December 20, 2012

Spent Grain Dog Treats

My dad has really gotten into brewing his own beer since the summer, and after each batch, he's left with a big pile of spent grains. He tossed them the first few times, but later learned you can save the grains and use them to make things like bread... and dog treats!

We have no shortage of dogs barking around in the family, so I took what he had recently and turned them into dog treats! Piper, my mischievous hound, and Dante, my parent's dog, both really love the first batch my dad made. I took some tips from him when he made them and improved on the recipe to make it possible to use cookie cutters on them- bone shaped cookie cutters!

Baking these was essentially a waking nightmare for Piper, or so she'd have you believe. She knew what they were, smelled them for over 4 hours, and could see them cooling on the counter. I should go to jail for putting her through this kind of extensive torture.

Beer Grain Dog Treats
makes approximately 30 treats, depending on the size of your cutter

What You'll Need:
2 1/2 cups (approx) of spent beer grains that have not been mixed with hops*
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
1 egg

The Process:
Mix all ingredients together well. I used a wooden spoon at first and then finished it off by mixing with my hands. If it's still really sticky, add a little more flour. If it's too dry, add a little bit more peanut butter. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Roll out dough to about 1/4" thick and cut out desired shapes until all the dough is used.

Place cut biscuits onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 2 1/2 hours, turning them after 90 minutes, until they're really well dried out. Using hot pads, break one in half to make sure they're dried all the way through. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

*Hops are toxic to dogs, do never use grains have been mixed with hops.

I had three different kinds of grains on hand, so I made quite a few of these (almost 150), but they're getting spread around between four spoiled dogs. Poor Piper has been stalking the kitchen all evening. Too bad she has to wait until Christmas for these.

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