I really wanted to create a new dog treat in time for Christmas this year.
Because – unlike most individuals on my holiday shopping list – my beagle Calvin is so easy and uncomplicated.
He’s thrilled to receive the simplest of things: some crispy, tasty cookies!
And he has a huge appetite for sweet treats.
I feel guilty during the holidays whipping up lots of desserts made for humans, as Cal sits wide-eyed and drooling at my feet, hoping for a taste of whatever it is that smells so delicious.
It’s nice to make a healthy homemade treat that’s just for him to enjoy.
These “Christmas Cookies” are filled with healthy, whole ingredients for dogs, and they have festive holiday colors from all-natural toppings (red cranberries and green pumpkin seeds!)
They’re easy to make, and they work well as a homemade gift.
Here is the complete, printable recipe:
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Yield: 18 small treats
- 1 cup rye flour (or substitute rice flour or all-purpose flour)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons organic honey
- 3½ tablespoons olive oil (or substitute organic canola oil)
- 2 tablespoons organic dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Add the flour, baking powder, applesauce, honey, and olive oil to a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about half an inch thick. Cut treats with a cookie cutter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Firmly press a few pieces of chopped cranberries and pumpkin seeds into the top of each cookie.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until treats are firm to the touch.
- Turn off oven and open oven door. Allow cookies to cool in oven, about 20-30 minutes.
- Storage: cookies will keep for several days when stored in a covered airtight container in a cool, dry, shaded location. Cookies may also be frozen: separate treats with parchment paper and store in an airtight covered container.
And of course, I had to look through a few pictures of Calvin during the holidays to go along with this recipe…
…We wondered at first if Cal might get into the presents or topple ornaments off of the Christmas tree, but Calvin mostly ignores the piles of gifts.
He has received his own Christmas stocking in the past, which does catch his interest.
Of course, he has his own ideas about what to do with it.
Living in New England, we usually have a white Christmas.
Luckily, as much as he dislikes cold and rain, Calvin gets really excited about snow.
He loves to get out and run and jump through it.
And toss it into the air and dig through it too.
We travel quite a lot during the holidays, so Calvin does tire of it all after a while.
At the end of the day, he likes to find a cozy spot with some sunlight to settle in for a nap.
Of course, as soon as any holiday meal or treat comes out, Calvin’s up and right back in the game.
So long as the holidays involve plenty of food, Cal’s a big fan of Christmas.