From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
Have I mentioned I HATE my kitchen? The house hunt goes on…and on. But this week I braved the ugly, cramped space because one of my clients was having a tough week and I thought Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies would help (recipe here). They worked wonders. And I’ll add that since they are very chewy and crispy they are great frozen – cold, chewy and sweet.
I’d done a bit of cooking over the week, but most was for Bixby. As timing would have it, a few things fell into place that meant I had ideas for dog treats. And that became the idea for this week’s recipe exchange.Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product
First up, Mrs. J cooks up cheesy dog biscuits (photo above and below by JeffreyW). Recipe and step by step photos here.
Just a note, no Bixby update this week, but all his recipes include bonus photos of the Beast.
Then from my files, Dried Liver Treats, recipe and pup photo here.
Next, his absolute favorite treat right now, Yogurt Pupsicles, recipe and pic of that Tongue, here.
What about the cats, you ask? Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I tried making food and treats for my cats (including fresh fish) and they looked at me like I was insane and stomped off. So if you have had better luck, please share because I’m open to trying again.
What’s in your dish tonight? Do you have any treat recipes? Any fun plans?
For tonight’s featured recipe, more biscuits. I enjoyed making them and I might do it again, it was pretty simple and quick.
Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch, peanut butter and pumpkin give them irresistible flavor (for pups at least). These got two paws up from Bixby and the neighbor dogs.
Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup, plus 1 tbsp whole wheat flour (if your dog has a sensitive tummy, use all rice flour)
Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in dry milk, salt and then add the flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. It’s very dry, so you may need to add a touch of water to get it to the consistency you need to roll it out.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface – and if dough is rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ and use biscuit or other shape cutter to make biscuits. Place shapes on cookie sheet.. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack.
Mine made 2 dozen very large biscuits. Next time I’ll try to find smaller cookie cutters, or just make discs. I think you could easily get 4 dozen smaller treats.
That’s it for this week. Have a great (and hopefully dry) weekend – TaMara
What dog does not bravely volunteer to test the final product? As I always say to my brother’s dog, who takes her walks in a city with a lot of food on its streets – “walks are great — but it’s all the snacks along the way that really make it worthwhile.”
I think doggie treats need to be my next cooking project!
I actually love soft chocolate chip cookies but have never had a recipe that does so. Anyone have suggestions or additions to our Food Goddess’ cookies?
Yep, that’s pretty much my experience. I’ve tried fresh sardines and fresh king salmon, but they want Fancy Feast Classic (pate). Aristocats? Nope. Organic? Maybe a single can if they’re hungry enough. Canned salmon? They like the juice but not the meat.
@Glidwrith: If you soften the butter (not melt it) and add just a bit more flour, and substitute all brown sugar for the white sugar, to the recipe linked above, it’s very soft, not quite as crisp. The recipe as linked is thin and chewy with crispy edges.
I used the biscuits on our walk today as training treats and Bixby pretty much did anything I asked, so I’m calling them a win.
@TaMara (BHF): Oooo! That sounds perfect. I might try it out with my dragonets this weekend.
@efgoldman: It seems that the better recipes all substitute brown sugar for white. More flavor? Different melt characteristics?
@Glidwrith: Somehow the chemistry of the white sugar is what makes the cookies crispier, brown sugar makes them softer – it might be a moister thing.
@efgoldman: My kitties will eat tuna, but one turns her nose up at chicken. Since I am not made of money, I will shred the chicken then mix in little tuna and juice.
Cathie from Canada
Here is the chocolate chip recipie I have been making for 35 years, from the back of the Bakers Chips bag.
Pre-heat oven 375
1/2 cup soft butter (I prefer unsalted)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix until light and fluffy
1 cup flour (scant)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 cup milk-chocolate chips
Spoon out onto ungreased cookie sheets — the recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies of medium size, or fewer larger.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes — underbake slightly if you prefer softer cookies.
Cool on racks.
@Glidwrith: Have you seen The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies?
@karen marie: Runs and looks…..Wow!
@Cathie from Canada: Thanks! And there it is again, brown sugar. I think I’ve gone for a couple of decades with the same box of brown sugar, but within the last few months I’ve gone through over 2lbs of the stuff. The breakfast bars I have been making are rather popular.
@Glidwrith: I concur. No matter what you do, always refrigerate the dough for 15-30 minutes, it allows the toffee flavor to form (thank you America’s Test Kitchen). People will wonder what you did to make such good cookies.
Ok, I’ve been on the business conference call from hell. Thank you for entertaining me so I could get through it. I’ll stop back later if there are anymore recipe Qs.
My favorite chocolate chip recipe was has corn flakes and oatmeal (don’t mock it til you’ve tried it!) Being too lazy to get out the handwritten recipe card here’s the closest internet thing:
we used regular oatmeal not quick cooking – and yes, it’s worth buying corn flakes for!
When you add the corn flake and oats it seems too dry and it won’t mix – but mix it up as well as you can – it works.
It must date from the 40’s or 50’s because it is a recipe my Mom got from her BFF in rural Oregon during that time.
