Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cookie Challenge: S'Murphy's Embarky Bars

Presenting the inaugural batch of "S'Murphy's Embarky Bars"
It's that time of year - all the holiday bakers are in their kitchens cooking to beat the band - another sign of the season are all sorts of wonderful delights that have shown up my the office lately: peppermint bark, peanut brittle, decorated sugar cookies - and my favorite - Peanut butter no-bake cookies. All delicious special treats, but what about something for our four-legged friends?

The Ingredients
I've posted a few recipes for dog treats (Tuna Brownies, Liver Brownies, Doggie Stew) but with SO MANY dogs going grain-free  - and more than a few of them grain-free for health reasons. What about grain-free, gluten-free dog biscuits? Sounds like a challenge!!!

Sure, we could just toss some beef strips in a dehydrator and call it "gluten and grain free" - but what's the challenge in that?

So I set out to make some very special dog cookies - Were my baking skills up to the challenge? I'm going to try to come up with three grain-free recipes for dog cookies.

For tonight's recipe - I'm calling this cookie "S'Murphy's Embarky Bars",  I'm going to "cheat" a little. I've got some grain-free, gluten-free dog food here in my kitchen - that ought to be a good start!

3 cups Honest Kitchen Embark**
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used 3 year old Cabot cheese)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4 whole eggs
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or minced garlic)
2-3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
2.5 cups warm water

Mix water, Honest Kitchen and coconut oil in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Let stand a five minutes to let HK fully rehydrate. Add eggs, cheese and garlic.

I was really hoping for a more dough like consistency - so I could use my fancy dog-related cookie cutters. That wasn't possible. I ended up with a paste-like consistency - similar to "brownie" batter. I ended up with WAY more volume than I had planned (and the above recipe is essentially halved as I added more Embark and added an egg to get my batter consistency).  I separated the batter into two pans. One on a lined cookie sheet (spreading the "dough" out evenly from the middle to the edges). The other pan was my favorite lasagna pan, greased (more coconut oil) and about 1/2" of dough evenly spread....I cooked both pans at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then dropped the oven temp to 300 degrees for another 60 minutes....The Lasagna pan version took another 40 minutes of oven time.

Murph endorsing S'Murphy Bars. YUMMM!
The boys knew that I was mixing vast quantities of their Honest Kitchen before I even turned on the oven. They'd already had dinner, but as soon as they say the box of THK come out of the pantry they were very much expecting some Embark flavored dessert. Going by smell in my house while these were cooking I'd have to call it a success. Murphy spent a good portion of the cooking time trotting into the kitchen and back out to me in the den with this "there's good stuff in there, go get me some". Murphy is of course a chow-hound by nature - but the incredibly cheesy garlicky smell wafting from the oven was tempting!

Going by taste - my dogs went GA-GA for them. Really big eyes with the "can I have summore" face. I'm guessing they're pretty high value food treats.

As for consistency - I didn't even come close to cookie cutter shaped perfect Martha Steward dog cookies with this recipe. If I made it again I'd probably add a 5th or 6th egg and turn it into a quiche type treat instead...The cookie sheet mass method was the best way to cook these bars. I ended up flipping the cookie sheet liner about 50 minutes through (onto a baking rack) and finishing the bottom for another 15 minutes). The result I was able to more easy cut the bars into serving sizes (whereas the bars from the lasagna pan - pictured with Murphy above) were served with a spatula.

Not training treats - but a super-delicious healthy treat or meal replacement - probably VERY good for a dog who has gone off his normal food (illness, smelly girls in the neighborhood, etc).

** EMBARK INGREDIENTS: Hormone-free, cage-free USDA turkey, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, spinach, carrots, organic coconut, apples, organic kelp, eggs, bananas, cranberries, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.


Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Doggy Dessert Chef said...

What a great recipe, I'm adding it to my facebook right now!

Cassidy said...

These look great! I'm going to make a batch for our doggie house guests over Christmas. If my Fergus can share, that is! Thanks for the idea!

Jacquelyn said...

Love this! Aged Cabot?! They are some lucky pups :) I'm bookmarking your recipe for future reference. Thanks for sharing, and thanks from the farm families who own Cabot for your support!

. said...

@Jacquelyn - Cabot 3 year cheddar is the ONLY cheddar I ever have in the house. If one is going to indulge in cheese, it ought to be REALLY REALLY GOOD cheese :-)

Anonymous said...

this post is very usefull thx!