Holiday Gifts: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Someone asked me for this recipe this morning and after I shared it with them, I decided to make a batch myself.

From June:

I really like these cookies, they’re simple to make and gluten-free. But one thing about them is they a terribly sweet. So I decided to see what would happen if I cut the sugar down considerably.

They turned out super – not too sweet and super peanut butter flavor.  Changes are in blue.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Revisited)

(makes 12-18)

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg

baking sheet

Cream ingredients together and drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet. Dip a fork in sugar and press down the dough. Bake at 300 degree F for 10-13 minutes.

This usually gets a good, soft cookie, but I wanted to try for a crispier outside. But they are prone to burning. So at the 13-minute mark, I turned off the oven and let them sit for 5 more minutes. They turned out perfectly – crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Going to make them again soon.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Revisited

I really like these cookies, they’re simple to make and gluten-free. But one thing about them is they a terribly sweet. So I decided to see what would happen if I cut the sugar down considerably.

They turned out super – not too sweet and super peanut butter flavor.  Changes are in blue.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Revisited)

(makes 12-18)

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg

baking sheet

Cream ingredients together and drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet. Dip a fork in sugar and press down the dough. Bake at 300 degree F for 10-13 minutes.

This usually gets a good, soft cookie, but I was wanted to try for a crispier outside. But they are prone to burning. So at the 13-minute mark, I turned off the oven and let them sit for 5 more minutes. They turned out perfectly – crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Going to make them again soon.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Recipes for Pups

Bixby Treats1

Have I mentioned I HATE my kitchen? The house hunt goes on…and on. But this week I braved the ugly, cramped space because one of my clients was having a tough week and I thought Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies would help (recipe here). They worked wonders. And I’ll add that since they are very chewy and crispy they are great frozen – cold, chewy and sweet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies4

I’d done a bit of cooking over the week, but most was for Bixby. As timing would have it, a few things fell into place that meant I had ideas for dog treats. And that became the idea for this week’s recipe exchange.

Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product.

Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product.

First up, Mrs. J cooks up cheesy dog biscuits (photo above and below by JeffreyW). Recipe and step by step photos here.

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Just a note, no Bixby update this week, but all his recipes include bonus photos of the Beast.

Then from my files, Dried Liver Treats, recipe and pup photo here.

Next, his absolute favorite treat right now, Yogurt Pupsicles, recipe and pic of that Tongue, here.

What about the cats, you ask? Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I tried making food and treats for my cats (including fresh fish) and they looked at me like I was insane and stomped off. So if you have had better luck, please share because I’m open to trying again.

What’s in your dish tonight? Do you have any treat recipes? Any fun plans?

For tonight’s featured recipe, more biscuits. I enjoyed making them and I might do it again, it was pretty simple and quick.

P1040187

Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch, peanut butter and pumpkin give them irresistible flavor (for pups at least). These got two paws up from Bixby and the neighbor dogs.

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tbsp whole wheat flour (if your dog has a sensitive tummy, use all rice flour)

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in dry milk, salt  and then add the flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. It’s very dry, so you may need to add a touch of water to get it to the consistency you need to roll it out.

P1040165

Turn out onto lightly floured surface  – and if dough is rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ and use biscuit or other shape cutter to make biscuits. Place shapes on cookie sheet.. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack.

Mine made 2 dozen very large biscuits. Next time I’ll try to find smaller cookie cutters, or just make discs. I think you could easily get 4 dozen smaller treats.

That’s it for this week. Have a great (and hopefully dry) weekend – TaMara

Paw print

 

Recipes for Dogs: Yogurt Pupsicles

That tongue1

At the same time I was making the liver treats for Bixby, my sister-in-law sent me a recipe filled with some of his favorite things – bananas and peanut butter – so I had try it. If I haven’t mentioned it before, no one can eat a banana in Bixby’s vicinity without having to fight him off. He’s crazy about them. Rivals his apple obsession.

Frozen treats1

It was very simple. Here is the original, which I doubled and froze in cat food containers I save (they come in very handy for so many things, I have a good dozen tucked away), because ice cube size ones just wouldn’t be much of a treat for the Beast.

Frozen Yogurt Pupsicles

  • 32 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 cup peanut butter (Bixby prefers creamy)
  • 3 bananas

Blend in a blender until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You can pop out and stick into a ziplock bag to store. Dole out as needed for a cool puppy treat.

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Happy 80th, Elvis

Fools Gold SandwichYesterday would have been The King’s 80th birthday. I like Elvis, but I’m young enough that I missed out on the frenzy of all things Elvis. Though, I’ve managed my own six degrees of separation…

My friend has an adorable, sweet story of how he hit on her (she was very much engaged at the time) when she worked on a film with him. She remembers him as a complete gentleman and had a lovely conversation between takes.

I met his step-brother years ago and he also had only wonderful things to say about him, especially when he was just a young boy and Elvis was already an American icon. Family was important.

