Dog Bone Biscuits

Our dog Charlie loves his “bonuses” as we call his dog biscuits. Usually they’re “Gravy Bones” or “Shapes”. He knows exactly where they’re kept in a box in the laundry room! Being a greedy Labrador, he doesn’t have a full up switch.

I was looking through the latest Great British Bake Off Recipe book when I noticed there was a recipe for dog biscuits. These home made biscuits contain mashed sweet potato and sugar free peanut butter. I had a leftover sweet potato and thought I’d give them a try. The only ingredient I wasn’t so sure of was that the recipe included dried cranberries. I love dried cranberries and use them in cookies but I’m sure that dried fruit is a no-no for dogs. I chose to leave these out of the biscuits just to make sure.

First, I needed to boil and mash the sweet potato before making the biscuits. Then they needed to cool. This meant that I had to allow an hour for this before actually starting on the biscuits for real.

I used a dog bone cookie cutter. It’s a plastic one which doesn’t cut out as well as a metal one. I thought I’d see if I could order a couple of different ones depending on how the biscuits turned out.

After the mashed sweet potato was cooled down enough, I weighed out enough for the recipe into a large mixing bowl. I then mixed peanut butter (Whole Earth because it doesn’t contain sugar and any other additives), as well as some beaten egg.

Next, I added dried parsley, plain flour and porridge oats to the mixture until it was combined into a dough. This dough was then rolled until it was 2-3mm thick.

When the biscuits were cooled down, I gave one to Charlie to try. He loved the biscuit and didn’t even listen when I told him to wait! I sent some biscuits to a couple of friends with dogs and they said that their dogs loved them too. I need to test out some more recipes with different ingredients soon; I have also seen ones with pureed pumpkin and another one containing cheese!

The recipe said that it would make about 25 biscuits but I didn’t get as many as that out of the dough I had. I baked them for 15 minutes until they became crisp around the edges. They crisped up even more when they came out of the oven and cooled down on the wire rack.

A couple of weeks later I had a second attempt at the same recipe. In the meantime I had been on a cake website to order a few bits and pieces and found a set of two metal bone shaped cookie cutters. There was a big and a small one so I hoped to use the smaller ones as dog treats for little pooches! I also found a paw print cutter but I’ll use that another time!

In the second batch I made a double portion. Half of the batch was the larger sized biscuits, the other the smaller ones. I adjusted the cooking time down to about 8 minutes for them, whereas the other ones take about 15 minutes.

All being well, I am hoping to add the doggy treats along to sell on my website but I’ve been so busy I’ve not got around to it yet!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Amazing Cakes #25: Coconut Sugar Fruit Cake

I’ve been trying out recipes from The Big Book Of Amazing Cakes recently. The book has a chapter brimming full of Free-From recipes which is really useful. So far I’ve made the Gluten Free Brownies, the Vegan Marble Bundt Cake and the Vegan Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake. To fit in with dietary requirements, lifestyles and allergy needs, it’s fantastic to have a collection of recipes to fall back on.

One of the recipes was a Coconut Sugar Fruit Loaf Cake. Although the recipe contains natural sugars in the form of dried fruit, it does not contain refined sugar. Coconut sugar is palm sugar produced from the sap of the flower bud stem of the coconut palm. I have used coconut sugar before, in a vegan cake and it is definitely more expensive to buy than your average refined sugar. It’s roughly about twice as much as the same weight of soft brown sugar. I bought The Groovy Food Company’s Coconut Sugar to bake this recipe.

To start making the cake, I soaked mixed dried fruit in some hot tea the night before. I left the bowl covered in cling film overnight.

The following day when I got in from work in my day job, I started on the cookie and brownie order I had for that afternoon. When they were finished, I kept the oven on and started to make the fruit loaf.

I put self raising flour, the coconut sugar, some ground ginger and mixed spice into my mixing bowl and stirred it before adding in two beaten eggs, I then added it into the dried fruit and tea mixture.

I then spooned the mixture into my loaf tin. I use ready made loaf tin liners as I’m dead lazy and any shortcuts you can have are a massive help. I’ve bought some more recently from Tesco and they’re a godsend.

The cake baked in the oven at 160oC (fan) for about 55 minutes. I tested it and it was still a bit sticky right in the middle, so I gave it another 10 minutes. This did the trick. When it came out of the oven I left it to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes.

Usually when I have fruit loaf, I spread it with a bit of butter and serve it the Yorkshire way with a slice of Wensleydale cheese. I was so hungry, I ate a slice straightaway without either. The result was a moist and delicious cake but without feeling overly sweet.

Would I bake it again? Yes I would although the coconut sugar does make it a rather expensive bake. You can only get two loaves out of one bag of sugar.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx