Thursday, September 22, 2011

Banana-Flavored Treats

So yesterday, September 21st was Rose's fourth birthday. Or our one-year anniversary, depending on what people prefer to call it!! Well, my mongrel enjoyed herself a 100% home-made "birthday"!! That's right.... Absolutely nothing was store-bought!! Not Rose's treats, nor her gift!! The present was one of my socks, stuffed with cotton filling, plus a squeaker. I tied both ends. How did I make it? I "murdered" Valentine, Rose's heart-print, floppy-eared, long-legged bunny toy!! For she seldom ever played with it anyway. I cut the toy open using a pair of scissors. Pulled out fluffy white cotton, plus a clear flattened squeaker. Stuffed Rose's sock with about half of the filling. Placed Valentine's squeaker inside. Then, I tied a knot on both ends!! It looks hideous, but Rose loves her new toy.... She plays with my creation every day!! I appreciate how dogs truly enjoy life's simple pleasures!! Just an example. And they enjoy life's simple pleasures sans any complaints!! Fine examples.... Now what good is any "birthday" celebration without a treat? Of course I baked Rose some biscuits, too!! Here is the recipe: (Rose rates it Four 'paws' way, way up!!)

Yappy Birthday
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
(That is one whole banana!!)
1 large egg
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
(We substituted wheat flour with white flour, because I heard that too much wheat can effect a dog's digestive system?)
Carob Frosting: 1 cup carob chips (MAY NOT BE SUBSTITUTED WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS! CHOCOLATE IS TOXIC TO DOGS!) (I opted out on the carob chips)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine peanut butter, banana and egg in a large bowl. Stir well. Gradually add wheat germ and whole wheat flour.
(I did not pay attention to the "gradually" part and just dumped those twain ingredients in. Oh well. Everything stirred together alright, anyway!!) Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Bake on a ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Carob Frosting: Place bones on wax paper. In a double boiler over simmering water, stir carob constantly. When carob has softened, add oil. Mix well. With a spoon, place a stripe down each bone. Be careful not to overheat carob as it will harden. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Serve. (Quickly clean any utensils and dishes used for melting carob). Makes 1 dozen.
(I doubled the recipe. I think we baked 32 biscuits!! I am no Martha Stewart, though, so a small handful were burnt and thrown away....)
Bake bones on the middle oven rack. If your dough is sticky, apply a light layer of flour to your hands, the rolling surface and rolling pin. (Pieces of my dough did, in fact, stick to our rolling pin!!) Because of variations in oven temperatures, monitor the cooking time for your batch of "Doggy Bones". Bake bones until the bottoms of the biscuits become medium brown, and adjust remaining baking times accordingly. If bones do not become "bone hard", bake bones for an additional five minutes or leave them in the oven as it cools. Store "Doggy Bones" in an airtight container. For extended supply, double your batch and freeze them!

This dough was--thus far--the most moist of any bones I have baked. Easy to roll out!! The bananas must have caused this!! Plus, it was greasy!! Because of the bananas? And while baking inside our oven, they sizzled!! Yes, sizzled!! These treats just foamed and bubbled!! It was strange!! Did the bananas cause this, as well, I wonder? Who knows!! I was curious as to which flavor would be the strongest: Peanut butter or banana. Because neither food is bland!! And as I stirred the ingredients together all I could smell was peanut butter!! So I tasted a bone. Seriously!! The answer? It is banana!! Rose took me by surprise when I began preparing the ingredients for baking. She seemed interested!! Weird.... My "hound" is hardly ever nearby whenever I cook or bake.... Despite the fact that she loves food!! Rose may be a world-class beggar, but my girl always flees as soon as I pull out any pans!! Perhaps she somehow knows that I am not at all the least bit domestic and is afraid of our house burning down!! Come on, Rose.... A little faith here.... But as I started mashing the banana, into our kitchen she emerged!! I was thrilled!! I scooped this small taste of the fruit onto a spoon and let Rose try it!! Turns out, she likes banana!! Next, I worked with the peanut butter. She was still interested!! So I allowed her a taste of that!! Not surprisingly, Rose loved peanut butter!! She even wanted "seconds".... Which, I gave her!!

Happy "birthday", Rose!!

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