Kia’s Kitchen

kias kitchen: peanut butter snaps

Peanut Butter Snaps

Between life and moving into a new apartment, baking Kia homemade dog treats has not exactly been top of mind for me. And ya know, sometimes it’s just easier to pick some up at the store!

That said, Kia has been in my face in the kitchen as much as ever, so I started to get the hint…

Kia in the Kitchen

Story of my life right there.

So on to making dog treats I went!

As per usual, I like to take ingredients that I need to use up when I make Kia some homemade treats and this time around I had some chicken stock and cream cheese that was going to go bad if I didn’t use it soon. That, combined with some good ol’ peanut butter, a fire hydrant cookie cutter, and a lot of red food coloring, came to be a plate full of peanut butter snaps!

Peanut Butter Snaps Prep

When I was making the red icing, I actually started to count the number of red food coloring drops I was adding to the cream cheese to accurately write the recipe. Welp — turns out you need basically the whole bottle of red food coloring to actually get that fire-hydrant-red, so there’s that. Also, originally I was going to take some leftover cream cheese and yogurt to line the snaps with a white outline to make the fire hydrants even cuter than they already were, but that was an epic fail. I wasn’t getting the right consistency for the “icing,” and it was so time consuming! It just wasn’t going to happen, not that day anyway…

That little mishap aside, the thin, crisp snaps came out perfectly baked and the peanut butter aroma that filled the kitchen was amazing. The cream cheese frosting added a great pop of color and, I suspect, a little sweetness to the sugar-free snap.

Kia loved them! I kept them in an air-tight container in the fridge and they lasted for a few weeks, so it was definitely worth the effort!

Here’s the recipe for you to make for the pup in your life.

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kia’s kitchen: banana carob chip muffins

Banana Carob Chip Muffins

I have been experiencing an overwhelming, nonstop craving for chocolate over the last couple of months…

Few days go by where I don’t enjoy something chocolate — a chocolate chip cookie, a chocolate covered pretzel, etc (today I indulged in a “healthier” treat with a black bean brownie). So, when I was deciding on what treat I wanted to make for Kia recently, chocolate would not get off my brain. Unfortunately for our furry little friends, chocolate is not something in this world they have the pleasure of safely enjoying, sigh.

While standing in the baking aisle at the store staring at all the chocolate chips I could not use for Kia’s special homemade treat, I noticed a bag of carob chips — a great alternative for chocolate (for both dogs and vegans alike). Excited with my find, I quickly grabbed a fairly ripe banana and hurried home to make Kia these delicious banana carob chip muffins!

Banana Carob Chip Muffins Prep

The muffins came out a beautiful golden brown with the carob chips melted ever so slightly, playing perfectly into the chocolate-esque-feel I was going for with these treats.

They looked so delicious that I had to try one (duh) and they were pretty good!! They had a little bit more of a savory flavor since the dog treats never really contain much, if any, sugar, BUT the mashed banana and carob chips added that bit of sweetness that made the muffins enjoyable overall. As usual, Kia LOVED them! We went through a couple during our little photo session with the freshly baked muffins, but I stored the leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for the rest of the week, which kept Kia very happy anytime she noticed me pull them out of the fridge!

If you have a smaller dog, you may consider making them in a mini-muffin pan rather than the standard size I used in my recipe.

While nothing can ever really replace the deliciousness that is pure chocolate, carob chips make a great alternative for anyone looking for a substitute. Swap them in your next recipe that calls for chocolate chips to give them a whirl!

Banana Carob Chip Muffins
Banana Carob Chip Muffin
Banana Carob Chip Muffin Kia's Banana Carob Chip Muffins

kia’s kitchen: cheddar blueberry biscuits

Cheddar Blueberry Biscuits

Kia was giving me those puppy eyes again — I suppose she’s always giving me those puppy eyes isn’t she? Well, I’m a sucker for them (and perhaps she knows this too). So when I recently came home from the grocery store and she patiently stared at me unpacking the groceries, waiting to see what treat I may have brought home for her, I felt kind of bad.

She doesn’t always stare at me when I unpack groceries, but for whatever reason she was on my case this time. I didn’t really bring anything home that I could readily give her, so I thought I’d use some of the fresh blueberries I bought — she loves blueberries — and mix them with a few ingredients to make her cute, bone-shaped cheddar blueberry biscuits.

Cheddar Blueberry Biscuits Prep

This is my second go at homemade dog treats (my first being the sweet potato peanut butter sandwiches) and I’m coming to realize that they’re pretty darn easy to make. Kia finds almost all edible (and some inedible) things delicious — so the pressure is off when it comes to perfecting the mix of ingredients and balance of flavors. Phew!

The bone-shaped biscuits turned out beautifully and Kia was one happy pup! Next time you come home from the grocery store with a pint of blueberries, share the love with your dog and try these easy, homemade cheddar blueberry biscuits.

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kia’s kitchen: sweet potato peanut butter sandwiches

Kia's Kitchen Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Sandwiches

As you may have read on the about page, Kia is the official “wannabe taste tester” around here.

Kia is my 5-year-old german shepherd. She’s a good pup. We’ve had some good times over the years. You may have seen her in a photo or two in some of my posts, but I don’t usually capture her on camera while I’m cooking….but don’t be fooled! Whenever I’m in the kitchen, she’s always lurking somewhere near; monitoring what’s happening, hoping waiting for a morsel to fall to the floor, pointing her nose to the ceiling as if the smells-so-good human food is coming from the heavens.

Maybe I’m not doing a great job at explaining this. Here, this should help:

Kia

Yep. She’s a crazy pup. But I love her!

Considering she rarely gets to actually taste test anything I make (hence the “wannabe”), I thought it’d be nice to make something especially for her.

Now, I’m no aficionado in dog treats, so these treats were either going to be a hit or a miss (most likely a hit since Kia eats almost anything). Taking some ingredients I had around the kitchen, I whipped up these sweet potato peanut butter sandwiches.

Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Sandwiches

I made a lot more dough than I was planning for at the beginning, so this made roughly 25 sandwich treats. While I’m sure she’d love to indulge and eat all of them in one sitting (not happening!) I stored the rest of the treats in an air tight container in the refrigerator (I wouldn’t keep them past 1 week).

Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Sandwiches

So now you might be wondering if I tried one. (Okay, maybe you’re not wondering that at all, but I did try one, so I’m going to assume you asked so I can tell you about it). It was…kinda good. Kinda.

The sweet potato rounds were pretty bland. They kinda just tasted like…nothing. BUT that peanut butter and vanilla yogurt icing business, that was tasty. I’d spread that on a piece of fruit or bread any day! So, when I ate a complete sandwich that included the icing, that’s when it became “kinda good.”

But hey — it’s not for me! It’s not for you! It’s for the dogs in our lives and Kia loved them! (Of course I made her work for them though, see below)

Here’s the recipe if you want to make these for your pup and I’ll be featuring more dog treats in these “Kia’s Kitchen” posts (just to keep Kia feeling involved).

Kia

Kia

Kia & Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Sandwiches