Carob Dog Cookie Recipe
A Safe Valentine's Day Treat
It's a fact: Americans will spend roughly $1.7 billion on candy to celebrate Valentine's Day this year. According to the National Retail Federation's Valentine's Day Consumer Spending Survey, 21 percent of pet owners spent $703 million on gifts for our pets.
It's no surprise we like to spoil our pets. But some of those gifts—such as a box of chocolates—can be toxic to our pets. So, to prevent spoiling V-day with an unexpected trip to the vet, how about whipping up an easy, home-baked dog-friendly treat that just tastes like it's chocolate?
Here's our step-by-step recipe for "chocolate" dog cookies.
Carob Dog Cookie Ingredients
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/2 cup carob powder (available at health food stores, some grocery stores)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour*
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1. Combine the water and yeast. It's important to note that unbaked yeast dough is extremely toxic to dogs, so make sure to keep this dough out of reach until after it has been baked. (This recipe may also be mixed in a bread-making machine.Use the "dough" cycle on the bread-making machine, then remove the dough and divide it into 3 equal portions.)
2. Blend the yeast mixer with carob powder and the vegetable oil. Slowly mix in the whole wheat flour, the cornmeal and the all purpose flour. (See flour substitution options below.)
3. To prevent the dough from sticking, sprinkle and spoonful of flour onto your rolling pin (if it's non-stick) and your working surface (pastry board, granite counter, cutting board).
4. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes with cookie cutters of your choice.
5. Place the cookies on a greased cookie sheet or non-greased silicone baking mat. Bake for 55 minutes at 275º F.
This recipe yielded 44 cookies during our test, most were heart-shaped; four of the cookies were dog-bone shaped.
For crispy cookies (good for tartar prevention on dogs' teeth) let the cookies dry overnight in the cooling, turned-off oven.
Store cookies in an airtight container or in the refrigerator. You may also freeze cookies, just allow them to thaw out before presenting to Fido.
Nationwide pet insurance advises all pet owners to discuss any change in your pet's diet with your veterinarian before introducing new food — including a cookie treat.
*Substitutions for Wheat Flour
If you'd like to use a different flour other than wheat, consider the following:
Coconut flour: You cannot substitute coconut flour for wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio. They are not equivalent. Coconut flour is very absorbent and very little is needed to successfully produce a recipe. In baked goods, you generally want to substitute 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour for 1 cup grain-based flour. You will also need to increase the number of eggs.
In general for every one cup of coconut flour you use, you will need to use six beaten eggs in your recipe in addition to approximately one cup liquid such as coconut milk.
Rice flour: It is recommended that you substitute 7/8 cup of rice flour for one cup of wheat flour. However, rice flour tends to have a grainy texture. A smoother texture can be obtained by mixing the rice flour with the liquid called for in the recipe, bringing the mixture to a boil and cooling it before adding to other ingredients. In this particular recipe, however, there isn't any liquid required. Since these are dog cookies, the texture may not be an issue. Coarse cookies are best for dogs' teeth to break down tartar.
Oat flour: One cup of wheat flour equals 3/4 cup oat flour. Oat flour can be hard to find, so considering doing it yourself: you can make your own oat flour by grinding or pureeing rolled oats. Rule of thumb: 1 1/4 cups of rolled oats is equivalent to 1 cup of oat flour. It is important to note that oat flour tends to make a baked goods more moist than wheat flour.