Apple Crisps

There isn’t a more natural snack for your dog than these oven-dried apple crisps. You can use any type of apple that you have handy, although I think Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apples work best. You can choose to leave the apples plain (as I did in this batch) or sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on the sliced apples before baking them. Especially with a touch of cinnamon, these make a fantastic snack for you to share with your doggie, too.

Please do not be intimidated by the extremely long cooking time of this recipe. You can literally just pop the sliced apples into the oven and forget about them for about 7 hours. The oven temperature is so low (170°F) that you can really go about your day without worry. Just be sure to set a timer so that you don’t completely forget about them!!

Apple Crisps

Apple Crisps

1. Preheat the oven to 170°F, or as low as your oven will allow.

2. Carefully peel and core the apple. Using a mandoline or a sharp slicing knife, cut the apple into slices as thin as possible (1/8-inch or thinner).

3. Arrange the apple slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The slices can be placed very close together but should not overlap.

4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the apple slices are dry and crisp, about 7 hours.

5. Allow the apple crisps to cool completely before removing from the parchment paper and serving.

These treats should be stored in an airtight container.

Apple Turnovers

Apple season is just beginning here in Southern Pennsylvania, and I have been busy plotting all of the scrumptious apple desserts that I’m going to be baking this Fall. I feel that I must disclose that my family is a little upset, because I decided to make these apple turnovers for Pacey before I made any apple turnovers, dumplings, or pies for the people in my life. (Sorry, folks!)

Since the apples in the filling will release steam as they cook, it is necessary to cut a vent in the top of each turnover. When it comes to that step, you can keep it simple or use your creativity. I just used a paring knife to cut slits in the dough, but you could use a tiny cookie cutter instead. If you happen to have small enough letter cutters, you could even cut a monogram or initial into the dough.

Due to the release of steam, it is also important to seal each turnover very well after you do the “turning over.” To do this you can simply press the dough together firmly with your fingers. I pressed the tines of a fork into the dough around the edge of the turnover to keep it closed and also add a special touch. If the turnover is not sealed properly it may pop open in the oven. If that happens, the flavor won’t be changed but the turnover sure won’t look very pretty.

These treats must be large enough to contain the filling, so for most dogs you’ll need to break each treat in half (or even smaller pieces) before serving it. If you don’t have a round cutter about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, you can use a saucer or small bowl as a template to cut out the dough circles. Simply flip the saucer upside down onto the sheet of rolled-out dough and use a sharp paring knife to cut around the saucer.

Apple Turnover

I made these turnovers using local apples from the first harvest of honeycrisp at Hollabaugh Brothers Farm.

Apple Turnovers

Makes about 8 treats

Dough:

2 tablespoons unsweetened natural applesauce

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup water

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Filling:

1/3 cup small diced apples **peel, core, and seeds removed**

1 tablespoon unsweetened natural applesauce

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Egg wash:

1 large egg

1 tablespoon skim milk (optional)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. To make the dough:  place the applesauce, honey, and water in a bowl and stir to combine.

3. Mix in the flour. Use your hands to knead until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

4. To make the filling:  stir the apples, applesauce, and cinnamon together until the apples are well-coated with the applesauce. Reserve.

5. Roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut the dough into circles. Fold each round of dough in half and then open it back up, so that you can tell where the center of the circle is.

6. In the top hemisphere (“top half”) of each round of dough, cut a small vent using a paring knife or decorative cutter.

7. Place about 1 teaspoon of the apple filling onto the bottom hemisphere (“bottom half”) of each round of dough.

8. Fold the top half of the circle down over the bottom half, so that you have a half moon shape. Firmly press the two edges of dough together to seal the turnover.

9. Arrange the turnovers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

10. To make the egg wash: combine the egg and the milk, and whisk well.

11. Use a pastry brush to LIGHTLY brush the top of each turnover with eggwash.

12. Bake until the dough is light golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. The filling will be piping hot when the treats come out of the oven, so be sure to allow the turnovers to cool completely before serving.

These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

I. Love. Autumn. I love absolutely everything about the Autumn season: the cool weather, the beautiful leaves, the bountiful harvest of apples and gourds, and the comfort foods that are made with all that delicious seasonal produce. I really can’t emphasize enough how happy I am that it’s September and the first day of Fall is right around the corner. I understand that some of you (mostly students and beach bunnies) do not share my great joy at reaching September, but I’m going to go ahead and celebrate with this recipe anyway! And even if you’re already missing the sunshine of summer, I’m sure that you can still appreciate this take-off on the crowning glory of Autumn baking:  pumpkin pie!

Surprisingly, most dogs like the flavor of pumpkin as much as we humans do. (And even if your dog doesn’t go crazy for pumpkin, these treats have a touch of peanut butter to sweeten the deal.) Now, I understand that a lot of you won’t take the time to make your own pumpkin puree from scratch. Using canned pumpkin is perfectly fine, but be sure to buy “pure pumpkin puree” and NOT pumpkin pie filling. There’s actually a big difference, and you don’t want the sugar and other additives contained in canned pumpkin pie filling to go into your dog treats.

These treats are packed with flavor and are definitely tasty enough for you to enjoy right along with your dog. Plus, the wonderful aroma of these treats baking is guaranteed to put you in the mood for Fall.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

Pumpkin Dog Treats

Makes about 130 small treats

 

1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup water

4 tablespoons natural, unsalted peanut butter

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 cups unbleached white flour

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, water, and peanut butter.

3. Stir the pumpkin pie spice into the flour.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring to combine. Use your hands to knead the mixture until a smooth, homogenous dough forms. (If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.)

5. On a generously floured countertop, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/2-inch thick. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces.

6. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet, and bake for about 9 minutes. Flip each of the treats over, return to the oven, and continue baking for 9 minutes more, until firm to the touch. Allow the treats to cool completely before serving.

 

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