As I wrote yesterday in “Cooking for the Crew“, winter is lingering here in New England and we’ve been stuck inside due to frigid temperatures and icy conditions. Yesterday we got ice turning to rain, and today they’re predicting only rain, so maybe we’re finally getting into spring – we’ll see. Hibernating inspires me to cook and bake. I don’t bake for the crew as often as I’d like to, but luckily for them, we have family that likes to bake too. They got some yummy treats from Uncle Eric at Christmas time, and Auntie Sheryl recently delivered some samples for a recipe she’s trying for the dog cookies we hope to start to sell on our farm. The recipe for peanut butter oatmeal cookies was approved!
Once the weather gets warmer there will be less baking, and we’ll turn to frozen treats, which are fun and easy too! For now, I wanted to use some of the pumpkin purée I have in the freezer to make some cookies. Last fall I cooked and puréed a pumpkin and then froze it in 1 cup servings to use for this purpose (I sometimes add it to their kibble toppers as well).
I like to use recipes as a guideline, but improvising a bit makes it more fun too. For this recipe I used one from a book my sister gave me for Christmas years ago “The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” (*affiliate link). The recipe was called “Ohm My These are Good”, and the description said: “helps their bellies achieve a zen-like state.”
So I made the adjustments I needed to make them work for us. Pure pumpkin purée tends to be much more wet than pumpkin out of a can, so we have to consider that. I also find organic/gluten free flours challenging to work with – they seem finer than wheat flours and also seem to leave things stickier. So I really had to adjust the amounts. But these were still simple.
- 1 1/4 c organic oat flour
- 1 1/4 c organic brown rice flour
- 1 c fresh pumpkin purée (thawed from frozen) – I always try to drain the excess water out before freezing and after thawing too
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg (fresh from a friend’s farm – soon to be our own fresh eggs!)
- 1 tsp dried parsley – great for dog’s breath!
- 1/4 c water (adjust as needed) – in retrospect I should have just skipped the water and used the pumpkin undrained! That’s the fun of working with recipes – you learn as you go, by trial and error.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix until dough forms. I actually used a small amount of stone ground whole wheat flour to stiffen it up a bit more. You want it stiff enough to roll into small balls (it was still sticky, but workable for me – I put some of the wheat flour on my hands too to help). I flattened them with a fork, because I was hoping for crispier cookies (they still came out soft). Bake 25-30 minutes. I might have baked them longer to get the crispy effect I was hoping for; or I could have made smaller balls and pressed them thinner.
Cool completely, even if your beagle is hanging out in the kitchen staring at you because she wants to try one so badly! Don’t even think about putting them away yet, but once they’re cooled and sampled, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I’ve learned that dogs don’t care if their treats are cold – not mine anyway!
Let me know if you try this recipe and how it works out for you! Don’t be afraid to make adjustments, and let me know if you do! 🙂