In the last week before we leave to travel around the world, I haven't spent much time thinking about our trip or even about the things we have left to do before we leave on Saturday. Instead, I am spending all my spare time thinking about and being with our two wonderful dogs, Chewy and Abby. Every time I see their sweet, trusting faces, or their tails wagging as we pet them, my heart breaks just a little because they have no idea that we are going to be away from them for so long.
I don't want to express all the fears and anxieties I have about leaving them; in fact, I don't even want to admit to myself many of those concerns. I would rather spend my time spoiling them. So, I baked them "pupcakes," carob-infused cupcakes for our two dogs, which smelled so good that Patrick wanted me to make a batch for him.
Chewy did not leave my side through the baking process. He plopped down on the floor while I was stirring together the ingredients, managed to connive me into letting him lick the spoon (darn those cute puppy faces), and posed for me while I was taking pictures.
I couldn't get a single non-blurry picture of him eating the pupcakes because watching him eat is like watching a tornado rip a house to shreds. Abby, on the other hand, daintily ate her pupcake in several large bites. I didn't taste them but, as far as I can tell, the pupcakes were a rousing success.
Pupcakes (Cupcakes for Dogs)
Adapted from Dan Dye & Mark Beckloff's Three Dog Bakery Cookbook: Over 50 Recipes for All-Natural Treats for Your Dog, Barkery-Fresh Carob Cakes on page 40
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12 dogs (or 2 hungry dogs over six days)
1/2 cup honey
2 cups white whole wheat flour (or white flour)
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise*
3 heaping tablespoons carob powder (I love Chatfields Carob Powder because its golden color and rich smell reminds me of good cocoa powder)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 small dog biscuits (I used a combination of Old Mother Hubbard Mini Dog Biscuits and some other vanilla-flavored dog biscuits I had on hand)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, blend all ingredients except for dog biscuits together very thoroughly. The mixture will be a little thick.
3. Grease a muffin tin or use cupcake liners and fill each 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 10 minutes or until a thin baked layer forms on top.
5. Remove pan from oven and firmly press one dog biscuit into each cupcake. Some batter will gush out on the sides of the dog biscuit.
6. Place muffin tin back into oven and continue baking for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a pupcake.
7. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.
* I know that mayonnaise is a weird ingredient to include in baked goods but, because it is an egg product, it binds the batter together. If you don't want to use mayonnaise, I think you could replace that ingredient with an egg and a splash of milk.