Freshly baked cinnamon rolls are truly one of life’s greatest pleasures. Unfortunately for dogs, they can’t have all of the delicious butter and sugar that make our cinnamon rolls so heavenly, but these cute little dog treats do capture the beautiful, cinnamon-y spiral of the people-food version.
The two-tone spiral on the finished treats may look complicated, but the recipe is actually fairly easy to make. The only tricky part is shaping the dough. It’s important to put the time and energy into rolling each of the dough layers out into an even rectangle so that you end up with a neatly rolled log. If the dough layers don’t start out at an even thickness and shape, you won’t end up with a nice, uniform spiral in the end.
You’ll notice right away that the honey dough is a lot “softer” and stickier than the cinnamon dough. To ensure that the assembled log of dough stays together, be sure to allow time for the log to chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. After the dough has chilled, you’ll find that it’s much easier to slice and that you’ll have much better looking treats as a result.
These treats are HUGE. Unless you have a monster dog, you’ll need to cut or break each treat into small pieces before serving it. Don’t worry, these treats are very soft so that you can easily break off appropriately sized chunks using your hands (or you could slice them into more uniform pieces using a knife).
Cinnamon Roll Treats
Makes about 18 large treats
3 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Make the honey dough: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine, and then knead by hand until the mixture forms a smooth, homogenous dough. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and reserve.
3. Make the cinnamon dough: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine, and then knead by hand until the mixture forms a smooth, homogenous dough.
4. Roll the cinnamon dough out into a rectangle about 8 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long and 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the reserved honey dough, creating a rectangle of the same dimensions.
5. Place the rectangle of cinnamon dough on top of the rectangle of honey dough and gently press down to adhere the two layers of dough together. Use a sharp knife to trim any ragged edges off of the dough, creating a neat rectangle.
6. Starting with the edge of the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up (like you would a jelly roll) to form a log about 12 inches long.
8. Wrap the log completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
9. Remove the plastic wrap from the log. Using a sharp slicing knife, slice the log into slices 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. The slices will be about 3 inches wide. (Try to keep the treats as round as possible, but as they’re cut the slices will inevitably squish a little bit to form more of a “biscotti” shape with a flattened bottom edge.)
9. Arrange the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each treat over, and return to the oven. Continue baking until the treats are lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 10 minutes more.
These treats are best stored in the refrigerator.