Sunday, March 20, 2011

St Patrick's Day-Belated

St. Patrick's day came late this year for the little urban hounds.  Today was our local pug groups (the fabulous Northern New Jersey Pug extravaganza) St. Pugtrick's day meet up.   So Tubby, Ping, and the non-pug Dr. Zira attended.  They got dressed up in green, Tubby and Ping wore their outfits from Mia Pia's closet and since Zira is not too into clothes she wore a t-shirt.

I love to cook so I always like to bring something for the dogs or the people or both.  John was participating in a bicycle race yesterday for Brompton Folding Bikes so I was home alone and had some extra time to myself to devote to baking.   For the dogs I came up with some beef flavored biscuits. I call them Beefy Baby Bones since they have beef baby food in them.

Bob sat in the kitchen the whole time I worked on them waiting for them to come out of the oven:

Here's the Recipe

   Beefy Baby Bones
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 small jars of beefy baby food (I used Gerber stage 1)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1egg
Preheat the oven to 350 and put the rack in the center.

Pour the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir together.  Add the baby food and mix.   Pour in the oil and mix again.  Pour in the bouillon water and stir well.  Finally add the egg and stir.  (If your dough is too sticky add a bit more flour or oats and if its to dry add a little more oil or water, exact proportions are not too important in this recipe). 

Dump the dough out onto a well floured board and roll or pat it to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.   Cut out shapes with a well floured bone shaped cookie cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  (Note: if you don't want to cut out shapes you can roll the dough into balls and flatten them slightly to make round cookies).  Re-roll or re-pat until all the dough has been used.  I got about 25 medium bone cookies from the recipe.

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, rotating once.  The bones are done when they are lightly brown and slightly firm.   (Note: One nice thing about these cookies is they are pretty soft and chewy.  Tubby and Dr. Zira are not crazy about hard doggie cookies so I try to make softer ones).

Here are my hounds sampling them, they all loved them! (please ignore my hideous lazy Saturday getup).

I also decided to make something for the human attendees in honor of the holiday.  In the past I have usually made Nigella Lawson's chocolate Guinness cake for myself and John on St. Patrick's day but you can't easily bring a cake to a meet up and portion it out so I decided to make Dave Lieberman's chocolate stout cupcakes.  As an added bonus they were pretty inexpensive since the focus of his show is quality food on a budget.  Here is the recipe:

   Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
   (You can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them which is what I did)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Valrhona cocoa powder which is pricey but delicious, a 1/4 lb cost       $2.50 at whole foods which isn't too bad).
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt salt
  • 1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness) Note: Don't worry the alcohol is destroyed in the baking and you just get the flavor)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package  cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the beer melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Line 24 muffin tins with St. Patrick's day liners or grease the tins. . Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Note: The only problem I had is that the batter is very runny so it is a little messy, make sure you lock your hounds out of the kitchen so they don't lap up any spilled chocolate.
Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

Cream Cheese Frosting
 (This was pretty good, previously I used Magnolia Bakery's recipe for cream cheese frosting in all my cupcakes).

In a medium bowl with a mixer beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and some St. Patrick's day sprinkles.

At meet up the Beefy Bones where almost all gone and where probably a bigger hit then the cupcakes, since those where for the dogs and as all pug owners know a pug is never to busy to eat.  With the humans its a different story, who has time to eat with so many adorable puggies.

Here are some pics from the meet up.  It was great to see so many pugs showing the Irish spirit but it was hard to get decent pics with them all running around!

Finally, since I didn't have this blog last year I can not resist showing these pictures from last St. Patrick's day (that year we didn't attend the meet up but we got some great pictures at the house).


These last two are my favorite.  We Miss Bingo so much.   These pictures really capture his personality.  He was such a funny little dog.  We put a bully stick in the empty Guinness for the pictures and our other dogs ignored it, but Bingo was determined to get it out!  Don't worry though, we took it out and gave it to him right after we took the pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Adorable pictures, I am going to try your beefy bones I am sure my Olivia will love them!!