Happy Birthday George! For he’s a jolly good fellow! As promised, these are the Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies. I’ve been interested in making my own dog biscuits since I first saw the price of the ones you can buy at specialty shops. How do they cost more than people cookies?
Taylor and I have been a dog owners for a little less than a year, and I figured it was time to learn how to make treats for our little buddy.
Here’s the story of how we came to own George.
Last spring there was a break-in only a couple of streets away in our neighborhood. It was shocking because crime in our area is statistically quite low, mostly limited to car break-ins and vandalism. Armed robbery was the last thing we expected to hear about! Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the incident made me really interested in getting a guard dog for the long nights that Taylor was away at school.
I did a bunch of research on “top 10 guard dog breeds,” and started fantasizing about having an adorable little German Shepherd puppy. Taylor has always wanted a Basset Hound, but I wasn’t interested. At least not at that time. How was a big slobbery lug going to protect us from anything?
I was looking up German Shepherd rescues, and researching how to train them, and picking out names in my head…
Then, someone at Taylor’s work said they knew of a one year old Bassset looking for a new home. Taylor said we had to just check it out. “You know, Bassets have a really big bark that would scare off intruders!” he argued.
Well, I met him, and I couldn’t resist his big floppy face or his stubby little legs. You guys, his legs are so stubby that when he lies on the ground with his feet out in front of him, there’s barely even any leg. He can almost rest his chin on his feet. He’s relatively trim, for a Basset anyway, and his belly is mere inches from the ground!
I mean could you resist this face?
It turned out that he didn’t make a peep. He didn’t actually make any noise for like 6 weeks. Now, he will bark if the doorbell rings. One big woof, and then he’s done. We’ve only heard him bay a couple of times; once when he was locked outside and once when I slept in, and he wanted breakfast. Don’t take attention or food away from a Basset!
His first owners had high hopes that he would be a champion show dog, just like his father. Although his build are markings are stunning, he has one fatal flaw.
He has an underbite, and two snaggle teeth that sit behind his row of front teeth. He was in a couple of shows, and the judges said he was a best in show dog…until he opened his mouth.
With his career over before it began, his owners decided to find a new home for him.
I went to pick him up after we decided to take him, and they assured me that he was an angel in the car, and he didn’t cry or bark at all. While it’s true that he was quiet, I had to drive home with all the windows down on the freeway, because apparently, for George
Fear = Flatulence
I didn’t know if this was because he was nervous, or if we had just committed to caring for a dog that farted 24-7. Fortunately, the tooting ceased once we got home!
The first night we brought him home, he walked around our house and tentatively nibbled on the brand new plush toys that were sitting on his bed. When we woke up after his first night, he had taken every dirty sock that was laying around our house and piled them on his bed. That was when we realized he has a sock fetish.
This picture is from the fall when we went to Alaska. I was packing in the living room from a clean load of laundry, and I left the room for a second. When I came back, all the pairs of socks I’d tucked into my suitcase were spread around the floor.
This is when I accidentally left my sock drawer open in my closet.
He drug out every single sock, glove, and pair of tights I own. Fortunately, his interest seemed to stop at slobbering profusely on them. He’s destroyed a few pairs of shoes by chewing them up, but socks for some reason he’s gentle with.
Trash…not so much. Once I left a bag out on the porch because it was pouring rain, and I forgot about it.
I came home form work the next day to this scene in the backyard…
Another time I came home and caught him in this act…
Immediately, he tried to melt into the floor and disappear.
Fortunately, we figured out pretty quickly that as long as he had plenty of chew toys and bones, his destruction was kept to a minimum.
A few months ago, I got this bright idea that I would get a rebounder (mini trampoline you jump on for exersize). I ordered a cheap one off amazon and tried it out. It was a great work out, and I was excited about it…for like a week.
George is the only one who uses it now. Apparently, because Bassets are so low to the ground, they love to be up high. It got to the point that he wasn’t even using his bed anymore if the rebounder was out. Now we just keep his bed on top of it, and he spends about 90% of his time asleep on it.
Anyway, you can see why we had to make George some cookies on his birthday. He has been a constant source of entertainment for us, and great companionship, especially for me, when Taylor was at night school. He’s always always happy, and ready to give slobbery, squishy hugs 24/7.
These two ♡
All right, thanks for hanging in there while I told you George’s life story.
Lets talk about these easy, tasty (according to George) dog biscuits.
They take hardly any time at all. You just need a mixer and whatever cookie cutter your heart desires.
The dough is forgiving. It’s supposed to be dry, and the texture isn’t all that important when you are feeding them to a creature that would eat straight out of the litter box if you didn’t barricade it with a baby gate (truth).
Pumpkin is actually really good for dog’s digestion. It’s recommended, if you change a dogs food, that you give them a little bit of pumpkin with the meals to ease the transition. Puppies need fiber too!
The little basset tails were hard to lift off without breaking or warping them, but it actually made the cookies look kind of cute because all the tails weren’t identical.
Bassets were bred to have a long straight tail that points straight up, so hunters could keep track of them in tall grasses. In our house, it’s more like we can see the tip of his tail when he walks by the kitchen window, but you know…still useful.
If you’re more talented than me, go nuts with the frosting and pipe spots, feet, eyes, nose, and all the little details. I tried that with the first one, and it looked like a pre-schooler did it, so I decided to stick to an outline. I can trace.
Patience is a virtue, George!
They will get a little darker when they bake, which make the white icing stand out even more.
I tried one and it basically just tasted like a really boring cracker! Not to George though, he begged for more.
The cream cheese frosting does mean that they need to be refrigerated, and don’t last more than a week, but you can freeze them. Of course, George wishes I gave him 3+ a day, but it’s hard enough not to let him get fat anyway.
What special things have you done for your pets on their birthdays? (Please tell me I’m not alone)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup pumpkin
- ½ cup peanut butter (all natural kind)
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbl yogurt
- 1 tbl cornstarch
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two jelly roll pans with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine pumpkin, peanut butter, egg and mix on medium speed for a couple of minutes until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl, and mix for another minute to make sure it's really well mixed.
- In a medium bowl combine flour and salt.
- Turn the mixer on lowest speed, and add flour a little bit at a time. Mix until well combined. Transfer dough to a well floured surface. Pat into a nice round.
- Coat rolling pin in flour and roll dough to ⅛ inch thickness, sprinkling more flour whenever it gets sticky.
- Cut out cookies with preferred cookie cutter, and carefully place on parchment lined baking sheets. Combine scraps, roll and cut again, and repeat until dough is gone.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cookies are set and slightly darker brown. Let cool at least 30 minutes before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, add all ingredients. Mix on low until just incorporated, a minute or two, then mix on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add frosting to piping bag fitted with a very small round tip and outline the cookies (or decorate however you want)
- Let cookies sit out for a few hours while frosting sets, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.