Today I brought ingredients for the dog treats I’m going to make. Aside from the health factor, dog treats are quite expensive, especially the good ones, so I decided to try and make my own. I searched online for ideas [especially the healthier ones] and was inspired by The Wife Cooks Too. The ingredients I’m using are low cost plus, no preservatives added!
This recipe is a big batch since I’ll be feeding 6 dogs, — so it’ll not last that long! So if you only need a little, you may half the recipe or just store the other dough portions in the freezer and use later on.
Honestly, I don’t know how much pumpkin I used before boiling it. When I measured the mashed version, luckily it was exactly 1 cup! Weird, huh?! Besides, boiling it in water adds weight, so I can’t really dictate the exact amount of pumpkin you need to use or know how much water it will absorb! If you have a little more than what’s needed, and I mean just slightly over 1 cup, you can add it all in so nothing is put to waste. Just add flour later on if the dough is sticky. TIP: Don’t throw out the water you used for boiling the pumpkin. Use that for the water in the recipe and when you need more when forming the dough.
In a bowl, combine wheat flour, dry milk powder and baking soda. Use a whisk to combine them together. In another bowl, mix together the molasses, vegetable oil, peanut butter, and pumpkin water until they are fully incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture in 2 batches until it forms into a dough. If the mixture is too dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time. If the dough is sticky, add flour a little at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured table and start kneading. Knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is no longer flaky and somewhat smooth. Unlike bread dough, this doesn’t have yeast, so you don’t have to knead for a long time. Shape it into a ball, wrap in plastic film and rest the dough for 10 – 15 minutes inside the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350°F only halfway through the resting time. It’ll save you gas and money! Remember, you still need to roll the dough, cut it and arrange it on the baking sheets, which will take time if you’re working alone and using small cookie cutters. So that’s more than enough time for the oven to be preheated. Honestly, I only start to preheat the oven when I have filled up at least 3 trays with the cut out treats! I can only fill the oven with 2 trays so I have a headstart!
When the dough has rested, cut the dough into 6 portions so it’ll be easier to work with. You can freeze the remaining dough if you don’t want to bake everything all at once. You just need to defrost the dough overnight inside the refrigerator before using it.
Lightly flour your work station and start to roll out the dough until about ¼ inch thick. Note that it will be a little elastic so you have to be patient when working with the dough. Just flour the surface of the dough to prevent it from shrinking while you’re rolling it out and flip it every so often so the dough doesn’t stick to your table and flour that side as well. See the edges in the photo below? Yes, it WANTS to shrink! haha
When you’ve achieved the thickness you want, you may start cutting the cookies and transfer them to a baking sheet. Form the scrap into a ball and roll again.
I used 2 different cookie cutters here. The bone-shaped one was a little too large for the dogs I’m going to feed. I have to look for a smaller version. It’s about 3.5 x 2 inches in measurement. The other one is from a set of six [gradually increasing in size] heart-shaped cookie cutters. Both are Wilton products.
If you compare the 2 photos below, the bone-shaped ones are thicker than the heart-shaped ones. The former is the first batch I made. I got really impatient with the dough because it kept shrinking! Hahaha It’ll puff up upon baking, so a little elbow grease is needed when rolling the dough to achieve a thinner rolled out dough. Just think: “This is exercise for my arms!” Hahaha
Bake the cookies for 15 – 20 minutes. The thicker the cookies are, the longer it bakes, and vice versa. The cookies will be slightly soft in the center, but will harden as it cools. Remove from the oven and cool completely. You can also let them sit inside the oven while your oven is cooling. This will create a “crispier” version of cookies.
This entire recipe made 45 bone-shaped cookies and a whopping 300 heart-shaped cookies! Yes, I counted them!!! Just imagine how much I’d have if I only used the heart-shaped cutter!
Store them in air-tight containers for a longer shelf life. This may last for at least a month when stored properly. Maybe more when refrigerated or frozen I doubt it’ll last that long anyway! The dogs are always asking for more treats!
For a printable PDF recipe card, click here.
** Original Recipe Cards Template from Heart Made Blog. Edited by me. 🙂