Peanut Butter Snowballs

There’s quite a bit of snow on the ground outside my window here in Gettysburg, and I’d say we’ve officially arrived in the dead of winter. Given these chilly conditions, frozen dog treats may not seem very seasonal, but I thought that I could get away with it if the frozen goodies looked like little snowballs. Plus, my dog and his pals seem to enjoy frozen treats no matter what the season!

These simple, no-bake treats consist of a peanut butter base that is rolled in unsweetened coconut flakes to give it the snowy look. If you’re in a rush or don’t happen to have the coconut on hand, you can certainly skip that step and just freeze the peanut butter mixture in balls, or press the mixture into an ice cube tray or other mold before popping them into the freezer. The coconut flour really helps give this dough the body that it needs to be easily rolled into balls, but in a pinch it can be replaced with an extra 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats.

If you’re going to be storing these treats in the freezer for any amount of time, I find it best to freeze them inside an airtight container–such as Gladware or Tupperware–lined with wax paper. If your furry friends are going to be eating the treats right away, you could just freeze the treats on a plate, platter, or tray lined with wax paper and covered with plastic wrap.

 Peanut Butter Snowballs

Peanut Butter Snowballs

Makes about 24 treats

1 cup natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup coconut flour

Unsweetened flaked coconut, as needed for coating

 

1. In a bowl, combine the peanut butter, oats, and coconut flour.

2. Place about 3/4 cup of the coconut flakes in a small, shallow bowl.

3. Use a tablespoon or small scoop the peanut butter mixture into portions. Roll each scoop between your hands to form it into a ball.

4. One by one, place each peanut butter ball into the bowl of coconut and roll it around until the ball is completely coated in coconut.

5. Arrange the treats inside a container or on a plate lined with wax paper and place them inside the freezer for at least 2 hours. The treats can be placed very close together for freezing but should be arranged in a single layer if you want to keep the round shape.

 

Pumpkin Pupcakes

I don’t bake doggie cupcakes very often (mostly because a couple of my taste-testers are very messy eaters), but they are the perfect treat for special occasions. It takes surprisingly little effort to make beautiful dog-safe cupcakes that look and smell yummy enough for humans to eat. The Pumpkin Pupcakes recipe that I’m sharing today smells particularly delicious when it’s baking on a crisp Autumn day. The pumpkin flavor pairs really well with natural peanut butter frosting, and the frosted pupcakes would make an excellent addition to any Halloween, Thanksgiving, or birthday celebration.

 Pumpkin Pupcakes

Pumpkin Pupcakes

Makes about 24 mini cupcakes

2/3 cup oat flour

2/3 cup brown rice flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups canned 100% pure pumpkin puree

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

Natural, unsalted peanut butter, as desired for frosting (optional)

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line each cavity of a mini muffin tin with paper liners or very lightly coat each cavity with canola oil.

3. Combine the oat flour, rice flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, and stir to combine.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, honey, and oil.

5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.

6. Spoon the batter into each of the prepared cavities of the mini muffin tin. Be careful not to overfill; each cup should be about 3/4 full of batter.

7. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tops of the pupcakes are firm to the touch.

8. Allow the pupcakes to cool completely before removing them from the mini muffin tin.

9. If desired, frost the top of each pupcake with a thin layer of natural peanut butter.

NOTE: Paper cupcake liners are a pretty touch that make for a very nice presentation; however, you should always REMOVE THE PAPER LINERS BEFORE FEEDING THE TREAT TO YOUR DOG.

 

These treats are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Carob Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a true comfort food. While there will likely be eternal debate over important issues such as whether the cookies are better “soft” or “crispy” or with chocolate “chips” or chocolate “chunks,” the universal consensus is that these simple cookies are delicious. They are everything that a cookie is meant to be and have stood the test of time.

 

This dog treat recipe produces sweet little cookies that look much like our beloved human version. Of course, the chocolate chips have been replaced with carob chips, a totally dog-safe substance that mimics the look (and some say, the flavor) of chocolate. Since carob may be a different flavor for many dogs, I added a bit of peanut butter to the cookie dough to entice pickier pooches.

 Carob Chip Cookies

Carob Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen (1-inch) cookies

 

1/3 cup natural, unsalted peanut butter

3/4 cups water

1 large egg

3 cups brown rice flour

1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the peanut butter, water, and eggs in a bowl and stir well to combine.

3. Add the flour in two additions, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the carob chips.

4. Use your hands to press the mixture together until it forms a smooth, homogenous dough.

5. Roll the dough out, and cut out using a small round cutter. I used a cutter about 1-inch in diameter.

6. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. If desired, flip the cookies over halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.

7. When done baking, turn the oven off, leave the cookies inside the oven with the door cracked, and allow the cookies to dry out for about 1 hour.

 

These treats may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature but will last longer in the refrigerator.