How did you spend your day today? I spent it reviewing dog biscuit recipes for our lovely followers over at @tagandcollar and the outcome was surprising!
Back in the days of 'lockdown' I had time on my hands, like many of us I was looking for a way to fill the time creatively. I decided homemade biscuits for our very spoilt puppy Olive were right up my street. I bought a set of bone and paw cookie cutters, made sure I had the ingredients and did a Google search. That's when I hit a wall, there were so many recipes, many hidden between adverts and in American 'cups'. So I gave up and shoved the cookie cutters to the back of the cupboard.
This week I am trying to distract myself from an exciting product launch for www.tagandcollar.co.uk and thought, lets give the homemade biscuits a go and why not do a review of our top three recipes while we're at it. So hear we are, read on for our favourite recipes and the results of our taste test.
Apple and Carrot Biscuit Bones
As found on the Reluctant Entertainer
these treats are a healthy snack with little mess. The recipe used American cups which I have converted into grams and millilitres.
225g Whole wheat flour
45g rolled oats
1 Apple finely grated
2 small carrots finely grated
1 egg beaten
79ml vegetable oil
The recipe suggested adding brown sugar which I left out to benefit Olive's waist line. It also included 1/2 cup of water but as my apple was super ripe and juicy I waited until all the ingredients were combined before deciding whether to add this. In the end I decided to leave the water as the 'dough' felt just right.
I preheated the oven to 180 degrees and greased two baking trays.
In one bowl I combined all the wet ingredients, the apple, carrot, egg and oil and in a second bowl I mixed together the dry ingredients, the flour and oats.
Once combined I rolled the dough out to about 1cm thickness and used my small bone cookie cutter to create 46 bite sized treats.
The recipe suggested putting them in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes. I took them out after 20 minutes. They definitely didn't need any longer!
After cooling down Olive and I tried one each (why not). Olive is a fussy eater, she was hesitant at first but after a couple of licks tucked in and finished it off in seconds. I however felt it was that healthy biscuit you choose at a posh café, then regret your decision because it tastes of nothing! Would be nice dipped in chocolate! But hey it's Olive's opinion that counts.
These biscuits were easy to make and there was little mess, overall I would give them a 3/5.
Peanut Butter and Banana Biscuit Paws
This recipe came from the wonderful Battersea Dogs Home. Olive loves peanut butter and bananas, her favourite summer snack is peanut butter and banana ice blocks, so I had a good feeling about this recipe.
The recipe was nice and simple and thankfully already in grams so no conversions required.
300g Plain Flour
100g Rolled Oats
2 Mashed Bananas
250g Doggie Peanut Butter
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease two baking trays.
As with the previous recipe combine the wet ingredients in one bowl, eggs, bananas, honey and peanut butter. Then mix the dry ingredients in a second bowl, flour and oats. You can use a blender, or if you have basic equipment like myself, whisk with a fork.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients with your hands until you have a dough.
Dust a surface with flour and roll the dough to 1cm thick. I used a medium size paw cookie cutter for this recipe, this made 15 chunky biscuits.
The recipe suggests 20 minutes in the oven and I would agree, the biscuits were a nice golden brown with the smell of banana wafting through the house.
After leaving to cool Olive and I tried one of our biscuits. Olive was again a bit hesitant, the biscuits have a slight banana smell which convinced her they were good to eat. She tucked in happily, although couldn't manage the whole biscuit, I think my cookie cutter was a bit big for my delicate little eater!
These biscuits were easy to make, little mess and had a lovely banana smell to them. For my human palate they could have had more of a banana/ peanut butter taste but Olive seemed happy. I scored these 4/5.
Cheesy Bone Bites
Our third and final recipe is from the The English Kitchen. Cheese is another of Olive's favourite treats so I thought these cheesy bites might be a hit.
The recipe says it makes 50 treats, as we already have quite a few by now so I decided to half the recipe. The recipe seemed simple enough, in both UK and American units.
140g Plain Flour
80g Mature Cheddar
60ml Vegetable Oil
Mix together the flour, cheese and oil into a crumb consistency (at this point it was all going well)! Beat the egg and water together in a separate bowl. Then slowly add the egg and water mixture to the first bowl. This should then come together into a ball. For me it was a wet mess! I would suggest adding a small amount of water and add VERY slowly. To remedy I added more flour until it formed a ball (although sticky).
Dust a surface with flour and roll the dough into 1cm thickness. I found the dough was very sticky so I had to keep adding flour to stop it from getting stuck to the work surface. By this point I thought it may be a massive flop and the loosing recipe!
I used my large bone cookie cutter for this recipe as I felt the small bone would have been too fiddly with such a sticky mixture. The cookie cutter made 8 large bones.
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and grease one baking tray.
Pop in the oven for 15 minutes and then turn over and bake for another 15 minutes.
Once we had reached the second 15 minutes of baking my mind was changed, the smell of warm cheesy dough flooded the house and the bones looked golden and flaky.
Once cool, the taste test was a landslide. Olive's eyes practically popped out of her head and she gobbled up her cheesy treat, I also demolished two bones, they were just so good!
Although it was the messiest recipe out of the three, it was the best for taste and texture. Olive couldn't agree more 5/5!
Judged on taste we have the following...
3rd - Apple and Carrot Bones
2nd - Peanut Butter and Banana Paws
1st - Cheesy Bone Bites
Now you will find Olive and I munching our way through our home made delights until 2024!
Lois & Olive xx