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CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUNCHIES

This is a recipe a friends mother taught me many years ago back in the 1990’s and I came across the recipe years later in a book called “You Bake ’Em Dog Biscuits Cookbook by Janine Adams” from 2004. Who is the actual creator of this recipe I have no idea but what I do know if that dogs either turn their nose up at them or they go absolute BONKERS over. But with the time of year, the colors of the cookies and obviously their name, it had to be the second choice for our repository of recipes.

Girl and lab puppy at Christmas time
Presented lab puppy

You can whip these up in about an hour as there is only about 20-30 minutes of bake time depending on your oven. Having a quick preparation time is good as they don’t really keep well. So without further adui, let’s get baking!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of finely grated parmesan or grana padano cheese
  • 1 x 1/2 cup of washed spinach leaves
  • 3 x 1/4 cups of white all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 tsp of Glucosamine powder depending on the brand being used. See **Note** below.
  • 1/2 cup of tomato juice
  • 1/4 cold filter water
  • 2 tbsp of canola oil

    **Note**  Depending on the brand of Glucosamine you are using, it can have different strengths so it’s best to follow the guidelines on the bottle. Just be sure to use a powder and not a liquid or capsules. Since Labrador/Labrador Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis, I will often include glucosamine into many recipes to help prevent these ailments that this breed is prone too.

REQUIRED ITEMS

  • 2 – mixing bowls
  • rolling pin
  • wet & dry measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • food processor
  • baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick foil. Avoid glassware
  • cookie cutters
  • puppy not on the naughty list
  • plastic air tight storage bin

PREP & BAKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to  325° F/163°C.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients into mixing bowl. (Cheese, flour, glucosamine). 
  3. Take half of your dry ingredients mixture (approx 1/2 cup) add to the food processor.
  4. On low or mix setting slowly add tomato juice and 1 tbsp of canola oil. Continue mixing until a unified ball of dough is formed.
  5. Remove dough from processor and set to the side. Wash & dry the blades and bowl of processor and replace back on the base.
  6. Add your spinach leaves, and chop finely.
  7. Add remainder of your dry ingredients yo add in chopping up spinach leaves.
  8. Slowly add your wet ingredients (canola oil & water). Be sure to not dump in all at once as your green dough will become lumpy and hard to manage. Continue to mix until a unified green dough is achieved.
  9. For this part I find using your counter or kitchen table easier than using a cutting board. Lightly flour the surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking of the dough. Roll both doughs separately until a even texture is achieved and about a 1/4″ in thickness. It also helps to roll into a square or oval as I will explain in the next step.
  10. Ensure that finished doughs are roughly the same shape and size as well as thickness (1/4″). This is to ensure we minimize the wasted dough.
  11. Place the doughs on top of one another and roll gently again until you reach that 1/4″ thickness again
  12. Then cut out using your cookie cutters trying to minimize wasted dough again. The more you make these the better you will get at them. You can use Christmas themed cookie cutters but I have always leaned towards the classic dog bone shapes. I have found and if your lucky enough to have a Bulk Barn or Dollar store, they always have the best selection of cookie cutters.
  13. Place onto your baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the green dough side facing up. You will see browning easier this way. With a fork poke the tops once or twice to encourage even cooking. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 325° F/163°C or until you can see the tops starting to brown.
  14. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack. These will keep up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge. This recipe is made for a smaller batch so they most likely will be all gone!

TIPS ON HOW THE COOKIE CRUMBLES

The great thing about baking for your Lab puppy or dog rather than buying your “junk food” treats is that you can control your ingredients for healthier choices or for food allergies or sensitivities. So you can substitute coconut oil or safflower seed oil for the canola oil or any oil really. The flavor might change a little but not to worry because as I always say, “…your just cooking for dogs…”

I will also take the leftover dough and mash together and make more cookies that don’t look as pretty and I will use them at the dog park for my furry friends playmates. I will even roll into kibble sized balls and make training treats as I stated earlier this recipe, dogs either turn their noses up at these or they go BONKERS which makes these great training food rewards.

Experiment with these recipes as you can eat all these yourself and they taste really good but add different ingredients for different snacks for puppy or dog might love. If you have your own variations on this recipe or a similar cookie recipe, please share it in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy this variation of this recipe and keep on enjoying for more future holidays to come. I would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season and an even better 2018, 

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