Gingered Beef Biscotti

Beef is kind of a no-brainer when it comes to dog treat flavors, because dogs are naturally carnivores. I don’t know a single dog that doesn’t love the flavor of beef and digest it easily. (I guess maybe there’s one out there, but I certainly haven’t met him yet.) And making these treats in the shape of Italian biscotti puts a fun little twist on plain ol’ beef biscuits.

If you’ve got the time and inclination, you can make your own beef broth or beef stock for this recipe. If you do, just be sure to leave out any salt, onion, or garlic. However, most grocery stores now carry high-quality, natural beef broths that come in a can for convenience. When buying canned beef broth for use in dog treats, it’s always good to look for organic, low or no fat, and low sodium.

Gingered Beef Biscotti

Makes about 42 treats

 

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 egg

3/4 cup beef broth (homemade or fat free, low sodium)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour with the ground ginger. Add the egg and beef broth and mix well.

3. Knead the mixture by hand until a smooth, homogenous dough forms.

4. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide.

5. Arrange the logs on a baking sheet, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the log comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

6. Remove the logs from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

7. As soon as the baked logs are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut each log into 1/2-inch slices.

8. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

9. Turn each slice over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

10. Turn the oven off, crack the door, and leave the biscotti slices in the oven to dry out for about 2 hours.

 

These treats may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, but they’re best stored in the refrigerator.

My Opening Day at the Farmers Market

All set up by 7am and ready for business!

All set up by 7am and ready for business!

Last Saturday was a great opening day for See Spot Bake at the Gettysburg Farmers Market. It was a lot of fun, I got to talk with a ton of people, and I sold a surprising number of dog treats! I was offering five different varieties of treats, and I completely sold out of two varieties by the end of the market! (Peanut Butter Cookies and Liver Treats, in case you were wondering.) You live and learn, as they say, so of course there are a few things that I’d like to improve upon for next week, but overall the day was a success.

My fully stocked table. (Custom polka dot tablecloth courtesy of my Mom & her awesome sewing skills)

My fully stocked table. (Custom polka dot tablecloth courtesy of my mom & her superior sewing skills. Thanks, Mom!)

A cool new development in my business plan is that after the market each week I will be donating any unsold See Spot Bake dog treats to the Adams County SPCA. I’m super excited to have this opportunity to support my local SPCA in an ongoing way and to give the animals at the shelter some sweet treats!

Come and get ’em: See Spot Bake dog treats are now for sale!!

Here are some of the dog treats samples that I made to send to the laboratory for analysis.

Here are some of the dog treat samples that I made to send to the laboratory for analysis.

My faithful readers may have noticed that lately my blogging has slowed down to just one post a week. This is mostly due to the fact that I’ve been super busy getting prepared to open my very own dog treat business. Starting this Saturday, June 22 you will be able to buy See Spot Bake dog treats at the Gettysburg Farmers Market! It has been a years-long process for me to gather up the courage, initiative, and resources to actually make this dream a reality, and I’m unbelievably excited to be open for business.

When I started the process of getting set up as a legitimate business, I had no idea how much red tape there would be to cut through. Each state has different regulations, but here are the steps that I needed to take before doing business in the state of Pennsylvania:

-Have each individual dog treat recipe tested by a laboratory. (This one is actually a federal law.)

-Register for a commercial feed license. Selling homemade dog treats is considered the same as selling “commercial animal feed,” so you have to be licensed with the Department of Agriculture.

-Apply for a “Fictitious Name Registration” with the Department of State. This is essential if you’re “doing business as” or selling under any name other than your own legal name.

-Register for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.

-Register for a sales tax identification number with the IRS, because dog food/treats are considered taxable goods.

-Get general liability insurance for the business. (This is not a law but was required by my farmers market association and is definitely a good idea.)

A few more of the treats available from See Spot Bake! (The spinach sea turtles in the front are my taste-testers' favorites.)

A few more treat samples. (The spinach sea turtles in the front are my doggie taste-testers’ favorite!)

There were a lot of forms to fill out and a few weeks of waiting for everything to be processed, but now I’m finally able to focus on the fun part: baking delicious dog treats! I’ll be selling 5 different types of treats to start out, and I’m hoping to expand my menu as soon as possible. If you’re local (or just happen to be in the Gettysburg area), I’d love to see you at the Gettysburg Farmers Market. It’s right downtown in Lincoln Square from 7am to 12pm every Saturday through September.

