Puppy Love.

Whenever I make my favorite cookies (pumpkin chocolate chip… mmmmm!) I always have a little extra pumpkin leftover in the can. I started searching for recipes that call for small amounts of pumpkin on Pinterest, and I found a recipe (click) for home-baked puppy treats.

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Here in Hungary, there are some pretty good pet stores. The one I go to most often is called Fressnapf, and it’s a German company that sells a decent range of products that we’re used to from the USA… but it also sells a number of products that I would never give to my dogs, like chicken feet and pig noses. So, while I am able to find a fair amount of treats and chewies for the dogs that are acceptable, I loved the idea of making some homemade treats every once in awhile. With just four ingredients and easy instructions, they’re pretty much idiot-proof. And let’s be honest, the dogs would eat them regardless of smell or taste. But they do happen to smell pretty good, even to this human’s nose. 🙂

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Making puppies happy, one heart cut-out at a time.

At Kika, the closest equivalent to Target in Hungary, I found these cookie cutters (above). The one on the left is perfect for these dog treats, because it makes little half-inch hearts that are Winston-sized and one-inch hollow hearts that are Lexie-sized.

Baked with love.
Baked with love.

I made the recipe exactly as directed in the link the first time that I made them, but it made a LOT of treats (close to 100 total!). This time, I halved the recipe and cut down the cooking time a bit, and I changed the amount of peanut butter just slightly. My dogs loooove them some peanut butter. The recipe also gives options for softer treats or crunchy treats. I think my dogs prefer the crunchy ones. I couldn’t tell you why I think this, but we’ll just pretend that they do. They’ll never say otherwise. 🙂

Are you ready for the instructions? It really is super easy.

Ingredients:

– 1.5 cups white flour

– 1/3 cup canned pumpkin

– 1 egg

– 2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy, not chunky!)

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350º F (175º C)

– Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer on low-to-medium speed until little dough balls form. Form the dough into one large ball by hand, then roll out to desired thickness (between 1/8″ and 1/4″). Make fun shapes with your cookie cutters, re-forming the ball and re-rolling out as needed to use up all the scraps. Place on cookie sheet. As the dough won’t expand or rise, there’s no need to space out the treats. Just cram ’em all on the pan.

– Bake 15-25 minutes, depending on thickness. My first batch was about 1/4″ and took 25 minutes to bake, and they were done perfectly (you want very little browning, but you also want the treat to be firm). My second batch was closer to 1/8″ when rolled out, and those took only 16 minutes to bake.

– Feed to your furry one and bask in his or her eternal devotion.

I love that I know exactly what ingredients are in these treats. Our vets have long recommended pumpkin as a stomach-soother, and peanut butter as an aid to getting dogs to take their medicine, so I know that these are puppy-safe. Lexie and Winston have officially given their taste-testing seal of approval as well.

More, please.
More, please.

 

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