UPS has been making frequent deliveries to our house this holiday season. One of those guys who drops packages at our door always remembers our Golden Retriever, Wrigley, with a couple of big biscuits. We never seem to be around when he brings his truck down our driveway. So, he doesn’t know that Wrigley died in May. My husband takes the biscuits to work with him to give to the owner of one of Wrigley’s friends, Taffy.
Wrigley was a sweet, sweet dog and I miss her like crazy. Since I work from home, she was my constant companion. She curled up on the floor in my office as I worked. She kept the kitchen floor clean of all crumbs as I tested and developed recipes. She was an eager taste-tester and loved everything I made. She greeted my visitors with much enthusiasm. She was my walking partner. She was my best friend on four legs.
Shortly before Wrigley died, I bought a copy of “K-9 Nation Biscuit Book,” by Dan “Klecko” McGleno. You may have heard of Klecko. He is a master bread baker, founder of the St. Paul Bread Club and CEO of St. Agnes Baking Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Klecko’s book makes baking for your best friend fun and easy. It has about 3 dozen recipes for dog biscuits. These are not just your everyday dog treats. In his book, Klecko says dogs eat with their noses, not their eyes, so good-tasting biscuits need to contain great-smelling (to a dog) ingredients. His own dogs love anise (licorice), bacon, garlic and peanut butter.
The book has recipes for biscuits that any canine will begin to crave. If you’re new to canine food development, you’ll find recipes calling for ingredients found in most pantries. And then, there are recipes that totally kick a dog biscuit way, way up — more than a single notch. Using ingredients like tuna, chervil, ramen noodles, sardines, red bell pepper, coconut oil, miso paste, coconut flour, pine nuts, dog grass powder and black sesame seeds, there’s no doubt you’ll deliver super health benefits to your dog. Be careful, though. Barks travel fast and far. You may have all the neighborhood dogs at your house waiting for freshly baked biscuits.
Klecko’s compassionate and light-hearted personal dog stories throughout the book make a human want to take a romp through, being careful not to drool on the pages. You’ll definitely be panting over many of the recipes. Some sound like good treats for humans, too. Coconut Dream Biscuits, anyone?
In the recipes he shares, Klecko pays close attention to what is good for the health and well-being of dogs. Each recipe is accompanied with detailed nutritional information.
Anyway, I chose K-9 Nation Biscuits, Klecko’s most winning biscuits, as the first recipe to try out on Wrigley. She approved. So did her friend, Taffy.
Here’s Wrigley, waiting for her next K-9 Biscuit.
And, here are the K-9 Dog Biscuits I made for Wrigley last spring.
We’re expecting a new puppy in the spring. She will be born in April and we will bring her home in June. There will never be another Wrigley. But there’s always a spot in my heart for another canine best friend.
For now, I will bake K-9 biscuits for all of Wrigley’s old friends — Taffy, Abby, Hershey and Dash. My holiday baking for humans is done. Maybe I’ll start baking for the dogs when the big snow storm hits our area tomorrow.
Dan “Klecko” McGleno’s “K-9 Nation Biscuit Book” would make a great gift for the dog-lovers on your list. There’s still time to run out to your local bookstore to pick up a copy. And the homemade delicious-smelling (to dogs) biscuits can be a yummy gift for all of your canine friends.
Give your dog a biscuit and a holiday hug from me.
K-9 NATION BISCUITS
• 3 cups whole-wheat flour
• 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
• 1/4 cup flax seed, ground
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 cup bacon, fried, drained and chopped
• 1 1/2 cups beef broth
• 1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, place the flour, cornmeal, flaxseed, garlic powder and bacon, stirring to loosely incorporate these ingredients.
Add the broth and olive oil to the dry ingredients, stirring with a sturdy spoon until the dough becomes pliable.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out or pat down to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a pizza cutter, make horizontal and vertical slices through the dough to form cube shapes. The size of the cubes will depend on your dog’s jaw size.
Place the biscuits on a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
Note from Klecko: Fry the bacon first. When it starts to crisp, remove it from the pan and use paper towels to blot off the excess grease. When the bacon is cool, tear it or chop it into bits. From “K-9 Nation Biscuit Book.”