Bacon Cheddar Peanutbutter Dog Treats for Valentine's Day

NOTE: Adapted from my now-defunct older blog. This pics are OLD but the recipe is still fire!

I've always loved Valentine's Day. It's forever been a holiday I put WAY too much effort into, but one I've always enjoyed nonetheless. Perhaps one time in Middle School I had a bad year, where I painstakingly made handmade valentines and treat bags for everyone in the class and got a grand total of ONE in return, but that was simply a reinforcement that, with any holiday, it's not about what you get, it's about what you give. And I know I had some desperately single years, where I had to fight off the grumps, but then my mom would call or show up with a little box of goodies or my Nana would send a card with her signature almost calligraphy-like penmanship and the angry feelings would subside as I realized this day, while commercialized to high-heavens (but honestly, what holiday ISN'T?), has a good core. And an important one.

So I roll my eyes at the vitriol this holiday tends to rile up, the worst of which seems to be displayed on Facebook for the world to see. Mostly from people without a significant other to love, who are feeling especially lonely on this day. I think people forget that it's not JUST about loving a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife today. Valentine's Day is simply a day of love.

And, the day before the REAL holiday--HALF OFF CHOCOLATE DAY OMG SO EXCITED--but aaanyway...

So, take today for what it is, and what it could be: yet another holiday to let those you love know that you appreciate them. And ESPECIALLY maybe that furry friend that loves you no matter what, because maybe they deserve it most.

So for a Valentine's Day treat, I decided to focus on the amazing Lily, who has brought so much joy into my life over the past 11 years she's been my girl.

It's so amazing that her life was SO hard--she was found as a stray, under a building, the coldest month of the year during a Texas cold snap, with her seven puppies... only two of which lived to get adopted themselves--but that she is SO loving and so happy to just be near her people. I can't imagine my life without this silly, sweet, gorgeous girl.

Seriously, who couldn't love that face?

Doggy treats are a great way to let your dog know you love her. Lily LOVES these, and it makes me happy to know I can use my cooking skills to her benefit as well. Plus they're probably way healthier than the ones you find in the store--and tastier!

Not gonna lie, the house smelled SO GOOD while they were cooking that I had to try one myself. They weren't bad! Kind of like weird nutty biscuits.

Bacon Peanutbutter Cheddar Dog Biscuits
(Adapted slightly from Sally's Baking Addiction)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used what I had on hand, but organic/natural is best!)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oats (I used quick oats)
  • 3 tbs shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped small
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, oats, cheese, and bacon. Slowly add the wet to the dry. *A stand mixer is best for this, on the paddle attachment, because it will turn into a hard, doughy ball that will be VERY hard to mix.

Place dough ball between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll to a 1/4" thickness with a rolling pin. Put dough into refrigerator and let chill for ten minutes.

Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter (I used hearts because I had no bone-shapes) and place on a baking sheet at least an inch apart. Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip cookies and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let cool, and store in an airtight jar or bag in the fridge for about a week.