Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now it’s officially December.
I really can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. The idea that we’re now in December is completely bewildering to me, but here were are. Early December always puts me in the mood to do two things.
1) Find and decorate the perfect little Christmas Tree
and 2) Bake holiday cookies!!!!
I know Christmas is still a few weeks away yet, but I’ve got cookies on the mind nonetheless. Holiday parties and cookie swaps usually start well before Christmas day, so it seems that the day the calendar flips over to December, holiday cookies are fair game.
I’m not here today to share a holiday cookie recipe though. I’ve been thinking about my baby dogs a lot lately, and how they deserve to benefit from all my holiday cookie baking too. I make their wet food every month and freeze it, so they’re totally spoiled, and they do get a lot of treats in the way of fresh apples and sweet potatoes, but I’ve actually never gone to the trouble to make any homemade cookies just for them.
That needed to change.
Given their fondness for apples and sweet potatoes, I decided to combine those flavors with a bit of parsley (for breath freshening) and some oats and brown rice flour for substance.
I bought this teeny tiny dog bone cookie cutter from work over a year ago so I’m thrilled to finally have a reason to use it!
How freaking cute are these little treats?!?!?!
I’ve also realized recently that I haven’t been sharing many photos of the pups here lately. If you follow me on instagram, you see plenty of them, but considering what a big part of my world they are, it’s actually pretty weird that you don’t see more of them in my posts. Today I’ll be sharing enough photos of my little girls to make up for leaving them out for so long.
I mean look at those little faces. Couldn’t you just die?
Doris, the grey one on the left, was our first. She came home with Russell less than a week after we were engaged, and it was love at first sight. He took our engagement as a sign that it was time to start a little family, and I’m so glad that he did. She’s the sweetest, cutest, most calm, loving, & loyal little pup you could ever want. She also tends to be the stubborn one, but I’m pretty sure she gets that from me.
Betty, on the right above, was actually a wedding gift to us from Russell’s sister and her family. At our wedding she gave us and IOU for a new puppy, and shortly after we came back from our honeymoon she rescued a little puppy that needed a new home. Russell’s family is from California, so his sister fostered her for us for almost a month before we were able to fly out and get her. Betty is the playful, scrappy, protective one in the family. She’s intensely concerned with what’s going on in our backyard and cannot allow even the tiniest bird to land in our yard without letting them know that they’re on her turf. Considering they’re both the same breed, it’s shocking to me how different their personalities are.
Doris and Betty are miniature schnauzers, a breed we fell in love with after doing a lot of dog sitting for friends. They’re both really small for their breed though, and we’re not sure how or why they both worked out to be the same super tiny size. The average miniature schnauzer is usually about 15 or 20 pounds, but Doris is 7 pounds, and Betty is 6. I think that Doris may have been the runt of her litter, and while Betty has AKC papers as a pure bred miniature schnauzer, I am pretty sure she was intentionally bred to be a tea-cup or toy size.
Despite their tiny size, these girls have BIG personalities, and bring a ton of joy into our lives. I hope that seeing all these pictures of someone else’s dogs, that you’ve never met, hasn’t caused too much eye rolling. They’re a major part of my life, so you’re just going to have to grin and bear it. Hopefully though, you’re enjoying every second of it.
If you have a dog at home that deserves just as much love and special treatment as my little girls do, these treats are sure to please. I tried them myself, because I’m weird like that, and by people standards they’re a little bland, but Doris and Betty LOVE them. They love sweet potato and apples already though, so if your dogs don’t I can’t guarantee the same results.
If baked until completely dry and crisp, these treats should keep for a month or more in an airtight container. They’ll make perfectly adorable holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, so if you’re as crazy about what you feed your dog(s) as I am, these are a great gift idea! I used a tiny (1 inch) dog bone cutter and got over 150 treats out of the recipe, but I have tiny dogs so a little goes a long way. If you have a bigger dog and use a larger cutter you’ll get a lot less out of your batch.
Sweet Potato and Apple Dog Treats
1 large firm apple (I used braeburn)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
pinch of salt
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice the tips off the ends of your sweet potato, and cut the potato into 4 quarters (leaving the skin on). Wrap the sweet potato in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Let cool a bit before handling. Reduce oven to 350F.
Puree the cooled sweet potato in the bowl of a food processor. You want about 1 cup of puree. Peel and core the apple and process, along with the parsley, until finely chopped and well combined. Pulse in the egg and pinch of salt to combine. Add the brown rice flour a oats and pulse pulse pulse until the dough comes together in a sticky ball.
Roll out to about 1/4″ thickness on a well floured (using more brown rice flour, not wheat flour) surface, with plenty of rice flour on the rolling pin and your hands. The dough will be sticky but workable. You may want to keep a little bowl of the rice flour to the side to dip your cookie cutter in every now and again.
Cut out with desired cookie cutter in any shape or size you like. The smaller the cutter, the more treats you’ll get out of this recipe. Line up the treats on 2 parchment lined baking sheets. They can be spaced pretty close together (but not touching) as they won’t spread much (if at all). Bake at 350F for about 20 or 30 minutes, or until completely dry and crisp. Larger shapes may take longer to bake. If you’re going to try to keep them for more than a few days though, it really is important that they’re completely dried out.
Store for up to a month in a cool, dry place, in an air-tight container.