So how does this get us to the recipe exchange tonight? All over the news last night was the story of how one of his favorite sandwiches was created right here in Denver. It had bacon, so I had to try it.

I’m not well versed in Elvis’ favorite foods. Fried banana sandwiches (recipe here) were about it, but I searched around, turns out there is a whole cookbook of his favorite foods, recipes and links here. Seems to be a lot of bacon involved.

How about you, what unusual things do you like to make into a sandwich? My brothers like peanut butter and dill pickles. I love lettuce, tomato and mayo on whole wheat. What else is on the weekend menu?

Tonight’s featured recipe is my take on Elvis’ favorite Mile High sandwich and you can find the whole story and video here.

Fool’s Gold Sandwich

  • 1 foot-long loaf Italian, French or Sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 16 ounces creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy, because that’s what I liked)
  • 16 ounces grape or blueberry preserves (I used an all fruit style, no added sugar)
  • 1 pound bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the bread in half, length-wise, coat with butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes

While the bread is in the oven, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Hollow out one of the bread halves, fill with an entire jar of peanut butter and an entire jar of preserves. Top with bacon and top with the other half of the loaf. Slice to serve. I have no idea how many this would serve, I made enough for 2 servings instead of the entire recipe.

That’s it for this week. For the pet lovers, here’s some new Bixby, and here and his favorite new treat here.  Next week…I think something chocolate – TaMara

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What to Eat When Watching Your Favorite Elvis Movies

Elvis would have been 80 yesterday, so lots of Elvis going on. I searched out some of his favorite recipes for the Recipe Exchange this week. Let’s start with the obvious:

PB&B

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1-1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 1/2 cup  butter

Peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Combine the peanut butter with the bananas and mix well.

Toast the bread lightly and spread the mixture on three of the slices; top with the remaining three slices.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and slowly brown the sandwiches on both sides until golden brown.

Not your style, how about a black-eyed pea dip to go with your tortilla chips?

From the Graceland’s Table: Recipes Fit for the King of Rock and Roll Cookbook:

“JUST PRETEND” HARVARD TEXAS CAVIAR

  • 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas with jalapenos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 10 3/4-ounce can tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard

For complete recipe and many more, follow the link to here.

 

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

DSC_7759 (1600x1060)We’ve been having kitchen fun.  Snow and cold temps have returned with the latest arctic blast so we are making do with browsing recipes online.  Granola bars caught Mrs J’s attention the other day so we looked over a few recipes to get an idea of what would work and then went to the cupboard for ingredients.  We pretty much cleaned out all the odds and ends leftover from other recipes and ended up with some tasty snack bars.  Rolled oats are featured in most of the recipes we looked at, and peanut butter and honey were pretty common.  From memory, here are the ingredients we went with this morning:

1-1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey (plus a drizzle of maple syrup we had left from waffles)

and enough of these to make up three additional cups of filler:

pecans

dried cranberries

raisins

chopped dates

chocolate chips

toasted coconut

Melt the peanut butter in a small saucepan and add the honey and other liquids that sound good. (I had planned to add a little cherry preserve but forgot.)  I spun the dry stuff in a food processor to mix it and chop some of the larger pieces a bit then dumped it into a large mixing bowl.  Add the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly, then press it into a pan that you have lined with parchment paper.  Mrs J used a plastic tumbler to roll it down.  We used an 11″x7″ pan because an 8″x8″ pan looked a tad small.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours.  These are seriously good.  I wish we had some other more colorful things about to toss into the mix.  Dried cherries and blueberries?  Mini M&Ms?

Friday Recipe Exchange: Pet Treats

Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product.

Jack bravely volunteers to test the final product. Photo by JeffreyW

While I was debating between two topic requests for this week’s recipe exchange, a commenter at Balloon-Juice sparked a whole new idea. Pet Treats. So I asked for some ideas and those became tonight’s post. Thanks to ButchF, MattR, WereBear and JeffreyW for the ideas.

First from JefferyW – Cheddar Cheese Biscuits  (recipe here)

And MattR gave us the recipe he uses for Peanut Butter Treats (recipe here)

Then I decided cat lovers needed equal time, so I contacted WereBear of Way of Cats, and asked for her advice on cat treats. Here’s what she told me:

Aw, so sweet of you to think of me and the kitties. Now that’s parity!

However, while dogs are gourmands, cats are fussy gourmets. So I can’t guarantee happy consumption. In fact, [here is] Why Cats Are Fussy  (read here) …. because not all cats are going to like all things.

That said, here is my recipe for Chicken Liver Pate for Kitties:

  • 1 cup chicken livers
  • 2 tbsp butter or bacon fat
  • sprinkle of catnip (or parsley, sage, or basil, if cat likes the smell)

Classically, pate includes onions, but these (and all bulbs!) are toxic to cats.

Melt fat in pan, and saute livers JUST until ALMOST done. Do not overcook or the pate will lose its silky texture. Then sprinkle the herbs of choice. (Test them via smell on our kitty, or kitties. A sharpening of attention is a good sign; aversion will be quite evident.)

