PB&J Dog Cookies
February 14, 2020 by Nicole Collins
We have a birthday in the house!
My first baby, Bella, just celebrated her 13th birthday on Wednesday. I can’t believe it!
I brought baby Bella home when she was just 9 weeks old. 13 years later, she’s still my stubborn, headstrong, bossy, independent, super licker, sweet baby girl.
This birthday of hers is extra special this year, because I honestly didn’t think she would still be here on this Earth to celebrate it.
Bella’s age has been creeping up on her for a long time now. She’s been moving a lot slower, breathing a lot heavier, having more bad days then good. Before Charlie passed last year, my mom and I talked often about how I felt time her time was coming at any moment. Then after Charlie died, she was just so sad without her annoying little brother. I thought her broken heart might take her to be with him. I honestly didn’t think she was going to be with us another year.
Then, the day after Christmas (just a couple days before the first anniversary of Charlie’s passing), she was NOT acting herself. She’d wake up in the middle of the night endlessly crying. She’d go hide under the bed (which is her safe space when she doesn’t feel well). She was having these episodes where she’d stare at me blankly almost like she didn’t know who I was. It was terrifying. And, it also brought back some painful memories. I kept thinking she was going to cross the Rainbow Bridge on New Year’s Eve exactly 1 year after Charlie did. And, the thought killed me.
But, I took her to the vet immediately after the New Year’s holiday, and the doctor gave her a clean bill of health! She had been acting more like herself that morning, and she’s been perfectly normal ever since. The vet thinks it was just some kind of old lady episode. My stubborn old girl is not ready to give up her reign of the house yet!
Plus, I think her two new annoying little brothers keep her sprite and young. Someone needs to yell at the children to get off her lawn!
So in honor of my baby’s birthday, we’re making a treat that’s just for the pups.
Today, we’re making PB&J Dog Cookies!
First, let’s talk about the “J” part of our PB&J cookies. Doggies can’t have real jam. There’s WAY too much sugar for their little bodies. So, we’re going to simulate the jam part by using freeze dried strawberries!
Freeze dried strawberries are just strawberries that have had the moisture taken out of them. They’re still 100% fruit. It’s very important that you get freeze dried strawberries and not just dried strawberries. They’re two completely different things. Dried strawberries are more like gummies, and they have sugar and preservatives added that can make our babies sick. If all else fails, check the back of the package. If you see any other ingredients besides strawberries, keep it moving.
The benefit of using freeze dried strawberries over fresh strawberries is that we don’t have that extra water content from the fresh berries potentially making our cookies soggy. Plus, the freeze dried fruit kind of rehydrates in the dough while cooking, so it still has a soft texture in the cookie.
The rest of the cookie dough is simple. We just need peanut butter, eggs, old fashioned oats that we're going to ground into a flour, and applesauce. Mix it. Roll it out. Chill it. Cut it with adorable cookie cutters. Bake. And, serve! But remember, just like with their human parents, doggies should eat cookies in moderation.
I have a house full of peanut butter lovers, so these were a big hit with the pups. I really don’t know how I still have both hands. Bella nearly takes one of my fingers with her EVERY time I give her a treat!
Ok, guys. Next week we’re going to start something super fun. So, stay tuned.
For now, let’s bake!
PB&J Dog Cookies
Serves: about 16 cookies Print
1 ¼ cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup peanut butter
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup freeze dried strawberries, chopped
whole wheat flour, for dusting (all purpose will work too)
In a personal rocket blender or small food processor, grind the oats into a powder the consistency of flour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie tray with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, add oat flour, applesauce, peanut butter, and egg; and beat with a hand mixer. Add strawberries, and mix by hand until combined. Set in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll cookie dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough in to desired shapes. Place cookies on the parchment lined cookie tray. Bake for 17-19 minutes until the cookies start to become golden brown. Cool completely before giving to the babies. Keep stored in an air tight container for about a week.
*Make sure you get freeze dried strawberries and not dried strawberries for this recipe. They are two completely different things. Freeze dried strawberries and just strawberries that have had the moisture drawn out of them. When you look at the ingredient list, the only ingredient you should see is “strawberries”. Dried strawberries are a sweeter, gummier treat that have lots of sugar and preservatives added that can make our babies sick. We DO NOT want dried strawberries. If you're ever in doubt if you have the correct item, check the ingredient list. Also, feel free to use fresh diced strawberries, but it could impact the cooking time by a minute or two because of the moisture in the fresh fruit.
*The oats will break down into a flour like powder pretty quickly. A few little pieces that didn't break down are certainly fine.
*As with every treat, moderation is key.
*I got the personalized cookie cutter from Etsy.