Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Very Vegan Christmas: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

No need to start with a pic of food. We all know this post is really about adorable puppies. Meet Harry (and Mr. Fox) and Queen Faye.
My sister has one gigantic advantage over every other individual I know; she has Harry and Faye, the world's most incredible dogs. Harry is the world's cutest (but not the brightest) puppy. We're convinced he is made of pudding instead of bones. His mother Faye has possibly the most distinct personality of any dog (a good deal of that personality is an always amusing side that we'll just call "alphaness") and is constantly in search of food (especially elusive trash cheese). Harry is the Butters to Faye's Cartman (or the Stevie to her Kenny). Together these muppet/ewok hybrids are an unstoppable force that could melt even the most hardened soul.

Yes, being ridiculously cute will earn you treats. Sadly, when I try these faces in public they just result in weird looks from the rest of the bar.
It's impossible to even begin to fathom how we used to live life without them. Thankfully, one day I was a disgusting boy and hadn't showered after the gym causing my sister and Bryan to detour to a pet store where they snatched up these amazing rescues. Certainly, this was the greatest reward for laziness in the history of the world. For the past three years they have provided us with an endless supply of love, dog cuddles and entertainment, so we knew our massive Christmas cooking adventure wouldn't be complete without whipping up something to show our appreciation.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats
Servings: 12 dog treats
Time: 45 minutes

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Bears and birds and turkeys (?), oh my!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Whisk the peanut butter, pumpkin and oil together in a stand mixer at medium speed until well incorporated.
  3. Stir in the water, salt and cinnamon until smooth.
  4. Gradually add the flours at medium-low speed until a thick dough forms.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out fun shapes with a cookie cutter.
  6. Put the shapes on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15-30 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies) making sure to flip once halfway through. The final product should be slightly browned on each side. You can vary the desired level of crispiness to fit your dog's needs by altering the cookie time.
  7. Put on protective gear so as not to be injured by the crazed puppies.
I can't even begin to describe the anarchy that erupted when the dogs realized these treats were for them. Faye normally will knock you over for any sort of food, but she entered a new level of mania when it came to these treats (I'm pretty sure she would've stabbed us for them if she had the means). Meanwhile, the usually nervous Harry suddenly gave into his inner werewolf and was ready to take on the world. All their training (well the minor training they picked up) was thrown out the window. The word "sit" lost all meaning as they were driven by the uncontrollable hunger and darkness. Their reaction even eclipsed their response to a dog cupcake from Sprinkles, so I think our doggy baking excursion was a massive success. The video that might as well be a sequel to Cloverfield speaks for itself.

After Faye knocked me over, I had a sneaking suspicion that they liked them. Sadly, there were no survivors of the attack.
Faye understands that sitting at the table results in food. She eagerly awaits more treats.
Personally, I thought they were a little dry and tasteless, but dogs have more taste buds for this kind of thing.
And now for what will surely be the most popular blog feature ever: 

Pictures of Puppies Getting Christmas Presents!

Harry tries to decide how he feels about his squirrel puzzle toy.
After much careful deliberation, he approves of the gift from his best friend.

Faye doesn't want to wait for pesky things like removing the twist ties.
Faye plays with one of the many toys she stole from Harry.
Between the dog treats, stuffed animals, a trip to the park and countless belly rubs, I think the dogs had a banner day. They deserved it because Christmas wouldn't have been the same without them. Now I'll just go stare at the million pictures I took of them while I await my next trip to L.A., or, perhaps, I'll get cracking on a doggy care package...

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