Now cool a bit (livers will finish cooking here) and scrape all contents onto a cutting board (if chopping by hand) or into a blender or food processor. If our cat likes chunky, hand mincing is easy and quick; if our cat likes smoothness, we can blend.

Be sure it has cooled to being only warm before offering it to our cat. Part of the fun is making a fuss over how good it smells. Get them worked up! This is Dinner Theatre.

Leftovers can be dabbed onto a sheet of waxed paper or into ice cube trays and put in the freezer for an hour or so. Then they can be put into a freezer bag for easy treats next time.

So good, and so good for them!

Now I have to figure out how to explain to my cats that garlic is not good for them, because they go after anything I have that is extra garliky. Silly felines, garlic is for everyone else.

How about it? Do you make your own pet treats? Have any favorite recipes you want to share? But what I really want are lots of pet stories, because I know you have them! Hit the comments.

Now on to the featured recipe. This all started because ButchF  said he makes dog biscuits every week for his dogs and they won’t accept anything else. I, of course, asked him to share the recipe.

Just a few notes from me – all my dogs have been allergic to corn – we’d get bad digestive issues. So if that’s the case for your furry critters, go ahead and substitute brown rice flour or oat flour for the corn meal in this recipe. It may very well change the texture, so experiment with the amount of substitution, just remember as ButchF notes, you want to be able to roll it out. As long as you can roll it out, it should be fine once you bake it. These are dog treats people, not gourmet crackers you are serving to company. Dogs will eat just about anything including cat droppings, horse apples and light bulbs. As long as the final product does not crumble onto your floor before they can wolf it down, you’re probably good.

On to the recipe.  From ButchF:

Dog Biscuits

This recipe has been modified pretty extensively from the original, which I found in an old cookbook. First, the original included boiled, pureed liver, which not only made the cookies perishable but meant handling boiled, pureed liver. Second, the original used so much water that the dough looked like pancake batter, and couldn’t be rolled out or cut.

There is a disadvantage to these treats. A while ago I got busy and bought some commercial milk bones because I didn’t have time to make the treats. The dogs would take them each to their designated snack spot, drop them on the floor, and stare forlornly at this strange foreign object they had been given.

Some optional additions to the recipe include ¼ cup or so wheat germ, ½ cup brewer’s yeast, or some grated cheese. Do not, unless you feel like cleaning the carpet, add bacon grease or leftover gravy.

  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon or so honey (I don’t measure)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons bullion (powdered; the cubes won’t dissolve in the dough)(optional; also can use flavor packet from Ramen noodles)
  • 2½ cups warm water
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1¾ cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups corn meal (see TaMara’s note above)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (don’t substitute rye flour, because it behaves differently than wheat flours)
  • At least 3½ cups white flour.

Adding water and eggs first to the bowl first, combine all ingredients except white flour in a bowl, and then add white flour a cup at a time and mix well (best using a heavy-duty stand mixer). More than 3 1/2 cups of white flour may be needed. The goal is a smooth, cohesive dough that cleans the sides of the bowl and can be handled fairly easily, but don’t get it too dry or it becomes impossible to roll out.

Remove from bowl and let rest, covered, about a half hour; the goal is to let the gluten relax more than it is to allow the dough to rise. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll out each on a well-floured surface into a large rectangle to about pie crust thickness.

Transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheets and cut into rectangles to whatever size using a wheel pizza cutter. (I use four cookie sheets to bake; two are big enough that they take up most of an oven rack, and two are small enough that they will fit together on one rack, so that all three racks in the oven can be used.)

Bake at 300 degrees for about 55 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back at least once during baking; remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheets. Don’t cover until they’re thoroughly cool.

These cookies are at least a weekly chore with my four big dogs, so I don’t try to make shapes other than rectangles. If you do want to make shapes, transfer the rolled dough to the cookie sheets and then cut out the shapes, because otherwise the dough tends to stretch.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to tonight’s recipe exchange. And just a brief public service note from me. If your dog or cat has digestive issues, hot spots, chews or scratches incessantly, loses an excessive amount of hair, or their hair has a bad texture (too dry or too oily) these can all be signs of a corn allergy. Especially with breed dogs it can be bad. I learned this the hard way, with Great Danes and Greyhounds, all very big dogs to have to deal with these issues. (shudders from the memory)

This was before it was easy to find pet foods without corn, so I made my own. It wasn’t easy or pretty, but it solved all of their issues. Thank goodness you can find good quality food without corn now. My cats are on a corn-free diet, too and the shedding and fur balls are down to a minimum.  So if your favorite furry critter is suffering from any of those issues, my (not meant to be a substitute for a veterinarian)  advice it so start by getting rid of corn and corn meal. Maybe even go to a very basic lamb/brown rice food to see if helps. Some dogs (not naming names, Miss Shelby) can even be allergic to all grains. And grass. Some flowers. Possibly my ex-husband. So it may take some experimenting.