Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don’t forget the pups! Christmas treats for locavore dogs

This might not be the typical cookie recipe you come across this time of year but I have a lot of four-legged friends in my life and I adore them all….

First, there’s Teddy, king of the AP Interiors office.  Ted is proof that good things really do come in small packages.  Here he is taking a break at Sant Ambroeus during a big installation in Southampton.

A typical office pose – on my lap.

Our adorable, sweet office puppy, Gypsy, also on my lap.

It’s much more common, however, to see Gyp chasing her tail or roaming the office, trash-picking tissues from the wastebaskets and hiding in the closet while shreding them.

I grew up with German shepherds and my sister and brother-in-law have two beauties:  Penny

and Rocky.

Last but certainly not least, the Outer Banks Crew – Shandy, Porter, and Whisky – part of my brother’s family (Note: This is not a staged pose. It really happens!)

Pets may as well be people, as far as I’m concerned, and I include them in the Christmas treats as well.  No inferior ingredients for these pooches!  I use whole wheat flour from Cooper Gristmill, an historic water-powered flour mill in Chester, New Jersey, stone-ground cornmeal from Wild Hive Farm in the Hudson Valley, wheat germ from Bob’s Red Mill in Oregon, Kate’s Homemade Butter from Maine, and yes, my favorite eggs from Quattro’s Game Farm.  Fresh mint and parsley from the farmers market do wonders for doggie breath….

Dog Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet December 2005

People have been known to eat these biscuits (ahem…they are really good).  The recipe calls for a food processor but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with mine so I mixed the dough with a pastry cutter and my hands.

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
1 ¼ cups cornmeal
1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup toasted wheat germ
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large egg

Pulse flours, cornmeal, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter lumps. Add 1 cup water and pulse until a coarse, dense dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in parsley and mint until well distributed. Gather, then halve dough and form into two balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk. Chill until firm, about a half hour.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two large baking sheets.

Roll out one disk of dough into a round (1/3 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, wrap in plastic and chill again until firm.) Cut out as many biscuits as possible and arrange about ¼ inch apart on one baking sheet.

Gather scraps and reroll, then cut out more biscuits. Repeat with remaining dough, using other baking sheet.

Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush biscuits with egg wash and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Turn off oven and dry biscuits in oven overnight. 

Makes about 5 dozen biscuits

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