These dog biscuits really do make a good human treat too! The delicious, sweet-tart flavor of the Granny Smith apple is given a boost by the addition of applesauce and honey. Granny Smiths are the classic choice for baking, because they hold up well and won’t turn to mush in the oven, but you can use another apple if you’d like. Besides the fact that they’re naturally yummy, apples are also rich in fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
In those moments when you just don’t have the time to whip up a dog treat recipe, apple chunks (with the core and any seeds removed) make a healthy snack for your pooch, and most dogs really love the crunchy texture.
Apple Cinnamon Dog Biscuits
Makes about 40 (1 ½ inch) biscuits
1/3 cup grated Granny Smith apple (peel removed first)
3 tablespoons unsweetened natural applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups whole wheat flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Place the grated apple, applesauce, honey, egg, and water in a bowl and stir to combine.
3. Sift the ground cinnamon into the flour.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 or 3 additions, stirring well after each addition.
5. Knead the mixture by hand until a smooth, flexible dough forms.
6. On a very generously floured countertop, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use your desired cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Arrange the pieces on an ungreased baking sheet.
7. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
These treats may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature but will last longer in the refrigerator.
With their delicious natural sweetness, apples make a great flavoring ingredient for dog treats. Whenever you’re baking it’s very important to choose a crisp apple with flesh that won’t break down into mush in the oven. The classic choice for baking is Granny Smith, which I used when I developed this recipe, but there are plenty of other varieties of apple that hold up equally well in the oven. You may want to branch out and try a Jonathon, Jonagold, Braeburn, Fuji, or Cortland apple, for example.
All of the ingredients in this recipe are readily available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find wheat germ in the baking aisle, it may be hiding in the organic or health food section. Although wheat germ is generally accepted as a safe ingredient and is perfectly harmless to most pets, some dogs can develop sensitivities to wheat (i.e. gastrointestinal issues). If this is the case with your pooch, you can omit the wheat germ and whole wheat flour in this recipe and substitute 2 cups of all-purpose or unbleached white flour instead.
For easy clean up and, of course, for the cuteness factor, I used decorative paper muffin cups to line the pan, but they’re not really necessary. Just remember to spray the pan generously with cooking spray if you’re not using the liners, because this batter tends to stick to the pan. And hopefully this goes without saying, but . . . if you use the paper liners, remember to remove them before serving to your dog.
These treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature but will last longer if stored in the refrigerator.
Apple Mini Muffins
Makes about 42 muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
1/4 of a granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and small diced (about 1/3 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.
3. Add the egg, honey, water, applesauce, and diced apple. Stir to combine.
4. Prepare the mini muffin pan by lining with paper muffin cups or spraying lightly with cooking spray.
5. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way up.
6. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and spring back when touched, about 9 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool completely before serving.
NOTE: To make standard size muffins, prepare as above but increase the baking time to about 20 minutes.