Introduction: Tuna Parmesan Spritz Cat Cookies
I am a crazy cat lady.
I have six cats, and I wanted to make them a special treat that didn't contain all the artificial preservatives and by-products that name brand treats have in them.
I've also lately been addicted to using my spritz cookie press, so I wanted to make spritz cat treats. I couldn't find a "spritz cat treats" recipe of any form on the internet, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
It was a matter of trial and error to get to the end product, because I just could NOT seem to get the dough to squirt out of the little spritz holes, no matter how much liquid I added. Try as I might, the dough would NOT form the little individual flowers that I originally wanted. I suspect the reason why this was is that the cat treat dough did not contain sugar (as regular cookie dough would), and that altered the chemistry on the dough. It probably didn't help that I was mixing and kneading the dough quite a bit while trying to figure out how much liquid to add, all the while overworking the gluten and thickening the whole mess up even more. Ugh.
The way I got around that problem was by skipping the "flower-type" spritz attachments and using the "ribbon-type" one instead. Eureka! So, to save yourself much hardship and sticky agony, use the "ribbon" attachment to your cookie gun, or else you will just end up with messy, shapeless blobs.
My cats LOVE tuna, and they're also cheese fans, so they greatly enjoyed these cat cookies!
(I got about 126 treats from this one recipe, so that's 10 1/2 dozen, depending on how big you cut them)
Note: These have to sit in the oven overnight to finish baking, so plan to make these a day ahead of time.
1 large and one medium mixing bowl
Stand mixer or hand mixer
Spritz cookie press with "ribbon" attachment
2 baking sheets (cookie sheets)
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp -1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping (finely grated, powdery-type)
1 tsp turmeric (for color and nutrition. You can leave out if you must, but they won't be as pretty)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup oat flour (or 1/2 cup dry oats, see next step)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 can tuna packed in water, or (if kitty has a particularly sensitive tummy), 1 (5 oz) can shredded wet cat food*
3/4 - 1 cup water (start with less and add more if the dough is too dry)
Optional: dried catnip (for topping)
*reserve 2 Tbsp - 1/4 cup of the tuna/wet cat food flakes.
To make the treats even more irresistible, blend the tuna-water/wet cat food liquid and the rest of the tuna/wet food flakes in a food processor and use this as the liquid instead of water. Just measure it and add enough water to it to equal 3/4 - 1 cup.
Step 2: Make Oat Flour
If you're like me and you don't always have oat flour lying around, you can easily make your own.
Just grind up 1/2 cup oats in a food processor until a nice flour forms.
Step 3: Soften and Cream Butter
You can either let the butter come to room temperature, or (the quick way) you can microwave it.
I did mine at 50% power for 30 seconds, but you might need more or less time, depending on your microwave.
Once it's softened, put in in a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer until fluffy.
Step 4: Add in Tuna, Water, and Eggs
Beat the eggs into the creamed butter, then the flaked tuna/wet cat food and water (or tuna juice/wet food liquid). Start with the smaller amount of water, as you can always add more later. Beat until well-combined.
Step 5: Mix Together All Dry Ingredients and Preheat Oven
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit (135 degrees celsius).
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
(1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour, 1 c. all-purpose flour, 1/4 c. cornmeal, 2 Tbsp - 1/4 c. parmesan, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 c. oat flour)
Step 6: Add Dry to Wet and Mix
Add dry ingredients to wet and mix by hand.
The first dough ball was too dry, so I added more water to make it softer.
You want your dough to not be super-thick, because then it will be impossible to force it out the spritz cookie press.
Step 7: Load the Gun and Line the Baking Sheets
This is what the "ribbon" attachment looks like. Remember, the star-type attachments won't work! This ribbon one is the only one that worked for me.
Unscrew the barrel and press the dough into the gun, but don't over-fill it, as this would make it too difficult to push.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper for the next step.
Step 8: Presto!
Now press hard to force that dough out in a pretty little ribbon shape.
I didn't want to grease a baking sheet for this, because that would cause the dough to slide around when I was trying to squeeze it, and I didn't know if the cookies would stick to an ungreased baking sheet or not, so I decided to play it safe and use parchment paper.
The length of each dough ribbon doesn't matter, since you'll cut them up anyway later.
I got about 9 strips on my 2 baking sheets.
Step 9: Toppings!
Sprinkle on some dried catnip (if that's your cat's thing), or some more parmesan cheese.
I did one tray of each.
Step 10: Cut Into Slices
Using the pizza cutter, slice each strip (at a diagonal angle) into sections.
Step 11: Bake and Let Sit Overnight
Bake at 275 degrees (135 c.) for 45 minutes, then without opening the oven door (Important!), turn off the oven and let the treats sit in the oven overnight. This is important, because otherwise your cat treats will be underdone and won't keep as long.
I know. Waiting is hard.
Step 12: Take 'em Out and Break 'em Apart
The next day, remove them from the oven and separate them from each other.
Step 13: Feline Feasting Time!
And that's it, you're done!
My cats greatly enjoyed these cheesy, tuna-y dainties, and I hope your cats do, too!
The treats are soft enough to be easily broken into more manageable pieces, unlike other tough, dry cat treat recipes.
Natasha, one of my cats, cooperated and let me take pictures of her chowing down on her treat.
Step 14: ...Bloopers!
This is one of my cats, Pippi.
She was very curious as to what I was making, and she just couldn't wait for me to finish taking pictures, so she helped herself!
Runner Up in the