If, like me and thousands of other Americans, you will be dressing your dog up in an exceedingly silly costume this evening, then your poor pooch certainly deserves a special Halloween treat! You can make this recipe as simple or as fancy as you like. The carrot cut-out cookies look pretty even if they are left plain. I took the extra time to decorate the treats. I used melted yogurt chips to make an easy icing for the cookies, but you could use melted carob chips or dog treat coating chips or make your own sugar-free peanut butter or cream cheese icing (or use all of the above!) to decorate. I used unsweetened carob chips for the ghosts’ eyes. Other ingredients that make great, dog-safe “sprinkles” are: sesame seeds, yogurt chips, natural peanut butter chips, crumbled bacon, shredded or diced carrot, blueberries, or unsweetened dried cranberries.
Remember your mom warning you not to pig out on too much Halloween candy while trick-or-treating? The same principle holds true with Halloween dog treats. You don’t want to load these cookies down with too many toppings or your dog could end up with a tummy-ache. Less is always more: this recipe should only be fed sparingly as a special holiday treat.
Carrot Halloween Treats
Makes about 8 large treats
1/4 cup finely shredded carrots
1 tablespoon honey
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
About 2 cups yogurt chips (or your desired icing)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the carrots, honey, egg, and water in a bowl.
3. Combine the cinnamon with the flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir to combine. Use your hands to gently knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Arrange the treats on a prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. To ensure even browning, flip the treats over halfway through the baking time.
6. While the treats are cooling, place the yogurt chips in a metal bowl and place over a small pot of simmering water. Stir the yogurt chips with a rubber spatula until they are just melted. Be very careful not to overheat them!
7. Once the treats are completely cool, decorate them with the icing. You can spread the icing using an offset spatula or pipe the icing onto the cookies using a piping bag. Allow the icing to fully set and serve.
These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.
Bunnies aren’t the only animals that get to enjoy eating carrots this time of year! Carrots are possibly the most nutritious vegetable for dogs. They are low in calories and high in antioxidants, beta carotene, and soluble and insoluble fiber. The carrots in this recipe are pureed, but chunks or slices of carrots or baby carrots can be fed as a snack to help clean your dog’s teeth naturally. Frozen carrots also make a great chew-toy for puppies that are teething.
Carrot Mini Muffins
Makes 38 muffins
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, peeled, shredded
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the honey, oil, egg, and carrots in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir well to combine.
5. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners, and spray each one lightly with cooking spray. Fill each mini muffin cup about 2/3 of the way full with the batter.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 16 minutes.
Store these treats in the refrigerator.