Man's Best Friend

Shadow and her new friend, Curly Bear, were chasing each other at the ball field last night between the streaks of lightning. They ran and ran. They ran into the bog to have a drink. Shady flipped herself over into this swampy mess--wiggling in the sheer cool stinkiness of it. It was an add to the evening to have the doggie girls there.

Then this morning, Shady did us a big favor and found a dead something (deer? possum? racoon?) that she spread on top of the dried dirt layer. OOCH! It will come as no surprise that she is being given the supreme treatment of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap to rid her of that loathsome aroma. Molto brutizzimo!

It dawned on me that you need this recipe. Everyone does. Whenever the touch for a "bring something original" bakesale is given, I make up 10 bags of these--and the crowd goes wild (sometimes with a little graphic thang to jazz up the paper bags). They are dog biscuits. You can cut them in funny shapes...make em big or small...but you will make your canine friends happy...and indirectly, their owners too. Someone bored in your house...have em whip up a batch. Also makes a nice present (a bunch of my dog friends got them last Christmas!). Mandy promises me her recipe for "Tuna Brownies"--the treat her dog, Sonata, begs for during agility classes. If it's good, I'll pass it on!

I don't think I will sit up and beg for them, though! The Gourmet cookies are pretty good for people (some even add cheese and serve them to their guests). Your call!

Dog Biscuits

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large egg

Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper; a dog-biscuit cookie cutter

Pulse flours, cornmeal, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter lumps. Add 1 cup water and pulse until a coarse, dense dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in parsley and mint until well distributed. Gather, then halve dough with scraper. Form into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into a round (1/3 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, wrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many biscuits as possible and arrange about 1/4 inch apart on 1 baking sheet.

Gather scraps and reroll, then cut out more biscuits. Repeat with remaining dough, using other baking sheet.

Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush biscuits with egg wash and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Turn off oven and dry biscuits in oven overnight.

Cooks' note:
Biscuits keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 month.
Makes about 5 dozen biscuits.

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine, December 2005

Picture: Fashionista Pug Dog from NYC