Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Enterprising Dogs and Ginger Banana Cookies

Lulu and Phoebe signature cookies:  Mine and Mine
My answer to our unexpected and ridiculously long stretch of unemployment has been to spend hours in the kitchen using baking therapy to work out those frustrations.  I’ve baked all our old favorites at least twice, pounded dough, chopped until the cutting board looks like a sacrificial lamb, and started working on new recipes.  My constant kitchen companions, Lulu and Phoebe have been quietly standing by just in case I need help sweeping up stuff from the floor, taste testing or waiting to bark in case Timmy falls in the well. 
And, until recently, I hadn’t realized that they were actually waiting for me to get around to baking for them.  You’d think after all this time they’d send a memo, a text or at least posted to Facebook.
I’d just finished baking some really fine triple ginger (gluten free) cookies for humans, when I looked up and noticed that both dogs were blowing bubbles; some serious drooling was going on. 
Ginger-three-ways was apparently the holy grail of the doggy palate.  I’ve seen them get enormously excited when I dropped things on the floor, but they had not yet been soaked with drool in advance of things dropping.  Who knew that it would be all about ginger?
Perhaps I was on to something here.  I got busy thinking up a good recipe using ginger that would be just perfect for these guys.  Sometimes, the unexpected turns into an opportunity.
If the photos are any indication, they approve. 

Lulu and Phoebe’s Ginger Banana Cookies
  • 11 oz. (2 cups) mix of rice, sorghum and coconut flours
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ginger root powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 oz (weight) or 1/4 cup organic molasses
  • 3 oz (weight) or 1/4 cup organic honey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup peanut or olive oil
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350.  Line three baking sheets with parchment or silpats.   In a large bowl, combine flours, xanthan gum, ginger, and cinnamon.  In a small food processor or blender, combine molasses, oil, egg, honey, banana and yogurt and pulse until liquefied.  Add to dry mixture and combine until well incorporated.  The dough should be stiff.
Take one silpat and place it on the counter.  Take ½ the dough and pat into rectangle on the silpat.  Cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Roll very thin all the way to edges if possible.  Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut into shapes and using an offset spatula, place on another silpat lined baking sheet.  Or, using a butter knife, cut the rolled rectangle of dough into even sized pieces (think graham crackers) by cutting in half and then half again, repeat.  Using the tines of a fork, poke each cracker a couple of times (again, think graham crackers).  Slide onto baking tray without moving the dough.
Turn oven to 325.  Bake 6 minutes and rotate.  Bake another 4-5 minutes and remove from oven.  When all the baking sheets are finished, combine the cookies onto two sheets.  Turn oven off and place cookies in the oven and dry for 30 minutes more (remember to turn the oven off!) to crisp.
Cool completely. 
Notes:  Using a digital scale for baking will give you more accurate results in general.  The combo flours give the cookie a more multi-dimensional flavor, but feel free to use plain rice flour.  The dogs won't care.  Try to not to use wheat flour- most dogs can't tolerate it.  
Bon appétit happy dogs!
vulcan salute - prelude to cookies and cookies

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