Pacey living on the edge by stealing a piece of biscotti while I was setting up to take a photo!
These kooky little cookies would be fun any time of year, but using pretty pastel colors makes them a very sweet Easter treat. When dyed green, the shredded coconut kind of resembles the grass-like filling that often adorns Easter baskets–but you could choose another color food coloring if you like or just leave the coconut white if you’re in a hurry.
I honestly wasn’t sure if coconut was safe for dogs, so I looked it up. When I did, I learned not only that coconut is wholesome, but that some people are actually calling it a doggie “super food.” It contains a protein called albumin that aids the formation of red blood cells, and coconut is also naturally rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that helps boost dogs’ immune systems and fight off infections.
The other flavoring ingredient in these treats is orange zest. The flesh of an orange is definitely safe for dogs, but you typically want to avoid giving them the orange seeds and/or peel; however, the small amount of finely grated peel in this recipe is added only for flavoring and is not nearly enough to have any effect. If you’re really concerned, just add a couple tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice in place of the zest.
MESS WARNING: These treats are super messy, especially for little dogs that are going to have to take some time to chomp through the whole thing. If your dog is a particularly messy eater, you may want to give these treats outside or make sure that the dog stays in a spot inside the house that’s easy to clean up. If you’ve dyed the coconut and/or used colored icing, be very careful that your dog doesn’t lick away at one of these treats on carpet or furniture, because there’s a chance it’ll leave a stain.
Makes about 16
About 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
Gel food coloring, as needed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups yogurt chips, white chocolate, carob chips, or candy coating, or as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Place the coconut in a large Ziploc bag. Add several drops of food coloring, and seal the bag. Shake and knead the bag to evenly color the coconut. Add more food coloring as needed to achieve the color that you want. Reserve at room temperature until needed.
3. Combine the water, oil, honey, eggs, and orange peel in a bowl.
4. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Knead the mixture by hand until it forms a smooth dough.
5. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half of dough into a log about 8 inches long. Arrange the two logs of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (They should both fit on a standard baking sheet, but if you find that your baking sheet is too small, simply use two separate baking sheets. It’s not a problem to bake them both in the oven at the same time.)
6. Gently press down on the top of each of the logs to slightly flatten it against the baking sheet.
7. Bake until the logs feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the log comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
8. When the logs are cool enough to handle, cut each one into 1-inch slices.
9. Arrange the slices on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and return to the oven for 8 minutes.
10. Turn each of the slices over, and return to the oven for 8 minutes more.
11. After baking, turn the oven off, crack the oven door, and leave the biscotti in the oven for about 1 hour to harden.
12. Once the biscotti have hardened, prepare the icing that you’d like to use. (I melted candy coating, because I wanted the cookies to be bright and colorful for Easter.) Bring a small pot of water to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Place the chips in a glass or metal bowl just large enough to fit on top of the pot of simmering water. Place the bowl on top of the pot. Be sure to stir frequently with a rubber spatula as the chips melts to prevent them from scorching. The water should stay at a simmer. If it begins to boil enough to actually touch the bottom of the bowl, remove the bowl from the pot and turn down the heat to establish a simmer before replacing the bowl. Be sure to remove the bowl from the heat as soon as the coating is completely melted.
13. Dip the bottom half of a biscotti in the melted icing to coat it. Work carefully, allowing any excess icing to drip back into the bowl. Immediately dip the iced biscotti in the shredded coconut to coat. Place the biscotti on a piece of wax or parchment paper to set. Repeat with the remaining slices of biscotti.
These treats should be stored in the refrigerator.