Thursday, February 24, 2011

Going to the Dogs

"The Girls" (Inca and Maya) on "their" loveseat.
Anyone who knows us, knows that our pets are spoiled.  The dogs have their own furniture.  (The birds have their own room.)  It's a frequent occurrence that I must move a dog in order to be able to get into bed; and before we moved to our new house, I would often find myself sitting on the floor as all other seating was occuppied by a dog.  In our house, dog biscuits are not treats or rewards; they are entitlements.  I blame the hubs for this.  One look from puppy eyes and he can't say no.  We can go through your average box of dog biscuits in a day. 

Fortunately, I was already out of bed.

Given that our pets are so spoiled, that fact that I baked dog biscuits (two kinds) today probably won't raise eyebrows among friends.  But I didn't make them to further spoil our already rotten dogs.  Nor did I make them because I know homemade dog biscuits are so much more wholesome and healthier for them than those we buy.  I made them because we are out of dog biscuits and I didn't want to go to WalMart.

"The Big Guys" Cochise and Misty
(although Misty, right, is a girl)
were my kitchen helpers today.

Mind you, I don't get excited about going to WalMart any day.  But on a chilly, rainy day such as today, it's going to take something a lot more enticing than WalMart to get me out of the house.  A lot more.  So the truth of the matter is that I really made the dog biscuits for myself.  Do you think the dogs will think I'm selfish?

Yes, I do have cookie cutters in the shape of dog bones.
The dogs don't seem to mind my more "rustic" treats.

Rainy Day Dog Biscuits
I can't really say how many this makes, because it depends on how big or small they are cut.

2-1/2 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour
1/2 cup instant dry milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup bacon fat or butter, melted (use 2 Tbs less if using all purpose flour)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup (or as needed) chicken or beef stock or broth, chilled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. 

Add the flour, dry milk and garlic powder to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.  With the machine running, drizzle in the bacon fat or butter, followed by the beaten egg.  Slowly drizzle in the stock until a dough forms. 

Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet.  Cover with another piece of parchment or wax paper and roll out to an even thickness.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small rectangles or squares.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven, break the biscuits apart and turn them over.  Return them to the oven and turn the oven off.  Leave them in the oven until cool.  Store at room temperature.