Monday, November 7, 2011

Koly’s Merry Ho-Hos Gingerbread Cookies

Jodi Chick from the always entertaining dog blog “Kol’s Notes” has graciously shared her dog-friendly gingerbread treats recipe with us in her usual rambling and hilarious style. The treats -- and Jodi -- are so addictive, all I had to do was read the recipe and then I was forced to find and devour no fewer than half a dozen gingersnaps. And since I can’t imagine a more inviting introduction than that, heeeeeeerrrreeee’s Jodi!
The holidays are one of my favourite times of year. I’m one of those half-crazed Christmas maniacs who will make the holiday merry and bright at all costs. Something snaps in my nutty little brain this time of year and all of a sudden I fancy myself the next Martha Stewart. (Well, Martha Stewart with less knit sweaters, more cursing and with a decided bent toward doggy fabulousness.)

Every freaking year it happens: All of a sudden I believe that the concept of time no longer applies to me and I decide to undertake a baking marathon, plan to make one of every Christmas Craft ever invented and plot to redecorate the house from top to bottom. (Would it be crazy to get “Holiday Furniture” in red that only comes out this time of year? Too much??) My poor dogs get in on the action, spending much of December being subjected to my holiday Mania.

All month they will be Kolchak the Unhappy Little Elf and Felix the Reluctant Reindog.

Pretty soon our house will be filled with the sound of sleighbells and carolers and the scent of gingerbread. I’m a huge gingerbread fan. (And by huge, I mean that my waistline reflects my love of desserts.) I make gingerbread cookies, houses, cakes, lattes -- the sky is the limit! I can give everything a gingerbread touch, if I just try hard enough.

Surprisingly, I discovered a few years ago that Kolchak is also a fan of this traditional Christmas cookie. I’m not a huge fan of giving the dogs treats with a ton of suger in them -- and Felix is allergic to wheat, so sharing my cookies with them was NOT an option, plus I hate sharing my cookies! I set out to make them their own tasty treat and Koly's Merry Ho-Hos were born!

Koly’s Merry Ho-Hos Gingerbread Cookies

The stuff:
1.5 cups coconut flour (if your dog is wheat tolerant, just use regular flour)
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1/8 cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
.5 teaspoon ground cloves
*skip the traditional nutmeg, it’s not dog friendly!

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Add molasses, eggs and oil and mix well, adding water slowly to create a heavy dough. The mix may be slightly crumbly, but don't worry! If you knead it altogether, the cookies will be just fine! Don’t be afraid to get in there and Take Chances! Get Messy! Make Mistakes!

Once dough has come together, turn it out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to about 1/4” thick. If desired, cut into festive shapes with a cookie cutter. If you aren't totally fancy like that, you can just cut these into squares using a pizza cutter or a knife. I personally like the shapes, but apparently Kolchak doesn’t give a woof what his cookies look like, as long as he gets to eat them. Some dogs have no taste for the finer things in life!

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out cookies on the sheet. These don’t spread much, so you can place them fairly close. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. For crunchy crispy treats, turn off the oven and leave the cookie inside until it is completely cool.

If desired, you can decorate the Gingerbread Men with low-fat cream cheese or yogurt melting chips and other dog treats.

Bone Appetit and Happy Howlidays from Kolchak Puggle!

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