
I started by allowing Lil to measure 6 cups of flour while I put away laundry. You just might end up with a flour covered child if you do the same.
Next, she handled the pastry cutter to mix in the butter. See what the heat does to her face?!
Then came the stirring. Every child likes to mix dough. Every child does not love the smell of garlic powder.
Lil kneaded the dough with the muscle memory chant ‘Turn, Fold, Press’. Here she is very serious demonstrating it:
I’ll be honest – when we are making rolled Xmas cookies, I roll the dough myself. I consider dog biscuits the perfect dough on which Lil can practice. If her height is inconsistent, the cookies might cook unevenly, but the dogs still don’t care.
Cookie cutters are my kid’s best friend. She loves to use them. This time, she chose a turkey, dog bone, heart, and penguin shape. She cut the dog treats and placed them on the pan.
Lil watched the oven as they baked and kept guard as the biscuits cooled. With the help of my trusty semi-pro vent hood the house stayed cool even with the oven running for the time it took to cook the doggie treats.
Lil had to taste a treat herself. Is anyone else’s kid obsessed with eating dog food?
Finally, the ultimate test – would Hawise eat a homemade dog biscuit?
Of course! She gobbled it faster than a popsicle drips on a hot summer day. I didn’t get a great picture, but I assure you that the dogs love these things.
Economy Dog Cookies
adapted from McPherson’s K-9 Cookbook
1/4 cup softened butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered skim milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup water
1 beaten egg
1. In a large mixing bowl, cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter or two alternating butter knives.
2. In a small bowl, dissolved powdered milk into water.
3. Whisk in egg.
4. Make a well in the flour mixture and gradually stir in egg mixture until well blended.
5. Knead dough on a floured surface about 3 – 4 minutes, or until dough sticks together and is easy to work with.
6. Roll dough with a rolling pin to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thickness.
7. Cut into desired shapes. A fast and no-waste method is to cut into diamonds by making two rows of cuts at a steep angle, as pictured below.
8. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
9. Bake 40-50 minutes at 325 deg F.
10. Cook on a rack until hard. Store at room temperature in a container with a loose fitting lid.
PS. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway contest for a copy of Made by Hand
This recipe and many other real food articles are part of Two for Tuesdays.