This first guest post while I am on break comes from Kristin Appenbrink (kristinapp.tumblr.com), a RealSimple.com staffer and fellow Brooklynite. She’s spent her summer making homemade ice cream (cherry, salted caramel, mint chocolate chip, and peach, to name a few flavors), and can’t wait for the weather to cool down so she can go back to baking and wearing cozy sweaters. Thanks, neighbor! And is it wrong that this post is sort of making me hungry?
It would be fair to say that I’ve been a bit puppy-obsessed lately. Given the fact that I live in the city and don’t spend a ton of time at home (save for lazy weekends, of course), I don’t think it’s fair for me to have a dog of my own. That means I have to live vicariously through my friends who have pooches, and that I have to do everything in my power to resist dognapping the pups that always seem to be tied up outside the Whole Foods (one of the few places you can’t bring your dogs, apparently).
Recently, one of my co-workers brought home an adorable, fluffy, and just a bit feisty standard poodle puppy named Normandy. She is so deliciously cute, and I can’t wait to meet her. I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making homemade dog biscuits—as a sort of welcome home Normandy gift.
I know what you’re probably thinking: “Who in their right mind makes their own puppy treats?” I always thought that too, but the best answer I can give is that all rational thought vanished at the sight of this pup. (Just see the below photo, I mean, really. Adorable.) I was expecting the process to be difficult, so I was pleasantly surprised when it was incredibly easy, albeit a bit time consuming.
Here’s the step-by-step of making homemade dog biscuits. Get the complete recipe from Martha Stewart.
First, ingredients. There were a couple of things that I had to track down. I was able to find wheat germ pretty easily at Fairway, but they looked at me funny when I requested brewer’s yeast. I ended up having to go to GNC because, little did I know, brewer’s yeast is great for you. You can take it in pill form or sprinkle it on your food, but I can’t imagine that you would want to—it smells horrible.
Next, measure and dump all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then alternate dry and wet while mixing in a separate bowl. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer instead of a hand mixer or whisk thinking it would save time. But unless you’re making a double batch, stick to the hand mixer. One recipe doesn’t fill up the mixer’s bowl enough, so you end up having to mix by hand anyway.
Once your dough is combined it’s time to roll it out on well-floured parchment paper. In my limited apartment kitchen, I do not have a rolling pin; but being a true RealSimple.com editor, I used an empty wine bottle, which works just as well.
Then for the fun part: cutting out the actual biscuits. I ordered the Fox Run Dog Bone Cookie Cutter Set from Amazon. I liked that it had three different sizes so you have options depending on the size of the dog.
Sadly, the fun part quickly turned into the tedious part, as I cut out the treats, re-rolled the dough, cut out more treats, and, slowly but surely, filled two baking sheets.
After being in the oven for 10 minutes, you take out the treats and brush them with chicken stock. It turns them a nice rich brown, and, I imagine, makes them quite irresistible to those of the canine persuasion. Once they are coated in chicken broth, they bake for another 10 minutes and then dry out while the oven cools, which takes about an hour and a half. (Just enough time to watch a couple of episodes of Pillars of the Earth on Netflix.)
And here they are, the finished product. While I technically could have tasted one, they smelled a little bit too much like dog food to me. Thankfully, I heard back from my co-worker that Normandy loved them, so I’m counting them as a success.