Sidalee's favorite treats

My little beagle, Sidalee, is by all accounts, spoiled rotten. I’m very picky about the things she eats because the things produced in China don’t have the best track records. Most of the dog treats available here have questionable ingredients or are imported and consequently really expensive. So rather than risk her health or sacrifice my budget, I have started making her treats by hand.

I used them for Sida’s stocking stuffers, and a present for a coworker in Shanghai who has a dog. This recipe is great because it can help you use up the last ends of cheeses that are going dry or you won’t be using before they go bad. They’re really fragrant and your dogs will love them. In fact they were so fragrant, I ran the risk of having someone else in the house love them a little too much. Walker had never seen me make dog treats before, and so I was afraid that he would think they were Walker treats. To help him remember these were for Sida and not for him, I hand stamped little paw prints in each of them with the back end of a serving spoon for the pads and the knife sharpener for the toes.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup butter
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 Tbl. sugar
2 tsp. chicken or beef flavored instant bouillon
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg (beaten)
2-3 cups flour

Preparation

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl combine rolled oats, butter, bouillon and boiling water; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in cornmeal, sugar, milk, cheese & egg. Mix well, and then add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to form a stiff dough.

3. On a floured surface, knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth & no longer sticky, 3-4 minutes. Pat out dough to 1/2 inch thickness; cut with any small shaped cookie cutter. Of course if you have bone cookie cutters those would be adorable, but you know how I am about one-trick kitchen tools.  Place 1″ apart on greased cookie sheets.

A little paw to dissuade Walker from stealing Sida's treats

4. Go through each cookie, if you choose, and make a little paw print. Some easy to findtools to do this could be pencils, spoons, knife sharpeners, or straws. Just use your imagination, no extra tools necessary.

5. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, store loosely covered. 3-1/2 dozen Large or 8 dozen small dog biscuits.

Critics Corner:

My usual food critic could not help me review this recipe. Sida was too busy wolfing them down to comment, and my coworker’s dog also inhaled them.

Variations:

If you want, you could also stir in half a cup of peanut butter to these cookies instead of the cheese, and then sweeten with honey instead of sugar. It’s a great flavor for your four legged friends and an inexpensive way to keep them healthy and happy.

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