Most dogs are crazy about cheese. Its flavor, texture and aroma -- much like peanut butter -- pleases the most discriminating canine connoisseur. For the two-dog household, these large-batch recipes for savory gourmet cookies made with an assortment of cheeses are ideal for occasional treats and training rewards.
Cheesy Teddy Bears
Featuring Parmesan and cheddar, these cheesy teddy bears are sure to please your pups. This recipe makes enough cookies for two dogs for at least a month. To prepare, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl or food processor, combine 3 cups of oat flour, 3 cups of brown rice flour, 2 cups of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary, 2 tablespoons of dried parsley, 2 eggs and 2 cups of water, and mix until a dough forms. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough with a teddy bear cookie cutter. Place the bears on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Turkey and Swiss Cheese Twists
Packed with fiber and wholesome ingredients, these tasty cookies will get rave reviews from your pooches. To prepare, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl or food processor, combine 2 cups of oat flour, 2 cups of brown rice flour, 2 cups of grated Swiss cheese, 2 cups of lean ground turkey, 1 cup of oat bran, 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, 2 tablespoons of dried parsley, 2 tablespoons of rosemary, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of water, and mix well to form a dough. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick, then cut into ribbons with a pizza cutter or knife. Twist the ribbons and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Nutty Cheese Squares
The combination of nuts and gourmet cheese makes these crunchy cookies irresistible to your four-legged friends, and they're fun to make. To prepare, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast 1/2 cup of chopped almonds and 1/2 cup of roughly chopped hazelnuts in a nonstick pan until they are a light golden brown. Remove the nuts from the heat and let them cool. In a large bowl or food processor, combine 2/3 cup of grated Emmental cheese, 4 eggs, 2 1/2 cups of buckwheat flour, 1 tablespoon of wildflower or organic liquid honey, the toasted nuts and enough water to form a smooth dough. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into squares with a pizza cutter or knife. Place the squares on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake for about one hour. Turn off the heat and let the cookies dry and harden in the oven for another couple of hours.
For all the recipes, you may add a little more water or flour to help form the dough. Although cheese is a tasty ingredient in home-baked goodies, cheese should always be fed in moderation to prevent constipation. A good way to avoid over-feeding treats is to determine in advance the maximum amount of treats you want your dogs to consume in a week and freeze weekly portions in plastic zip-top bags. After thawing, store the weekly ration in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can make your own oat flour by grinding old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor to a fine consistency. These recipes use wheat- and gluten-free flours, but whole-wheat flour may be substituted if your dogs are not allergic.