Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Baking for the Dogs

I grew sweet potatoes this year for the first time, breaking my number one gardening rule: Don't grow vegetables that you don't like. Since I started growing food to sell at the farmer's market, I decided it would be okay to grow them. After all, I could just sell them, right? 

So, how did that work out? Not so well. I harvested a surplus of the ugliest sweet potatoes that the world has ever seen. They are so ugly that I can't sell them. Many of the sweet potatoes are split or have insect damage. Fortunately, once I cut away the bad spots, they are still perfectly usable. If only I liked to eat sweet potatoes...

Usually the chickens are the beneficiaries of the less than perfect produce, but this time the sweet potatoes are going to the dogs. I've been making batches of dehydrated, sweet potato chews that my dogs snarf up as fast as I can make them.

In fact, my dogs have eaten so many sweet potatoes that they are now dreaming of sweet potatoes! Right, Bailey!

With so many sweet potatoes still to eat, I decided to get a little more creative and do some baking. Today I'm making dog biscuits from a simple recipe I found on the web.

The recipe calls for:

1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour

To cook the sweet potatoes, I peeled them and cut them into bite sized cubes. Then, I placed them in a microwaveable dish and cooked them on high until they were fork tender. After they cooled a bit, I mashed them with a potato masher until they were smooth.

I beat the eggs and then added the apple sauce and sweet potatoes in a large bowl.

After the wet ingredients were well blended, I added the flour.

I kneaded the dough until the flour was incorporated, and then, I plopped the dough onto a well-floured surface.

I rolled the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. I noticed the thicker cuts were a little more biscuit-like while the thinner cuts were very hard and crispy after cooking. My dogs didn't seem to have a preference.

I'm using a cute, little bone shaped biscuit cutter that I found at Walmart. I like to get a little flour on my cutter, so the biscuit dough doesn't stick. Works like a charm.

These biscuits don't contain any shortening, which will hopefully extend their shelf life. I didn't want to make the biscuits greasy by spraying the cookie sheet with cooking spray, so I opted for parchment paper.

I baked the biscuits at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. The more dried out and hard they are, the longer they will last at room temperature. Still, I wouldn't expect them to keep for more than a week or so. I think I'll give some away to friends and freeze some for later.

These biscuits are definitely puppy approved. My dogs loved them!