Sharing the Love
When this post was first shared, it included a recipe. It is, at present, reformatted to be a DIY dog treat decorating post instead. After all, you can make tasty smooches and delicious hugs using these techniques and any favourite roll and cut dog treat recipe. Pawfect! The recipe that was originally shared with this post is in our rebake list for quantity checks and updated instructions as part of the transition to our new website. We’ll update the post if/when that’s been complete.
Choosing a Recipe for Your XO Valentine Treats
You can use any favourite roll and cut dog treat dough recipe, but for tiny cutters, like our Xs and Os, a smooth dough without any chunky ingredients will work best. If you’re making layered treats using carob or yogurt, pick a compatible dough flavour. Although my boys would argue that everything is compatible. Haha! If you’re heart is set of carob, we have some roll and cute recipes amongst our carob dog treat recipe collection, like our simple peanut butter and carob dog treat dough which makes a a lovely smooth dough.
XO Valentine Dog Treat Hugs and Kisses
The treats shown are made using heart shaped cookies cutters and the “X” and “O” from a set of small alphabet fondant/cookie cutters. Shop around and find a design (and price) that you like. Try specialist baking shops or large online retailers like AliExpress or Amazon. You can check out the alphabet fondant/cookie cutters on Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas.
With small thin shapes like the letters, it’s important to have a firm but forgiving dough that handles well. Even then, it can be tricky to get the cut dough out of the little cutter without damaging the shape or cracking off any pieces. You can also gently use a small blunt object to give the dough a gentle push out. The handle tip of a tiny spoon is my favourite helper with tricky cookies . It sometimes makes a small dent, but I’m ok with that!
Layering vs. Stamping
I made layered XO treats, but for easier (or more portant) treats) you can stamp the Xs and Os into your Valentine treats instead. This could be done by using your fondant cutters like stamps to make an impression on your hearts, or with other alphabet stamps. I have a mini set that that would work on smaller treats to to add custom words to homemade treats. You can check them out in our post on DIY stamped treats (and yummy peanut butter bacon bone treats!).
Assembling Layered Dog Treats
To assemble the edible 3D treats like our layered XO Valentine treats, you’ll need a tasty edible glue. A small amount of dog-friendly melted yogurt or carob drops works very well. As a mini pupdate in case you are struggling with ingredients, I haven’t been able to find suitable yogurt drops where we live for a few years now, but carob is still good to go.
For the pictured treats, I used yogurt drops with a just a little coconut oil to help with melting and consistency. When melting carob, I also like to use either coconut oil or peanut butter. Mmm… peanut butter… Make sure your baked treats are fully cooled before assembly. A little squeeze bottle makes it extra easy to apply the melted mixtures on the small letter shapes with minimum mess. Let the glue cool to set firmly. Then the treats are ready for careful handling and sharing.
I made a few special layered heart XO Valentine dog treats and a whole jar of itty bitty edible hugs and kisses. The boys are used to getting tiny treat, either made tiny or broken from larger treats. Except when posing for blog photos, of course!
Other Fun and Cute Treat Ideas
No alphabet cutters? Looking for ideas for other holidays or special events? The techniques above can be used to layer other shapes of dog treats. Take a look through your existing cookie cutter collection for ideas. It’s fun to get creative. And occasionally a little crazy. Have you seen our stacked star Christmas treat trees?
You can also use melted carob or yogurt drops as decorations instead of edible glue. Unlike many doggy icings, they set firm for handling (take care with how much coconut oil or peanut butter you include) and also add extra yummy scent and flavour to the treats. The pictured flower treats were made using a flower-shaped mini plunger cutter. A little drop of melt-and-set yogurt accents their centres beautifully.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use use the category and tag labels above/ below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. 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.