Always read the fine print, especially your wedding vows. Apparently the baked good clause, biking to work involves baked good compensation not to exceed 1 cake, pie or batch of cookies per 5 day unit, can also be extended to those of the dew-clawed variety? Okay, so the pooch was not alive much less privy to our marriage vows, although sometimes I feel that our time together is measured in dog years …. Anyhoo I find myself making homemade dog biscuits for [gasp!] strange dogs. The hubster, in his infinite something or other, has volunteered me to make dog biscuits for one of his charity research foundations cuz when you have a life threatening illness gluten free salmon-sweet potato dog treats go hand in hand like jello and solar power. Um, yeah, I’m not getting the connection either but it’s for a good cause and the pooch and his neighborhood floppy eared buddies appreciated taking one for the team and acting as beta taste-testers. Since these are meant for anyone’s furry buddy, I decided to make them gluten-free with a combination of high protein chickpea (aka garbanzo bean) flour, high fiber coconut flour, and rolled oats. Since the coconut flour is so high in fiber, it’s also very thirsty so using apple sauce and sweet potato not only add sweetness with lots-o-nutrients (vitamins A, B6, C, thiamin, potassium, and manganese to name a few) but also provide necessary moisture while the eggs act as a binding agent. The cloves and ginger add a little flavor as well as helping with tummy upset. And the aromatic salmon? Protein, heart and brain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and as a dog walker once told me, “The stinkier the treat, the more dogs love it.” Speaking for the beta testers, as soon as the biscuit hit the floor it disappeared with lots of lip smacking and hopeful brown eyes in search of more testing material. Oh, and when the canine coup d’état occurs I’m fairly sure I’ve got an in, so all hail our dew-clawed overlords
Did you know …?
1) Really? I can barely get myself out of bed in the morning and you expect me to have silicone dog biscuit molds?? Don’t worry, if you don’t have cute biscuit molds to bake your treats in, these will work just as well with cookie stamps (roll them into a 1 1/2-inch ball and smush with your stamp onto a greased cookie sheet or silicone baking mat and baking sheet) or simply rolled into 2-inch long little cylinders. The dough has a consistency very reminiscent of play-doh so you can go wild with shapes.
2) Wait, oats are gluten-free? Technically, yes; however, most agricultural fields either alternate oats with wheat, they’re grown adjacent to each other, and/or they’re processed in the same facilities so cross-contamination can occur. If you or whomever you’re baking for has celiac disease or gluten intolerance look for gluten-free rolled oats or oat flour which have grown and processed in facilities with strict protocols to prevent wheat contamination.
3) If you have an older dog who needs softer treats just stop baking after the first 25 minutes. The longer baking time at a lower temperature here is to dry out the biscuits and give them more of a traditional dog biscuit crunch
4) If you have the time, I like to roast the sweet potato in the oven at 425F to caramelize the sugars and bring out its inherent sweetness. (A small ~1 pound sweet potato takes me about 25 minutes with convection baked cut side down in a metal baking pan).
1/2 c chickpea flour
1/2 c coconut flour
2 c rolled oats
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1 c mashed, cooked sweet potato
5 oz can flaked salmon with packing liquid (I used wild caught)
2 large eggs
1/3 c unsweetened apple sauce (I used organic)
Preheat oven to 300F. Grease silicone molds (I used extra virgin olive oil spray) or a cookie sheet/silicone baking mat if using. This is a fairly sticky dough so even silicone will need to be greased.
In a large mixing bowl combine chickpea flour, coconut flour, rolled oats, cloves, ginger, and baking powder. Add remaining ingredients and mix till well combined. The dough with be thick with a consistency similar to play-doh.
Bake till golden and dry to the touch ~35-50 minutes. Using 2 silicone dog biscuit molds holding 10 each of 3 x 1 3/4-inch biscuits with convection it takes me 45 minutes. Makes ~24 biscuits and lots-o-happy pooches