This past Saturday my golden retriever, Einstein, celebrated his 5th birthday. And boy, did he do it in style. Doing it in style in dog-speak means gorging on as many treats as you possibly can before passing out in a treat-coma. It helps, as a dog, to have an aunt that spoils you with extra treats on your birthday. He surely went to sleep a very happy, very well-fed, and very loved dog. As I do every year for his birthday, I whipped up a little something special in the kitchen for him. I always like to find something different and doggie-edible that I think he’ll enjoy. Sometimes it’scake, sometimes cupcakes, and other times (including this year), it’s a dog-friendly treat. In the case of treats, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, since he can enjoy them for weeks after his birthday has passed. I have no doubt that he would have much rather eaten all of them, in one scarfing, yesterday ;-)
This is how the birthday boy spent part of his day while I was in the kitchen baking for him – relishing the second small snowfall of the season:
I would say he was relaxing while I was inside toiling away, but really, these homemade dog treats couldn’t be easier to make. After letting the oats soak for 10 minutes, you mix the rest of the ingredients together, dump out the dough, knead it for a minute or so, and then roll it out and cut away! You can cut them into whatever shapes you’d like, but since I have a dog bone cookie cutter I couldn’t think of a better reason for using it! (This cookie cutter is 4 inches across.)
Once the treats were baked and cooled Einstein had to endure watching me taking photos before he got one, which I suppose could be considered cruel and unusual punishment, but he was a good sport about it. At least I think he was…
“Seriously, whyyyyyy do you have to take pictures?!” (sad, pleading)
“Ahem, you are STILL taking pictures… I can SEE you!” (general annoyance at this point)
“Ah yes, much better. Give me that treat!” (very excited and happy)
Once you are done letting your pup have his treat (or multiple treats if he’s a particularly greedy birthday boy), simply store them in your favorite treat jar so he can enjoy them in the coming days and weeks. (You could also store these in a Ziploc bag, and I imagine that they would freeze well too.)
I hope your favorite furry friend enjoys these as much as Einstein did!
Here are a few of my favorite pictures of him over the last year….
And finally, he is definitely my buddy in the kitchen :)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.
In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats and butter. Stir briefly and let stand for 10 minutes.
Add the cornmeal, sugar, beef bouillon, milk, cheese, and egg to the bowl; mix well. Stir in the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, until a stiff dough as formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, adding additional flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out with a rolling pin to ½-inch thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter and space evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the remaining dough scraps and continue cutting until all the dough as been used.
Bake 35-45 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.