It’s National Dog Day – a day to celebrate the love and companionship of dogs everywhere. And what’s better received by your canine friend than something edible? Homemade dog treats make a great project for kids – helping them create a special treat for their pup is rewarding to them both, and the smell of cinnamon baking is good for your own mental well-being too: according to a recent study, the odour of cinnamon enhanced participants’ cognitive processing.
These teeny cinnamon bun biscuits are made with whole wheat flour and canola oil, which contains heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega 3 fatty acids. They look as good as they taste; having been rolled into a log and sliced they resemble the real thing – even more so if you spread or drizzle them with cream cheese, thinned with a little water. Drizzling is easy if you put the sugar-free cream cheese “icing” in a zip-lock bag and snip off one corner to squeeze the mixture out.
To package these tasty little treats to give as a gift, fill a Chinese take-out container that has been lined with tissue or shredded paper, and attach a copy of the recipe!
Cinnamon Bun Bites
2 cups (500 mL) whole wheat flour
1 tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp. (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) water or milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) honey
1 tsp. (5 mL) cinnamon
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Cream cheese drizzle (optional):
1/4 cup (60 mL) light cream cheese
1-2 Tbsp. (15-30 mL) milk or water
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl stir together water, oil and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until you have a soft dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough into a rectangle that measures roughly 8×14-inch. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts, if using. Starting from a long edge, roll up jelly-role style and pinch the edge to seal. Using a sharp serrated knife or (even better) dental floss, slice half an inch thick and place slices cut side down on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until springy to the touch. Wait until they have cooled completely before you spread them with cream cheese.
Makes about 2 dozen biscuits. Store extra in a tightly covered container of freeze. If they are frosted, store the container in the fridge.