February 20, 2014

Dog Treats: Homemade Dog Biscuits Made from 'Spent Grain' from Homebrewed Beer

My husband enjoys making craft beers but we both feel guilty throwing out the spent grain after it cooks so we find creative ways to use it.  While composting it works and you can use 1/2 c to 1 c increments in homemade breads - I have started to use it primarily just for dog biscuits.  Our dogs know them as 'snacks' and you have to s-p-e-l-l out the word because yes, they know it and yes, they will immediately run to the laundry room door and wait for their human to go get them their 'snack'.

If your dogs like peanut butter, this has a faint peanut butter smell and taste as they do use about a cup of peanut butter.  My dogs love garlic and I like to give them garlic foods as a natural flea and tick deterrent so a garlic, pizza sauce flavored biscuit is a hit in our house.  I wouldn't use things like cheese in them though, as I assume they would go rancid... although I'm quietly asking myself if a cheese powder would work ok... hmmm.  I may have to play around with that idea!  But for now I use items I can incorporate that can be baked a long time, to a hard, crisp biscuit without going bad, molding or going rancid.  This one works great!

Why are they round?  Because it was easy.  I wish (!!!) I had a set like this;  Dog Bone Cookie Cutter Set but alas - with the 100+ cookie cutters I have, I do not have a dog bone cutter and shaping the dough into little bone shapes lasted for 4 bones before I got sick of it and started to roll out the dough and cut with a round cutter.  Fast. Easy. Perfect.  Shape them however YOU want.  Your dog doesn't really care.

Dog Biscuits

4 c 'spent grain' from homemade beer brewing
2-3 c flour
1 c peanut butter or 1 c pizza sauce
2 T fresh minced garlic (optional with the pizza flavor)
2 eggs

Mash everything together (I use my hands) and add more flour a little at a time until it comes together to form a nice ball of dough.  Roll out and cut into shapes or use a scoop and shape into flats with your hands, roll out and cut into squares with a knife... etc.  Completely up to you how you want to shape them.  NOTE:  About 1/2 inch is about as thick as you want to make them as thicker biscuits take longer to bake.

Bake about 30 minutes at 350 and turn your oven down to 225.  Let the biscuits bake a couple hours until completely dried and crisp - the centers need to be crisp and dry like a Milk Bone biscuits or the snacks will go bad if stored at room temperature.  I baked mine about 4 hours, turned off the oven and went to bed, leaving them in the hot oven all night. 

Spent grain

Form a dough ball

Roll out or shape as you and your dogs like best

Bake and bake and bake until completely dry and crisp all the way through

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