Monday, 25 November 2019
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{RECIPE} Peanut Butter Banana and Carob Christmas Treats

One month until Christmas, furfriends! In prepping our holiday posts this year, I couldn't resist experimenting with a few plunger cookie cutter recipes so I could play with my Christmas plungers, but this dough works well with standard cutters or as a simple ball-and-flatten treat. This dense fudgey dough worked great for cutting, and the dogs loved the irresistible combination of banana, peanut butter, and carob. Drool!

Homemade carob Christmas dog treats with plunger cookie cutters

Here in blog dog world, the taste testers are always ahead of the holidays (our Instagram followers might have seen some holiday baking popping up in our stories starting a couple months ago). These treats and the naturally green spirulina Christmas tree treat we'll be sharing with you in an upcoming post are already through the freezer (we freeze our dog treats for a ready supply of different flavours) and into tummies. We're currently on to plotting our Valentine's treats and beyond. The dogs never seem to mind our crazy calendar though. Hehehe...



Peanut Butter, Banana, and Carob Christmas Dog Treats


🥄 Treat Ingredients:

1 ripe (or over ripe) banana
1 egg
1/4 cup  smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp ground flax (optional)
1 tbsp gelatin powder (optional)
1/4 cup carob powder
Approximately 3/4 cup brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling 

🥄 Making the Treats: 

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

In a mixing bowl, combine banana, egg, peanut butter, flax, and gelatin. Mix thoroughly, ensuring the banana is mashed/pureed into the mixture as completely as possible.  Add carob powder and stir to combine. Incrementally add flour until the dough has a nice firm pliable consistency. Flour quantity may vary with your specific ingredients and optional add-ins, so work incrementally. If it isn't firm enough, add a touch more flour. If your mixture is looking a bit dry, you can add a little bit of stock/water or olive oil to adjust. 

Rest dough (optional but recommended) and then knead lightly before rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll and then cut into desired shapes or simply roll into bite-sized balls and flatten gently with a fork. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes depending on size. Cool before serving and storage.

Ste-by-step making peanut butter carob banana Christmas dog treats

To use plunger-style cutters instead of traditional cookie cutters, you need to ensure that you have a nice cohesive dough (see adjustment tips above) that will roll smoothly without cracking, take an impression cleanly, and release from the plunger without difficulty.  Dog treat doughs are often tricky, but dogs are also a-ok with imperfect looking treats which makes experimenting fun. Thickness is vital for plungers meant to create impression designs - too thick and things get squishy and hard to release cleanly, too thin and the design may not take well. I find it easiest to roll in smaller batches for a uniform thickness to plunger depth, and you can double check the depth by pressing on the back of your lifted cookie to ensure that there is no gap between the dough and the plunger. 

Tips and Tricks: 
  • New to treat baking? Check out our introduction to making baked dog treats for more information about baked biscuit/cookie style dog treats, including common ingredients, their role in baking, troubleshooting problems, and more.
  • 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. 
  • Go natural or take care when when shopping to avoid artificial sweeteners in ingredients like peanut butter when used for your dogs - xylitol (also identified as sweetener E967) is particularly dangerous for dogs. I typically use a no added salt/sugar smooth peanut butter.
  • Flax and gelatin are both good binding add-ins that help enhance dough consistency. This can be useful when working with gluten free flours in dog treat dough, and handling consistency is particularly helpful when working with special shapes and cutters.  
  • Resting the dough is optional, but helps with the texture/handling of gluten-free baking dough. I like to rest briefly, then knead a little before final rolling and ensure it is well mixed. 
  • 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.
  • For a crunchier treat, you can let baked treats sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or pop the baked treats into a dehydrator.
  • 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.

🦴 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.

Dalmatian dog begging for a homemade carob Christmas tree treat

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