This week it was my job to invent a recipe for National Dog Day, which had the potential to get, um, tasteless, but we won’t go there. Looking around for inspiration, I found some people give parties on this day (August 26th) to raise money for animal welfare groups. Since dogs are invited, I also found some suggestions on what to serve them. I’d never heard of putting cinnamon in a dog’s food, but apparently they’ll eat it, and it helps fight doggy breath.
All this came together in these simple cinnamon cookies. You can give them to kids, who’ll like the fun shape, adults, who’ll appreciate the not too sweet taste, dogs, who’ll have sweeter breath, or a bake sale fundraiser.
The recipe is based on Michael Ruhlman’s 1-2-3 cookies in his book Ratio. He notes that his friends call them “cookies for grownups” and says that the relatively low amount of fat means they don’t spread out as they bake. In other words, if you cut the dough into dog shapes, they won’t come out of the oven looking like sheep.
(And yes, that’s a dog shape in the photo, not a horse. It doesn’t have a horse’s tail, and that’s not because it got knocked off. I’m not responsible for the shape of my cookie cutters; they were an inheritance.)
Ruhlman says it’s good to add a pinch of salt and some vanilla to the basic recipe, but really the cookies are fine without them. You could vary them by mixing a teaspoon or so of cinnamon into the dough instead of sprinkling with cinnamon sugar. Speaking of cinnamon sugar, the ratio for that, which I got from The Joy of Cooking, is two tablespoons of cinnamon to a cup of sugar (or 1:8, but nobody would remember it that way).
Even if you don’t have a dog cookie cutter, give these a try — and pat a dog on the 26th.
Editor’s Note: Also check out this adorable puppy craft that the kids will enjoy making for National Dog Day.
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
- Let the butter soften.
- Cream it with an electric mixer at medium speed.
- Add the sugar and mix till fluffy.
- Add the flour little by little till it’s well mixed.
- Stop the mixer and form the dough into a ball with your hands.
- Roll out to ¼ inch thick.
- Cut into cookies — preferably dog-shaped.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake at 350℉ for about seven minutes or until edges brown lightly.