Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kidney Brownies

Have you ever heard of liver brownies?  They are a super easy home made treat that dogs love.  Because they are cheap, easy and good for training they are a favorite of those of us who are high volume treat users like trainers and obedience people.  Well today I set out to see if the recipe would work with kidney.  Why kidney you ask?  I happened to get 4 pounds of local, pasture fed-finished beef kidney for very little money.  It has been sitting in a giant 4lb glob in a bag in the freezer taking up way too much space and I really needed it to go.  If I were to put this in to dog food (even if it was the only organ other than liver I used) it would take months for it all to get eaten.  Right now I am not short on organ and frankly the other stuff fits in the freezer much better.

So here is the recipe I improvised for kidney brownies-
4 LB of Beef Kidney
1 1/2 Cup Corn Meal*
1 Cup Flour
1/2 a Wedge of Parmesan Cheese
4 Cloves of garlic**

*Read what I have to say about corn if you want to.  If your dog is allergic or sensitive to corn you could use regular flour and an egg but I think it will be more crumbly like a traditional brownie and not a rip-able, pliable bar like I got.
**From what I read garlic can cause anemia in dogs if used in large quantities.  This recipe uses only 4 cloves to make an amount of treats that will last two dogs months.  I hear that dogs like the taste of garlic and it also made the cooking smell of this a little more bearable for me so I am glad I used it.  It is certainly not necessary if it makes you uncomfortable or if your dog can't have it for some reason.

First I assembled all my ingredients-
Then I preheated my oven to 350 degrees.  Next I covered a cookie sheet in foil and greased it (I used olive oil, but any cooking oil would do).  I put the cheese in a food processor with the peeled garlic.
And zap, zap, zap- tada!
I don't have any pictures of chopping and blending the kidney.  It was too gross and I just wanted it to be over.  My only advise is if you value the motors on your kitchen appliances use a blender, cut the kidney up small and pour all the blood from the bag into the mix.  Once it was all processed I mixed it with the cheese, corn meal and flour.
Spread the mixture into your greased and foiled cookie sheet.  I made it about 1/4 inch thick but I now see that either thicker or thinner would both work although it would be a different consistency treat depending.  I like my 1/4 inch and at that depth I got several cookie sheets worth.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Once it cools a little I turned the slab over onto a cooling rack and carefully peeled back the tin foil.  Without the foil I can't imagine I would have gotten it off the cookie sheet.
Because of the consistency of the sheet it was easiest for me to cut it with scissors once it was completely cool.  I cut it into strips and then cubes like you see in the first picture.
These treats need to be either refrigerated or frozen.  I froze most of mine because I made a lot of treats.  I do have a tip on freezing though.  If you first freeze the treats laid out on a cookie sheet THEN put them all into a bag it will help avoid clumping.  You should be able to just pull out what you need without having to thaw the whole bag.  This method works for veggies and most other cooked then frozen items too.

I got a LOT of treats.  Previously I had been buying Welness Pure Rewards for about $6 a bag.  This recipe made about 12 bags worth of treats and cost me $6.*
*I calculated $2.50 for 1/2 a block of Parmesan cheese at $4.99, $2 for the kidney, 25c for the garlic (although I did get it for free from a farmer we know) and $1 for the corn meal and flour then to make it a round number I pretended it cost me 25c in gas to run the oven.  Total- $6

These were a big hit with both Copley (who would eat anything) and Kerrigan (who it a little bit more picky).  They are the perfect consistency for training and once done don't really smell like kidney any more. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful recipe! My dogs can't get enough of these wonderful treats and they're really easy to bake!