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June 9, 2009

Breath-Freshening Biscuits for Dogs

My dogs respond selectively to their names. If they were ever darting into a street, about to get hit by a car, all I have to do is yell "Cookie!" and they will stop dead in their tracks. This is how I get my boy to come out from hiding underneath my couch. Course, this trick won't work as well if I don't keep paying them off....

The following is my favorite homemade dog cookie recipe. Not only do the kids love it, but it really freshens their breath, too. I get a bunch of parsley or mint from my local farmers market, mince it up, and drag out my cute little bone-shaped cookie cutters.

The first time I made these, the dough didn't stick together and I was left with crumbs. Dogs still liked the crumbs, and it's never happened to me since. I think if the parsley or herbs are not ground finely enough, the dough will not bind.

Recipe attributed to Laura M. Nilsen, reprinted without permission from Veggie Life Magazine, with no date on my copy, but many years ago. The recipe notes "Mincing the parsley in a food processor makes for quick work. Three cups (1 medium bunch) of parsley results in 3/4 cup minced parsley. Your hands are the best tool for mixing the dough. Makes 1 1/2 dozen treats."

3/4 C. Minced Parsley Leaves and Tender Stems
1/4 C. Finely Grated Carrot
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
3/4 C. Whole-Wheat Flour
1/2 C. Corn Flour or Finely Ground Cornmeal
1/2 Tsp. Baking Pwder
1/4 C. Water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together parsley, carrot, and oil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours and baking powder Add parsley mixture and work into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, and mix and knead with hands until dough comes together in a smooth ball.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a small (2 1/2 inch) bone-shaped cookie cutter, cut out biscuits, re-rolling scraps as necessary. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and back 20 minutes for softer biscuits, or 30 minutes for hard.

Vegan; Per serving: 41 Cal., 1 g Prot., 1 g Fat (<1g sat fat), 7 g Carb., 14 mg Sod., 0 mg Chol., 1.3 g Fiber.

How do you bribe or spoil your pets? Leave me a comment if you have any stories to relate.

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