Chloe Coscarelli gives a dog treat to her furry friend Bowie; Photo: Mikey Pozarik @ Paperwhite Studio
While those who truly want to pamper their pet can seek out chef-made treats, that’s not always an easy thing to do.
“There’s a really limited selection of dog treats if you want them to be natural and healthful, and they can be really expensive,” says Chloe Coscarelli, a vegan chef who has developed vegan bones and mini cupcakes for dogs.
An alternative? Make your own. If you want to give Fido a haute dog treat, try one of these recipes that chefs are making for their four-legged friends.
Vegan Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Coscarelli, who opened by Chloe, a vegan restaurant in July in the West Village of New York City, developed these biscuits so dogs could have vegan treats, too. Some of the profits from the sale of the treats ($5 a bag) are given to the Humane Society.
(Makes about 50 treats)
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup water, plus extra as needed
1/3 creamy peanut butter, softened
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
2 cups vegan carob chips, optional
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, water, peanut butter, and molasses with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons water so that dough comes together and is moist. Put the dough on a floured surface and press with your hands until the dough is about ¼-inch thick. Using a 2-inch dog-bone cookie cutter, cut out dog treats, and place them close together on a large baking sheet.
Bake treats for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and leave them in the oven to harden for a few hours or overnight.
When treats are dry and cooled, melt carob chips, if using, in a double boiler or microwave. Dip half of the dog bone into the melted carob and set on a rack to dry. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Chef Greg Baker with his pit bull Ricky Bobby; Photo: Courtesy The Refinery.
Cinnamon and Sweet Potato Pup Treats
Greg Baker, the chef of The Refinery, a farm-to-table restaurant in the Seminole Heights of Tampa, Fla., whips up these treats for his pit bull Ricky Bobby, who loves cinnamon. Baker cautions to never include onion, garlic, raisins or chocolate in the recipe because they are can be harmful to dogs’ health.
(Makes 10-15 treats)
1 ½ cups whole-heat or white flour
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
½-cup fully cooked, peeled, and mashed sweet potato
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a bowl add all ingredients except the vegetable oil and mix until well combined. Make sure the sweet potato is fully incorporated. The dough will be firm but slightly sticky.
Knead the dough into a ball and roll onto a floured surface unit it is ¼-inch thick and cut with a bone-shaped cookie cutter. Take a paper towel and coat with vegetable oil and the grease cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned at the edges. The cookies should be crunchy, then give it two more minutes in the oven. Keep in mind that when the cookies completely cool, they will be harder.
Photo: Courtesy Hotel Bel-Air
Luxe Bacon and Peanut Butter Treats
At the luxurious Hotel Bel-Air in Beverley Hills, Calif., even the pooches get pampered. Dogs that stay with their guests on property get amenities like a designer dog bed, a bone-shaped bowl with bottled water, a doggie bandana, and, of course, personalized dog biscuits. Pastry chef Jen Shen created the recipe with both bacon and peanut butter, two doggie favorites.
(Makes 20-25 treats)
4 eggs, whisked
½ cup bacon drippings
2 cups vegetable stock
1 (10 ounce) jar creamy peanut butter
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-½ cups corn meal
In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, bacon drippings, and vegetable stock. Add peanut butter and mix until combined. Add all dry ingredients together and mix until it becomes a smooth dough. Roll out to ½-inch thick and punch out with your favorite dog bone cookie cutter.
Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until dry.
Gizzy, the resident dog of the Strand Bookstore in New York City sits at Bodgea Negra; credit: @newyorkdog
Bodega Negra Café began giving out these Milkbone-style homemade dog treats this summer to owners who stop by the space’s retractable sidewalk window in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Chef Michael Armstrong, who owns two miniature schnauzers Sofia and Carter, asked pastry chef Mauricio Santelice to create homemade treats with whole-wheat flour and bacon fat.
(Makes about 80 treats)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup corn meal
½ cup bacon fat
3 tablespoons of chicken stock
¾ cup milk
Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add eggs and milk, combine and make a dough.
Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes then roll it ½ inch thick, and cut any shape you want. Bake at 320°F for 15 minutes.