When I made Mia's birthday cake earlier this year I made a confession and I'll make it again here: I'm a hopeless cook. I don't mind baking but I rush. I try to make myself enjoy the process a little more by playing music in the background at full blast, but even still, my mind's whirring with what's next on my to-do list.
Then I had a revelation that was somewhat freeing.
Unlike cooking for humans, it actually didn't matter what it tasted like - my oldest dog, Mia would eat it anyway. Don't get me wrong, I wanted it to taste nice but if I burnt the edges or if the cake was a bit dry inside, Mia wouldn't care.
So, here I am back baking for her at Christmas with my new sense of freedom in tow and this time I'm tackling a Cranberry & Turkey Christmas dog bones recipe discovered on Allrecipes.co.uk (thanks The British Baker!). They have a 4 1/2 star rating from 15 reviews so Mia and the boys should love them.
This recipe makes around 45 dog treats and takes 55 minutes to bake, with an additional 20 minutes needed for prep time.
We have all heard about the many health benefits of cranberries but you might be wondering if they're safe for dogs and they are, but it's best to feed in small amounts and you should also avoid feeding cranberry sauce to avoid giving your dog unnecessary sugar.
Photo Credit: Allrecipes.co.uk / Brie's turkey and cranberry dog bones
Here's what you'll need:
- 420g wholemeal flour (or this can be substituted to one cup of wheat flour for 1-1/4 cup of rye or oat flour or ¾ cup, rice, barley or potato flour for dogs with sensitivities)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 140g cooked turkey (chopped)
- 120g dried cranberries
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 235ml reduced salt chicken stock, or as needed
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 350F / Gas 4 (reduce the temperature slightly if your oven is fan assisted).
- Then, lightly grease two baking trays, or line them with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together until thoroughly combined. Next, stir in the cooked turkey meat and dried cranberries.
- Now, make a hole in the centre of the mix and drop the egg into the centre. Next, pour the olive oil and half of the chicken stock into the well created in the mix.
- Mix together to create a soft dough. If the mixture is too dry, mix in more chicken stock to get the right consistency - use 1 tablespoon at a time and stop when the dough is soft.
- Flour your surface and place the dough mix onto it and knead for 1-2 minutes. Then, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick and cut out with your favourite biscuit cutters - a Christmas tree is ideal for this time of year!
- Bake for around 25 minutes, or until the treats turn brown. When you're happy they're ready, turn the oven off but leave the dog treats in the oven so they can dry out. After 30 minutes, take them out to finish cooling if needed and place into plastic containers which can be sealed. Once your dog has sampled, place them in the fridge to store.
If your dog has a favourite Christmas recipe, share with us here - or let us know how you get on with the recipe above. We'll be trying it this weekend and will let you know how Mia (and I) get on...