I recently made more dog treats for my mini-poodle mix (his name is Stewart). You can read about him and my love for making my own dog treats in the intro to Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Dog Treats.
This Instructable for pumpkin pie treats should come as no surprise to all who know my work, as I am NOT one to cook well.
I like easy recipes that contain few ingredients and steps, and are pretty much fool proof.
One of the many things I love about dogs is that they don't complain about their food, unlike their human brothers and sisters, and don't need sugar to be satisfied with the taste of a treat.
I really think that's helped my mini-poo to make it to 14-years old and counting....
But I digress.
I made these treats for two main reasons: (1) I like making healthy, homemade dog treats and (2) I considered it a "challenge" to make dog treats to look like "pies."
Because my mini poodle mix is only 14-pounds, I made the pie-like treats small, using some silicone (reusable) cup cake baking liners.
Even after the pumpkin pies were made, I still cut the little pies into quarters, because as you know, treats are not supposed to supplement dog food, and those cupcake-sized pies are just too big for a treat for him.
So to be clear: This is an Instructable for homemade dog treats, that look like (and have ingredients like) little pumpkin pies.
Although, I wouldn't be concerned if a human ate them. ;)
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Step 1: Ingredients & Tools
I spent a good two hours or so in the kitchen making these, but they came out so cute and perfect that I'm not complaining about it. They were a labor of love for my pup and several other neighbor dogs.
You'll have to check out the pumpkin & peanut butter dog treat recipe for the small batch of treats (and free recipe card!) but I will reiterate the recipe here.
Dog Treat Crust
- 2 & 1/2-cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2-tablespoons pumpkin puree (we used canned)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour plus one-half (1/2) cup separated out
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned)
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
- 4 eggs
- large mixing bowl
- small or medium mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- parchment paper
- optional wax paper for easy clean-up
- three & one-half (3-1/2) inch diameter circular cutter (I used a large mouthed cup)
- silicone baking cups, total of 12 (or a paper-lined cupcake pan)
- cookie sheets
- cookie cutters (preferably bone shaped but any could do as dogs aren't picky!)
- airtight container such as zipped plastic bags, plastic containers with lids or mason jars for storage
Step 2: Pie Crust - Mix & Knead
As described in Step 3 of the Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Dog Treat recipe, (and I made the SMALL BATCH,) I mix the wet ingredients separately from the dry ones, and then mix the two components of the crust together before kneading.
Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees.
Mix 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the 1/2-cup pumpkin with 2-tablespoons peanut butter and 2-eggs until well combined.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Begin kneading the dough until becomes soft and pliable. Add more pumpkin puree if necessary to get the dough to stick together if it's too crumbly. I mix and knead for at least 5 minutes.
Step 3: Pie Crust - Cut Shape & Bake
I formed the dough into two separate balls for easier rolling.
Using your rolling pin and on a flour covered work space (I use wax paper underneath for easy clean-up), roll the dough flat into a thickness of about two American quarters stacked on top of each other.
Using your circle-shaped cutter (mine is the Darth Vader cup you see in the photo) cut the dough into individual circles.
Place the cut-out crust circle into the silicone baking cup and press it into the cup. I tried my best to make it even up the sides of the baking cup, like you would for a regular pie crust.
The pie crust fit all twelve of my silicone baking cups.
I used my dog bone cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the remaining dough. Note: These will have to bake longer than the cups.
Bake everything at 350-degrees for no more than 12-minutes.
Step 4: Finely Chop the Carrots
While the crust is baking, I used my mini food processor to finely chop the carrots that will be used in the filling.
I measured about 1-cup of shredded carrots to make the 1/4-cup finely chopped amount.
Step 5: Mix the Filling
To make the filling, I mix the wet ingredients first -
1-cup pumpkin puree
3/4-cup creamy peanut butter
1/4-cup finely chopped carrots
When the mixture is thoroughly combined, I added it to the 1-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour.
It forms a creamy mixture, and it reminds me of a pumpkin pie filling you would make for your human family.
Step 6: Fill the Cups & Bake
Remember that any dog treats made from left over "crust dough" has to be baked for a total of 20-25 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
I say that here as I waited about 15-minutes to take the cooled pie crust cups out of the silicone baking cups. It's all timed together if you think about it....
I placed a heaping teaspoon of pup-treat pie filling into the pup-treat pie crust.
There will be left over filing after all twelve of the pup-treat pies are filled. (See what I did with it in the next step!)
Place the treats in the 350-degree oven for fifteen (15) minutes on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.
After the first fifteen minutes, check the bottom of the pie to see if it's browned. I left the treats in the oven for an additional 5-minutes, and knew it was time to take them out by looking at the bottom of the pup-treat pumpkin pie. It was a darker brown than I was used to, but the top of the pie filling was also golden brown.
Step 7: Use Up That Filling!
If you've made it this far in the instructable, that means you will probably have "pie filling" left over from filling up the mini pumpkin dog treat pies. This is optional of course, but why throw out good pumpkin treat mix right?
In this step, I used the left over filling to make additional dog biscuits.
I added 1/2-cup of whole wheat flour to the remaining pumpkin/peanut butter/carrot/egg mixture to form a VERY soft dough.
On a well floured surface, I rolled out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness.
(Add whole wheat flour in 2-tablespoon increments if the dough won't roll out.)
I used my dog-bone shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Any type of cookie cutter would do or you can shape the remaining dough into even thickness "cookies."
On a piece of parchment paper, I placed the cut out dog treats for baking.
I baked the cut out biscuits at 350-degrees for 25-minutes. I checked it after 20-minutes and made sure the edges were browned thoroughly.
Step 8: Give Them to Your Happy Pup
Please wait at least thirty minutes to give your pup the treat to cool down, and I recommend waiting an hour, if you can.
I cut the one cupcake sized dog treat pie in quarters before giving it to my mini-poo.
I gave away six of the pies to two different dog-owners, and froze two of them for later thawing. (I use a plastic freezer bag for that of course.)
My husband said they looked so good, that if he didn't know it was a dog treat, he would probably enjoy one!
Healthy eating to you and your pets!
Edited 4/4/14 to add that the treats did not last long on the counter! I was VERY surprised, as the smaller cookie cutter treats last for weeks on the counter. I would say the pumpkin pies didn't last more than a week. Don't say I didn't tell you so.