Gingerbread for Dogs

Put on your aprons, dog lovers. You're not done baking for Christmas.

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A father and son baking gingerbread cookies with their dog.

‘Tis the season for special holiday foods, and Jodi Chick–baker, crafter and dog mom–says don’t forget to treat your dog! Just make sure Fido’s treats are healthy and dog-friendly.

Jodi blogs at the popular site Kol’s Notes, a baking, crafting, cleaning and dog-friendly lifestyle blog for the DIY enthusiast.

Jodi lives in Vancouver, Canada, along with her puggle, Kolchack and her wiry-haired mixed-breed, Felix. Jodi is joining us today with two of her own holiday recipes for dogs. Here's her guest post!

Growing up, the kitchen was the heart of our home. It never really mattered where you started, everyone ended up gravitating to the kitchen, bonding over hearty homemade meals passed down through the generations and secret cookie recipes perfected over decades. 

The holidays mean crumbly shortbreads, sweet iced sugar cookies and chewy, spicy gingerbread. The smell of molasses, mingled with cinnamon and ginger has always smelled perfectly like Christmas to me.

Years later, the kitchen is the heart of my own home and the smell of ginger and molasses still means Christmas. My kitchen is a little different though, because the cookies cooling on the counter aren't for me, they're for my dogs. 

Day in and day out, my dogs are the one constant in my life. I know that when I wake up, the first thing I see will be a puppy dog face, begging for breakfast.

I can count on the fact that they'll keep me active and moving with thrice daily walks. The couch would feel empty without them snoring next to me as I work, and I can't imagine falling asleep without a dog cuddled up beside me.

They are so much a part of my day-to-day life that I couldn't imagine creating holiday traditions that didn't include them.

That's why I set out to create dog-friendly versions of my very favourite holiday flavor: gingerbread.

Gingerbread Cookies for Dogs

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free baking mix or all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup dark molasses

  • 1/4 cup cold water

  • 1/8 cup coconut oil (melted)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1.2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

* Skip the traditional nutmeg; it’s not dog friendly!

Then follow these steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.

  • Add molasses, eggs and oil and mix well, adding water slowly to create a heavy dough. The mix may feel slightly crumbly, but it will come together as you mix.

  • Once the dough has come together, turn it out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to about 1/4” thick. Cut into festive shapes with a cookie cutter or trim them into squares using a knife or pizza cutter.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out cookies on the sheet. These don’t spread much, so you can place them fairly close. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.


Gingerbread Kong Stuffing

Dogs love Kongs–sturdy hollow rubber chewing toys that can be stuffed with different types of food to keep dogs happily busy for long periods of time.

What you’ll need:

  • A Kong in the size and toughness best for your dog
  • A handful of homemade or store bought peanut butter or gingerbread dog treats
  • 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp of canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • Pinch each of cinnamon, ground clove and allspice

*Again, skip the nutmeg; it’s not dog-friendly.

Then follow these steps:

  • Seal the small hole at the bottom of the Kong with peanut butter.
  • Press a few treats into the bottom of the Kong.
  • Mix together the peanut butter, pumpkin, molasses and spices.
  • Crumble all but one remaining dog treat and stir into paste mixture.
  • Fill the remaining space in the Kong with this mix, then press a treat into the large hole to seal it. Secure in place with peanut butter.

For an easier puzzle, serve as is.

For a more difficult puzzle, freeze and serve.

I always feel merrier knowing that my dogs and I are creating our own holiday traditions–from making dog-friendly gingerbread treats, to snuggling together and watching my favourite Christmas movies.

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Tags: Baking,Recipes
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