Smell the Love
When Oli was in the early stages of recovering from his cataract surgery, he was very blind, highly anxious, and exercise restricted. One of the few joys I could offer was to tuck him onto a soft doggy bed with the comforting anticipation of hearing me rustle around in the kitchen surrounded by good smells and knowing tasty treats were being baked especially for him. The freezer became rather full!
The plight of being dog blog taste testers (life is so difficult…) where posts are often prepped months ahead of going live on the blog is that tasty treats for special holidays are often months out of sync with the calendar. Not that the dogs care or complain, but it does mean that I will occasionally be sharing a photo or two of my beloved blind cone head long after the hated cone has been banished to the linen cupboard.
Homemade Apple Cinnamon Dog Treats
These baked biscuit Valentine dog treats use a simple and fragrant apple cinnamon roll-and-cut treat dough. It’s an adaptation of the same dough used for our apple cinnamon Christmas plunger cutter dog treats. The boys loved the scent of those treats and I knew the dough would work well for cutting and stamping.
If baked biscuits aren’t you’re thing or you prefer treats without flour for your Valenpup, the doggone delicious scents of apple and cinnamon are also great in gummies, like our spiced apple gelatin gummy dog treats, or frozen treats, like our apple pie pupsicle dog treats. Remember that Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs (see the tips and tricks at the end of the post for more). You can also swap it for another doggone delicious add in, if you prefer, or leave it out.
Apple Cinnamon Valentine's Day Dog Treat Recipe
Recipe for Applesauce Dog Treats with (Optional) Cinnamon
This recipe was adapted from our Apple Cinnamon Christmas Dog Treats. Cutting shapes or decorating with stmped designs as shown is is optional. Any roll and cut dough can be used to make hand formed treats (ball and flatten), pressed into a pan and cut to size, formed as treat bars, and more. See our simple shortcuts for making baked dog treats for more ideas.
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup room temperature low-sodium stock or other dog-friendly liquid
- Optional: Sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon
- Optional: 2 tbsp trim (low fat) milk powder
- Approximately 1 + 1/4 to 1 + 1/2 cups of brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling
Easy recipe variations: If you’d rather make coloured heart treats for Valentine’s Day, this is a great neutral base for tinting with natural add-ins or dog-safe food colouring. Beetroot powder makes a great natural pink. In a chocolatey mood? Swap some of the flour for dog-friendly carob powder.
Making the Treats:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.
- Combine egg, applesauce, liquid and any optional ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Incrementally add flour, mixing into a cohesive workable dough. The amount of flour required will vary depending on your individual ingredients (especially the applesauce) and any optional add-ins or substitutions. Missed the mark? No worries! You can add a little bit of extra liquid, a small amount of olive oil, or additional flour to adjust consistency if/as needed.
- Rest dough (optional but recommended).
- Roll, cut into desired shapes (see below), and place on a prepared baking pan.
- 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.
Shaping and Stamping Paw Print Heart Valentine Dog Treats
To make similar paw print heart treats you will need a heart shaped cookie cutter and something suitable for stamping. The dough can be stamped with any clean food-safe items. Since I didn’t have a suitable food-safe paw stamp, I created my own pitter patter puppy love paw prints on the hearts with a mini heart plunger cutter and a toothpick.
Additional Treat Making Tips
Baked Biscuit Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our posts on making baked biscuit (cookie) dog treats and decorating homemade dog treats for more information and helpful tips.
- We don’t include yield in our treat recipe posts because it is very dependent on what the maker decides for treat shape, size, and thickness when they’re baking. We like to bake small batch treats though (variety is the spice of life!).
- 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 baked dog treats are best consumed within a couple of days from baking or frozen for longer storage. See our post on baked dog treat shelf life and storage for info and tips.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- Variations in measurements, individual ingredient types, and options and substitutions as well as variations in egg size, ingredient and ambient temperatures, etc. are all part of why we work incrementally when mixing.
- In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people). However, it’s not suitable for everyone. Pregnant and/or nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used.
- Adding milk powder adds extra richness as well as nutritional value, but I find it also enhances workability and creates a slightly firmer/crisper baked result. Our local grocery store sells powered milk as well as powdered goats milk and powdered coconut milk, which can be used as alternatives to dairy milk, or you can omit the powder from your dough all together. Doughs made with milk powder sometimes require a tad more flour, so adjust your quantities if/as needed and/or include a little ground flax as an extra helper. Check out our post on choosing and using ingredients for home dog treats for more tips and ideas.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also 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.