As the dog days of summer start heating up, it’s important to remember that your pooch is probably feeling just as hot and uncomfortable as you are! As always, you want to be sure to keep your dog’s bowl filled with clean, cool water, but from time to time it’s also nice to pamper him/her with a frosty treat. This quick and easy recipe for frozen peanut-flavored treats is a great way to help cool your hot dog down at the beach, by the pool, or after a good romp in the backyard.
Most dogs will really appreciate the novelty of a frozen treat, but as the treat starts to melt it can get pretty messy. A lot of dogs will want to play with the slippery treat like a toy—flinging, pushing, and chasing it all over the place before actually eating it. Therefore, it is best to serve these treats outdoors (or on an indoor surface that you don’t mind having to clean up).
Frozen Peanut Butter Treats
Makes about 10 small treats
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
Carob chips, as desired
1. Use a rubber spatula to stir the peanut butter together with the applesauce until the ingredients are well combined into a smooth, homogenous mixture.
2. Pour the mixture into the cavities of an ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.
3. Gently press 2 or 3 carob chips into the top of each treat.
4. Place in the freezer until firm, at least 2 hours.
Blondies are bar cookies very similar to brownies, but they have a light brown color since they are prepared without any cocoa powder. Blondies are really quick and easy to prepare, so they are the perfect thing to whip up if you ever find yourself in need of treats in a hurry. Traditional people-food blondies are flavored with brown sugar and chocolate chunks, but my trusty taste-testers went crazy over this dog-friendly recipe that features carob chips and a touch of peanut butter.
These blondies are made with oats, so they are fairly crumbly. I’ve found that it’s best to cut them into the smallest pieces that you possibly can for your dog. I got 36 squares out of my 8″ x 8″ baking dish, and those pieces were still kind of big for a small dog like Pacey, so he made a bit of a mess when he was eating them. If you’ve got a tiny dog, you may even want to bake this recipe in a 9″ x 9″ pan so that the blondies are thinner and more manageable. (Just remember to adjust the baking time if you’re using a larger pan.)
Makes about 36 squares
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain or vanilla non-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups oat flour
1 cup carob chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the eggs, honey, peanut butter, vegetable oil, and yogurt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder with the oat flour.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture, and stir to combine.
5. Stir in the carob chips until evenly dispersed.
6. Pour the batter into an 8-inch square baking dish that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray.
7. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sides start pulling away from the pan, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
8. Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut the blondies into individual portions.
These treats should be stored in the refrigerator.
I got the idea for this recipe from a batch of “human cookies” that have a Hershey’s Kiss hidden in the center. I switched up the ingredients to make these cookies dog friendly, but they are still really tasty for humans too. The cookies are also very quick to prepare and travel really well on long walks or car trips.
If you want to be extra fancy, you can roll the treats in finely chopped peanuts (unsalted), shredded coconut, or carob powder before putting them in the refrigerator to set.
No-Bake Hidden Treasure Cookies
Makes about 45 treats
2/3 cup natural peanut butter, no salt added
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup oat bran
2 tablespoons wheat germ
Unsweetened carob chips, as needed (about 1/3 cup)
1. Place the peanut butter, honey, oat bran, and wheat germ in a bowl, and stir until well combined.
2. Take about 1 teaspoon of the mixture, and form it into a ball around 1 carob chip. Repeat until you’ve used all of the mixture.
3. Allow the cookies to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
These treats should be stored in the refrigerator. They also freeze well—you can actually serve them right out of the freezer if your dog likes chilly treats.