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DOGGIE BISCOTTI RECIPE

Treats for our four-legged friends: Canine Carrot Biscotti.

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Doggie Biscotti: Chef Jud's canine carrot biscotti and a cloth napkin for the discerning pooch.

Enjoy Chef Jud's doggie biscotti recipe.

Canine Carrot Biscotti

Yield: appx 30 pieces

Ingredients:

1 ¾ c bread flour

1 c whole wheat flour

¼ c packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

6 medium carrots, grated

3 eggs

¾ c vegetable oil

¼ c water

Preheat oven to 360 degrees F and oil the sides and bottom of a 10-inch cake pan. In a bowl or standing mixer, combine all dry ingredients until well mixed; add carrots and mix until coated and well-distributed. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, and water, and add to the carrot mixture. Mix on medium until thick, approximately 90 seconds. Pour into oiled pan and bake 35-40 minutes, when the top is dry and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Allow to cool 10 minutes, then slice the baked dough in lengthwise strips ½” thick. Cut those slices approximately 1-2” long, depending on the desired size of treats, and place top-down on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until sides are dry and beginning to brown. Cool completely at least one hour before storing in a sealed container.

About the Recipe

As a self-proclaimed cat person, why would I want to write about dogs? It goes back to when I lived in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake. I wasn’t far from a popular dog park and couldn't help but notice there wasn't a time of day when the park was empty. That, coupled with the undeniable fact that people love dogs so much, they'll overlook the impracticality of housing large canines in urban apartments, leads me to believe they deserve the attention.

Until 2002, I didn't even trust most dogs. It took for me to spend a few days at a friend's place in Minneapolis, hanging with her and her immensely sweet black Lab named Kelly, for me to understand the appeal. Kelly would hop into bed and wake me up much earlier than I normally do to basically say, "It’s time to play.  Take me for a walk!"  How could I say no?  Kelly won me over instantly. Since then, I've had a complete change of heart towards dogs.

In 2004, I participated in a MoveOn fundraiser called "Bake Back the Whitehouse" in Silver Lake. I used Chef Bo Friberg''s recipe for dog biscuits and they were a hit—literally, gone in minutes. "While “we” didn’t win that election, a potent, progressive grassroots movement had begun, and I got my first taste of creating canine cuisine."

I was inspired to experiment with my own recipes. But first, I had to learn a little something about the ideal diet of our four-legged friends.

I knew before starting my research, dogs are omnivorous, even though they are treated as carnivores, but had no idea the range of foods they really like. So I turned to my dog-owning pals to fill me in. I learned from Kelly's owner the adorable Lab is nutty for most fruits and veggies except for apples, avocados, lettuce and green beans. Definitely strange. Soon after, I would make some other fascinating discoveries from canine enthusiasts in the Twin Cities area thanks to some referrals by Kelly's human companion.

One of these suggestions was Ali Jarvis of Sidewalk Dog, who has a simple mission: to build community through the common bond with dogs, which they do through their online guide. Their site is a tremendous resource for locating merchants and more in Minnesota. Pet sitting? Done. Boarding? Done. Supplies? Done. And the coolest tool on the site? The interactive map of dog-friendly establishments.

Thanks to Ali, I learned about Michelle Bert's homemade and organic pet meals from Well Pet Foods, which focuses on balanced nutrition and healthy ingredients. The treats, especially the gingerbread softies, looked good enough for me to eat.

Maggie Heike Johnson and her husband Ward, owners of Sojos, manufacture gourmet food for dogs and cats while promising, "Homemade Pet Food Made Easy." Their meal packages are largely mixes to which you can add raw meat and their treats include doggie fortune cookies. You can find Sojos products in retail outlets or order them online.

I also found the Howling Dogs Bakery, operated by Laura Lloyd and family, and a gluten-free, all-natural dog-treat-of-the-month club headquartered in Mound, Minn. Howlings specializes in corn-, soy- and wheat-free treats, which are available in the "treat-of-the-month" memberships. And their being located in Minnesota, it should come as no surprise that Howlings has a doggie brew on their product list. "B.O.B.," which stands for "Bottle of Broth" can be found in local restaurants and pet boutiques and is produced and distrubuted by their Where's B.O.B.'s Brewing Co.

Last but not least, thanks to Ali, I learned about the "K-9 Nation Biscuit Book: Baking for your Best Friend" by Klecko, a 30-year veteran baker. This little gem contains some the most amazing baked creations I've ever seen, especially for an animal. Who knew pets could eat so well? You can pick up a copy of Klecko's book at the Minnesota Historical Society.

My research gave me the savvy to create the perfect dog treat, so I came up with a culinary delight sure to have your pooch drooling all over the floor: the canine carrot biscotti. While gourmet, a la Chef Bo Friberg's approach, I gleaned wisdom from Ms. Lloyd and decided to honor the dog's slight intolerance to gluten. The recipe is below. I hope your four-legged friends enjoy it.

As for me— I'm thrilled to have a new "cuisine" to add to my repertory but still iffy about the dog hair and dander getting everywhere and the body odor. Not to mention getting my face licked repeatedly, even though I know dogs are dying to show their love. Then again, there aren't many humans I'd allow to lick my face either.

Incidentally, bone-shaped dog biscuit molds are cheap and come in various sizes (as do dogs).

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