Whether or not your pup will be beside you this afternoon watching the Super Bowl and all that comes with it – Super Bowl commercials, the Super Bowl half time show and Puppy Bowl, dogs are just as worthy of being on the receiving end of a batch of homemade snacks. Even after the festivities are over, your pup may need a homemade treat of his or her own. And of course, dogs are among the most grateful recipients of culinary efforts – a half hour spent stirring up a batch of dough, shaping and baking them into crunchy biscuits will earn their undying affection.
These treats do double duty for Valentine’s day, if your kids want to show your dog how much they love them. For a more seasonal twist, beef heart is inexpensive and often easy to find in the meat section of the grocery store; it’s rich, intensely flavored and low in fat, making it an excellent choice for dogs. Organ meats (such as liver and kidney) are also high in B vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, iron and zinc. And dogs, unlike humans, appreciate the idea of a little organ meat in their cookies. (We might think they’re offal.)
Beefy Hearts (for Dogs!)
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup beef stock, tomato juice or water
1/4 cup canola or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet set over medium heat; cook the beef and garlic until no traces of pink remain. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour and cornmeal. Stir in the beef mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together the stock, oil and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough about 1/2” thick and cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter or 1”x2” strips with a knife. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until springy to the touch.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies (depending on their size). Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freeze.