This holiday season as you tie on your apron and break out the rolling pin, consider adding these homemade pet treats to your baking lineup. Homemade treats are not only delicious, but a nutritious alternative to store bought treats. They also make a wonderful holiday gift either for your own pet or that special furry pal in someone else’s life. There are so many great recipes to choose from, so here are just four to get you started!

1. Crunchy Tuna Cat Treats

Ingredients:

210 g tuna in vegetable oil
¾ cup flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Water

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While oven is preheating, combine the tuna, flour and parsley until mixture has a soft texture.  Slowly add water to the mixture until it becomes more dough-like. Roll the dough into teaspoon sized balls and flatten before placing onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake until biscuits appear golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving. Recipe adapted from Food.com

2. Bacon Flavored Dog Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons bacon fat, melted
5 cups whole wheat flour

Directions: Preheat over to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, add milk, water, salt and bacon fat to the beaten eggs. Once mixture is well blended, add flour 1 cup at a time until a thick dough is formed.  Roll pieces of the dough into 2 inch balls and transfer them to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool before serving. Store excess biscuits in the refrigerator. Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

3. Chewy Kitty Treats

Ingredients:

4 oz jar chicken and brown rice baby food
1 large egg
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup cooked white or brown rice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix egg, baby food, parsley, olive oil, and water in a medium sized bowl. When this is well blended, add brown rice flour and cooked rice until thickened. Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let mixture cool before cutting into bite size squares. Bake squares for an additional 8 minutes. Allow treats to cool completely before serving. Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Recipe adapted from joythebaker.com

4. Doggie Cookies

 Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup margarine
1 cup boiling water
¾ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
½ cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour

Directions: Preheat over to 325 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Mix rolled oats and margarine with boiling water and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Carefully stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, cheddar cheese, and egg. Lastly, add the flour to the mixture, 1 cup at a time, until you have a thick dough.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Roll out the dough until about ½ inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter of your choice. Place cookies on the greased cookie sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Erin Kleinhenz