Monday, 26 November 2018
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{RECIPE} Cranberry Chicken Christmas Cookie Dog Treats

Bowl of red dog treats on a green and white polka dot napkin

Mmmm...the holidays are so close we can almost taste them! It's one month until Christmas, and here's the first of our barkmas-themed posts for this year. Woofs! As blog dogs, our boys taste test holiday and special occasion treats well before the calendar (they never complain!) and if you are currently swimming in leftover turkey, dry turkey meat would make a great substitute for the cooked chicken in this recipe. You can bake and freeze your treats or (like often do, and as was used in these treats) freeze some small batches of cooked meat for future use. Winner winner, chicken dinner! 

In previous experiments with pureed cranberry treats, I found that the puree needed a binding/hydrating buddy far more than most pureed fruits and (chunky bits of skin not withstanding) the pretty pink dough colours usually ended up looking pale post baking.  This recipe pairs pureed cranberry with moist yummy apple and uses natural (and healthy/delicious) add-ins to boost the colour.  

Step-by-step instructions for making dog treats with cranberries and chicken

Cranberry Chicken Christmas Cookie Dog Treats

🥄 Treat Ingredients:

1 egg
1/4 cup pureed plain cranberries (I used frozen, defrosted, pureed, then measured)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp beetroot powder and 1 tbsp turmeric powder (both optional for colour)
1/2 cup finely chopped dry cooked chicken
Approximately 1 to 1+1/4 cup brown rice flour 

🥄 Making the Treats: 

Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.

Combine cranberry puree, applesauce, egg, chia seeds,beetroot powder, and turmeric powder in a mixing bowl. Stir in chicken. Incrementally add flour, mixing into a cohesive workable dough.  The amount of flour required will vary depending on your individual ingredients and any optional add-ins or substitutions. Missed the mark? No worries! You can add a little bit of water, a small amount of olive oil, or additional flour to adjust consistency if/as needed. 

Rest dough (optional). Roll into small bite-sized balls, place on a prepared baking tray, and gently flatten with a fork. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary with shape/size, so keep an eye on the oven. Cool before serving and storage.

Dalmatian dog eating a red dog treat

Tips and Tricks:
  • Variations in measurements, individual ingredient types, and options/substitutions as well as variations in egg size, temperatures, etc. are all  part of why we work incrementally when mixing. Fruit purees can vary quite a bit in liquid content, so it's extra important to work your flour in incrementally per the note and tips in the recipe instructions above.
  • As shared in our detailed tips on tinting dough to pinks and reds, when you add a red tint to treat dough, it tends to create a pinkish treat.  Adding a yellow or orange, either with the base ingredients or as a partner tint, helps to warm the pink closer to a reddish tone, especially after baking. 
  • Want some greens with that red? Dog-friendly herbs like parsley or rosemary would be great as an add-in ingredient with these flavours/scents. 
  • I decided to stick with simple ball treats as the chunky cranberry skins and bits of chicken in this recipe makes for kind of messy roll-and-cut shapes, but this dough could be rolled if you'd like to give it a go.  Treats can be broken for smaller dogs, or made bigger/smaller - just keep an eye on your cooking time - the smaller the cookie, the shorter the baking time.
  • Homemade treats are best consumed within a few days from baking, or frozen for longer storage. For more information, see our post on the shelf-life and storage of homemade baked dog treats.

Bowl of red dog treats on a green and white polka dot napkin

🦴 Hungry for more tasty treats?  You can explore from our treat navigation page, hop straight into our homemade dog treat ideas in the blog archives, search the blog from our sidebar, or use the labels below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes/dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what's suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

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