Lou loves turkey dinner too. There’s so much in the way of turkey scraps, mashed potatoes, veggies and gravy in our fridge – not to mention gallons of stock – that I couldn’t not turn some of them into treats. Dogs are the very best kinds of beings to cook for – they’re infinitely grateful, and care not at all about the texture of the cookies you make, or if they’re a few days old.
You needn’t worry about dog cookies being chewy or crispy or soft in the middle – the harder they get, the better. And you can turn anything your dog loves into a cookie – peanut butter, tuna, cheese… even a can of sardines (so good for their coat!) – but turkey dinner leftovers blend into a perfect, non-offensive-to-the-human-baking-them sludge that can be turned into treats of any shape or size.
Dogs are the best taste testers (they love licking everything) but also the worst (they love licking everything) – when I wrote In the Dog Kitchen (did you know I have a book of cookies for dogs? I do!) every dog friend I offered samples to gobbled them up and looked expectantly for more. They were all pretty much keepers. Easiest recipe testing ever.
I made these by blending chopped turkey – some meat, some skin and some grisly bits pulled off the bird – with some veggies and a bit of stuffing and gravy, and a big enough splash of stock to help things move along in the food processor. Add an egg, turn the turkey sludge out into a bowl, and add enough flour (I like using a whole grain flour, like barley, oat or wheat) to make a dough you can handle. Because dogs don’t care about aesthetics, you could roll little balls and flatten them with the tines of a fork – don’t sweat it if you don’t have a tiny milkbone-shaped cookie cutter. We’re the only ones who care about that stuff.
If you bake these until they’re hard and dry, they’ll last a long time – and look pretty adorable packaged up in glass jars for sharing.