Gin & Tonic
@TaMara (BHF): I think the NYT ran something on this and found that refrigerating the dough for up to 36 hours was best. I.e. 12 hours good, 24 hours better, 36 hours best. I haven’t tested as scientifically, but have refrigerated for a long period and had great results.
I always recommend brown sugar in the cookies, because it’s better for you than white sugar. Thus all my cookies are rather chewy unless I overbake them a bit. But they’re still horribly addictive.
@efgoldman: They were on LA time. And several partners needed to be present, so this was it. I’d complain, but I spent the afternoon outdoors instead of working, so I’ll take the trade off.
BD of MN
Whenever I brew beer (and I haven’t yet this year, shame on me…) I make up a batch of dog treats from the spent grains.
8 cups of spent grains
4 cups flour
1 cup peanut butter
mix up this gloppy sticky mess by hand and push into a couple of jelly roll pans. take a pizza cutter and score into whatever size treats you want. bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, remove and cool enough to handle. break apart into chunks and put into a dehydrator overnight to dry (or bake for several more hours at your lowest setting).
Please note, hops are toxic to dogs, so do NOT use any spent grains from any recipe that uses hops in the mash…
Cathie from Canada
@efgoldman: Yes I know milk chocolate isn’t exactly right, but my husband prefers it and also I find the milk chocolate chips make a “softer” flavour than the dark.
Also, forgot to mention — check out the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, it is excellent — as are most of their recipes, come to think of it..
@TaMara (BHF): They look great! I wish I could try them, but my little old man has pancreatitis and missing teeth, so his diet doesn’t include crunch.
I thought of Bixby yesterday- was walking Pixie(my Pom), and we met the new neighbors. They have TWO Great Danes, one is so, SO huge. They’d just stepped out as we came by, and Pixie looked at their feet, then looked up . . . And looked up some more.
Then, instead of doing any of the normal meeting-a-new-dog stuff he does, he put his head down & walked on. Got a few steps & gave a snort of disbelief, but never looked back.
I’m pretty sure he convinced himself he was hallucinating.
@Cckids: That made me laugh. My friends had an ancient Shih Tzu who would totally ignore my three Danes. To the point she’d walk through their legs like they just weren’t there. My Danes found it amusing watching her and totally respected her space.
Our preferred chocolate chip cookies are off the Ghirardelli bag. They’re best when made by my daughter, for reasons that only a dad understands. California chocolate is the best. Semi-sweet or dark chocolate. If you put nuts in them I will hunt you down and register you as a Republican in your state. I don’t put thumbtacks in your ice cream – don’t put nuts in chocolate chip cookies, they don’t belong there. Go clutter up the brownies instead, that I don’t mind so much.
Brown sugar = white sugar mixed with molasses.
Molasses = a by product refining sugarcane into sugar
I’m not sure it’s any healthier than white sugar, it does have more minerals though.
@TaMara (BHF): Refrigerating is key for a few reasons:
1) It sets the flavors up right
2) It causes the cookies to hold up better – they don’t flatten out quite as much
3) The lower temperature combined with the above is what causes the centers to stay a bit undercooked.
If you get it dialed in right, you’ll get a slightly crisp edge and outside with a chewy center. It won’t be floppy like those cookies from the mall – they’ll hold stiff, but once you bite through the outer fraction of an inch you’ll get nice chewiness.
If you have a decent toaster oven like a Breville (learn from Cole, people!) then just keep the dough in the refrigerator in a sealed container and pull out 4-6 cookies worth, lay them out, give them about 10 minutes out of the refrigerator to come up to temp a bit, and then bake them. The next day, you make 4-6 more. You’ll never need to eat a cold or stale cookie.
@? Martin: California walnuts are yummy in Chocolate Chip cookies.
Not sure it’s the chemistry but maybe the molasses that makes it brown. Commercial brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added back in, while original is less refined sugar without all the molasses taken out. The brown sugar crystals have more moisture from the molasses.
All of this is just a guess but if I remember correctly white sugar and brown sugar melt differently and at different temps which would make sense because of the moisture content.
If ever did not have at least one bottle each of light and dark molasses in the larder, would have to cease baking.
Working on a new project for someone who actually paid me! And said thank you! Of course, she didn’t have to, since she could kick my ass without thinking and I do her class all the time.
Used to bake a lot more, mom taught me. But really haven’t done much in the last 20-25 yrs except come up with my own adult oatmeal cookie recipe. Hint, there isn’t any water in them.
So that’s why you seem fearless!
@BillinGlendaleCA: No. They are yummy. But not there.
@Ruckus: Vodka in the pie dough does wonders. Gotta moderate the gluten unless you like your pie dough to be bread-like and chewy.
Pretty dead around here.
I’d bet it’s the molasses in the brown sugar that makes the difference.
@Gin & Tonic:
A few years ago, I heard a discussion (on NPR, of course [The Splendid Table]) and they mentioned that MIT (or maybe Stanford) had tested and found that refrigerating chocolate chip cookie dough for 36 hours was optimal.