This holiday season we're making an effort to not spend as much money on presents, resulting in homemade gifts such as plant clippings to be given away in nice pots, foods that can be sent with little to no hassle and homemade dog biscuits for our loved ones' favorite furry family members. The greatest thing about these homemade dog biscuits is that they're REALLY inexpensive to make -- and not to mention, fairly easy!
I will admit though, this recipe comes with a bit of a warning -- you'll probably want to have a Kitchen Aid or a good mixer handy, as the dough is thick and can be tough to work with. You'll also need a fairly heavy rolling pin. (We actually borrowed a marble rolling pin just to make this recipe.) But no matter what you use, I promise that you'll most definitely get your workout in while rolling out these biscuits!
This recipe was my mother's and her making these biscuits for the neighborhood pups each year has been a holiday tradition in our family for decades. When I think back on childhood holidays, I see her standing over the stove and making batch after batch of these dog biscuits to give to loved ones, along with homemade chocolate for their children. (And really, there is no smell comparable to the two being baked at the same time; for better or worse!)
This year, my mother has asked that I take over the biscuit-making reins for all of the dogs in our extended family. Considering that she has been the queen biscuit-maker in our family for over 30 years, I know I've got some big shoes to fill this upcoming weekend when I finally pull out my much-loved, hand-me-down dog bone cookie cutters. Yet, as the baby of the family, I'm also extremely honored to be picked for the torch pass on this strange, but special holiday ritual of ours. My biscuits may take a couple tries before they begin to look more and more like actual bones and my gift wrapping skills may not be (or ever be!) as spectacular as hers, but I have a feeling that the dogs won't complain or dock me on style points as long as I continue to recreate the flavors they love. And really, there's something quite fantastic about having a wag of the tail as your biggest compliment after all, yes?
Dog Biscuits Deluxe
Originally Adapted from Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
Makes about 10-15 dog biscuits, depending on their size
- 2 cups of whole wheat
- 1/4 cup of cornmeal
- 1/2 cup of soy flour
- 1 teaspoon of bone meal (if you cannot find it, the recipe works fine without)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (shelled)
- 2 tablespoons of oil, melted butter, or fat of your choice
- 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
- 2 eggs mixed with 1/4 cup of milk
*Many of these ingredients can be found in the bulk section.
Note: We were warned not to double this recipe as it will not taste as good--they must be made match by batch.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the dry ingredients and seeds together in your mixer. Add the oil, molasses, and all but one tablespoon of the egg/milk mixture. Add more milk if needed to make the dough firm. Mix well in the mixer until the dough is clumped and very firm. Knead the dough well for a few minutes and then let it rest for a half hour or more. After the dough has rested, roll it out to a 1/2 inch in thickness. Cut the dough into your desired shapes and brush with the remaining egg/milk mixture. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until lightly toasted. To make the biscuits harder, turn the oven off after baking, leaving the biscuits in the slowly cooling oven for an hour. Let the biscuits cool, and serve.