Leave a comment or send an email to seespotbake@gmail.com if you’d like more information or would like to talk to me about placing an order.

Lemon-Dill Cookies

Lemon and dill is a popular flavor combination for humans, but I wasn’t sure if dogs would enjoy it quite as much. After experimenting with this recipe, 3 of my 4 doggie taste-testers gave it an enthusiastic two paws up.

Believe it or not, fresh dill is considered a natural remedy for doggie breath. Since it’s naturally antibacterial, dill can actually help reduce bacterial growth in your dog’s mouth and even help prevent the early onset of gingivitis.

Lemons have surprising health benefits, as well. Lemons contain a high level of vitamin C, which is great for a dog’s heart, eyes, liver, teeth and bones, and immune system. Lemons are also thought to help relieve arthritis pain, and incorporating lemon into your dogs’ diet early in their lives may help prevent or delay the development of arthritis as they age.

Lemon-Dill Cookies

Makes about 22 cookies

 

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1/4 cup chopped (fresh) dill

1 cup oat flour

1 cup brown rice flour

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the lemon juice, water, egg, and dill in a bowl.

3. Stir the oat and rice flours into the wet ingredients. Knead or stir until the mixture forms a smooth, homogenous dough.

4. Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter. (I used a tablespoon to portion the dough into scoops to roll into balls).

5. Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use the heel of your hand to gently flatten each ball into a cookie shape. The cookies can be close together on the baking sheet, because they will not spread during baking.

6. Bake for 9 minutes, flip each cookie over, and return to the oven. Continue baking until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 9 minutes. Turn the oven off, and crack the oven door, and leave the cookies to dry out for about 2 hours.

 

These cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature but will last longer in the refrigerator.

Time to Make the (Doggie) Doughnuts

As you may or may not know, Friday June 7th is National Doughnut Day. (This great American holiday is celebrated on the first Friday of every June.) Some doughnut shops, like Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme, celebrate this very special day by offering a free doughnut to each customer. This year I decided to save myself some calories, forego any people-food doughnuts, and make doggie doughnuts instead.

This recipe is super easy to prepare, but you are going to need a doughnut baking pan. I typically try to steer away from using special equipment, but a doughnut pan can be picked up at any hobby store or baking supply shop for just a few dollars. I used a Wilton pan that makes six good sized doughnuts, but you can use whatever size that you have available. When using a doughnut pan it’s really important to remember to flip the doughnuts over halfway through the baking time so that both sides get evenly browned.

Making these doughnuts without any icing is more “healthy” and takes a little less time and energy, but the icing looks so ridiculously cute that I put in the extra effort. I used colored white chocolate coating, but you could use melted carob chips, natural peanut butter chips, or yogurt chips, depending on what your dog likes best.

These doughnuts were about the size of your average “people” doughnut, so they’re a good size for large dogs. The finished doughnuts are soft enough that they can be broken into pieces for medium or small dogs.

Carob Doughnuts

Carob Flavored Doggie Doughnuts

Makes about 9 doughnuts

 

1 cup skim milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup carob powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Optional: About 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips (never real chocolate!!!!), yogurt chips, carob chips, or natural peanut butter chips

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Whisk together the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and honey.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, carob powder, baking powder, and baking soda.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.

5. Spoon the dough into a prepared doughnut pan. I then used my finger to smooth the top of each doughnut out and make sure that the dough was pressed in well.

6. Bake for 8 minutes, flip each doughnut over in the pan, and then continue baking until toothpick inserted into the doughnut comes out clean, about 8 minutes more.

7. Allow the doughnuts to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the icing, if using.

8. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Place the coating chips in a glass or metal bowl just large enough to fit on top of the pot of simmering water. Place the bowl onto the pot. Be sure to stir frequently with a rubber spatula as the chips melt to prevent them from scorching. Be very careful, because if the coating gets overheated and scorches it becomes virtually inedible. If the water begins to boil vigorously enough to actually touch the bowl, remove the bowl from the pot and turn down the heat before replacing the bowl. To avoid overheating, be sure to remove the bowl from the heat as soon as the yogurt coating is completely melted.

9. Once completely cool, briefly submerge the smooth top side of each doughnut in the melted coating and gently shake side-to-side over the bowl of coating to allow any excess to drip off the doughnut. Place the coated doughnuts on a sheet of wax paper. The doughnuts are ready to serve as soon as the coating is firm.

 

These treats should be stored in the refrigerator but are best when allowed to come back to room temperature before serving.