Silicone bakeware is all the rage lately, and one type—a 16" x 11.5" nonstick baking mat aptly named the Pyramid Pan—can be used to whip up more than 500 dog treats in a jiff. The mat has lots of little pyramids and was originally intended for cooking meat using less fat. But flip it over and the pyramids become 556 little indentations, perfect molds for tiny dog treats. A friend pointed me to a recipe from Eileen Anderson's website that was designed to be used with these mats. In her preamble to the recipe, Anderson notes that you can use your favorite non-chunky treat recipe, but will probably need to run it through a food processor first. The dough should be smooth and about the consistency of pancake batter rather than cookie dough.
Place two upside-down mats on large cookie sheets or baking pans. Now comes the tricky part: filling the little holes. Using a spatula or silicone scraper spread the batter back and forth; you don’t want any on the boundaries between the holes, so it will take a few swipes.
TINY CHICKEN TREATS
1 10-oz. can chicken, including liquid, or 5.5 oz. cooked, chopped chicken meat and 4.5 oz. stock or water
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1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup whole wheat, sorghum or buckwheat flour (or other gluten-free flours)
1 tablespoon oil
Optional add-ins: Small amounts of flaxseed meal, chopped parsley, kelp
- Blend the chicken, the liquid and 2 eggs in a food processor.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the flours and oil. The batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter.
- Divide the batter between two silicone mats on cookie sheets as described.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely, and then have fun popping them out.
- Put the treats in bags or small glass jars; freeze some and store a week’s worth in the fridge for daily use.
This recipe makes two full sheets, or around 1,100 tasty tiny treats.
Adapted from Eileen Anderson’s recipe for Simple Baked Chicken Treats at eileenanddogs.com
For the past few years, I have been using a dehydrator to make sweet potato jerky treats as well as to dry a summer’s bounty of fruit (especially luscious strawberries), tomatoes, herbs and mushrooms. It works great. Now, the experts at Excalibur® have a new product, a smaller counter-top, six-tray model, designed especially for making treats and other small-batch goodies. It comes with a pet treat recipe book, a plastic jerky gun and cookie cutters. Great for making trail mix for those summer camping trips as well! Crafting nutritious treats for yourself and your dog has never been easier (and this model is much quieter than the standard dehydrator).
The Excalibur EPT60W 6-Tray Compact Pet Treat Dehydrator 10"W x 12"H x 8"D, around $50
- 1 cup meat, cooked (chicken, turkey, beef etc.)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1/2 cup oat bran or whole wheat flour
Cut meat into small pieces, put into a blender or food processor and blend.
Add 1/3 cup water, then puree into a thick paste. Remove to a bowl.
Add oatmeal and flour, stir well. Knead dough until well mixed. Roll out the dough on a floured board, to around 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
Place in dehydrator for about 8 to 16 hours or until crunchy. Or bake on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at a very low temperature for 2 to 3 hours or until crunchy.
Adapted from Pet Treat Recipes by Excalibur®.