I can’t bake right now. Well, not entirely true, obviously I’ve done some kind of baking. I’m done with cookies though. Done! I tell you. I can not look at another sweet thing again, ever. Okay, give me a few weeks and I'm sure I will be over it. But this is hard. I like being in the kitchen. But there was just too much during the holidays. I've had my fill. (And I don't want the kids eating any more either - but they don't know that. I've just decided quietly to myself.)
So, standing in my kitchen looking for something to do, and remembering I had some leftover canned pumpkin from some thing or other I made for Christmas, and that I have a pooch that happens to L.O.V.E. pumpkin. Love! I tell you. I got busy and made Mr. H some snacks.
And because he is so sad that we have all gone back to work and to school and he spends too much time alone during the day with nothing to do but to chew our shoes. I had to make it up to him. Tell him I love him. So I made him cookies. Cookies = love. Even to dogs. Totally rational.
Mr. H, you are one lucky (almost) mutt.
I say "almost" mutt because this guy was adopted a year or so ago solely for his cuteness and crazy personality. He was a perfect match for us.
Excuse the really bad iphone shot...
I can kinda see the resemblance. No? Its in the eyes...
And we really truly thought he was in fact a mutt. Just a random black dog like half of the dogs in the joint. Turns out he is 98% black lab. The other 2% is Norwegian Elk Hound - which is an ancient breed no one has ever heard of. I estimate that 98% of all dogs have some Elk hound in there somewhere. (Pure speculation on my part, because I like coming to random and unsupported conclusions about things I know nothing about).
So, this guy is not really a mutt, but I like to pretend that he is. It makes me feel more noble somehow to have just a mutt. I mean who walks into the humane society looking for the any cute mutt, the first one in fact, and walks out with a accidental pure bred. Who does that?
By the way - we found out what Mr. H was made of by getting his DNA tested. Much fun and totally worth the $60. Sure I was hoping for results a bit more complex. Still it was fun waiting to find out that our black lab was in fact a black lab.
So back to the Pumpkin Pooch Snacks....
I found this recipe at the White On Rice Couple blog and made some modifications. Their recipe just had too much wheat flour in it for me (7 cups in total!) and I just wasn't sure if Mr. H needed that much gluten. Because dogs could be gluten intolerant too, right?! Again with the random and unsupported conclusions.
So I skipped the white flour altogether and subbed in rolled oats. Then I just added whole wheat flour until I felt like I had a stiff and dry enough batter. I've given a rough range of flour for this recipe. You will need to keep adding flour until it feels strong enough and dry enough to kneed and roll out. A stand-mixer is almost essential in this case. But you could kneed by hand, and get a good arm workout too, adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
The cookies should be very dry and crispy when you are done. I mean these are dog biscuits not grandma's best chocolate chip cookies (please, for goodness sake do not get creative and put chocolate in the dough for fun. don't do it.)
Hard, dry and crispy is what you are going for because this makes a big batch and you want them to last a while in puppy cookie jar. They will last for several weeks.
Pumpkin Pooch Snacks
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups oats minute or large flake
- 3 - 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup whole flax seeds
- Preheat oven to 375
- Line 2 or 3 baking trays with parchment. You should be able to get all the cookies on 3 trays.
- In the mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and sugar. Beat well until combined and smooth.
- Stir in flax seeds and oats.
- With mixer running at low speed add flour, I cup at a time, allowing each addition to become fully incorporated before adding the next. You can switch to your dough hook at this point.
- After adding three cups of flour, at more only if dough appears to be soft and sticky. You want a stiff and firm dough. Kneed in mixer for a few minutes.
- Flour your work surface liberally, and kneed dough a couple of times then roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough into desired shapes.
- Place on baking sheets slightly apart, they will expand slightly as they bake. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. They should be dry and golden brown.