Sammy’s Heart-Shaped Cookies

Last Christmas I received a Christmas card with these two beautiful canines gracing the front of it. I keep every card I ever receive, but this one is definitely among my most cherished. This is Sam and Bonnie, my lovely friend Anna's furbabies.

A fortnight ago, she received the terrible news that brave Sammy had lost his battle with cancer. It had returned with a vengeance and it would be a few short days before she would have to say goodbye.

Having had to say goodbye to a furbaby of my own three years ago this November, I know too well what a difficult time it is. Not just for us who are left behind, but for our loved one as well. It can be a stressful and confusing time for them, unable to really understand what's happening to them. There's nothing any of us can do but shower them with love. No doubt, Sammy got loads of it at the hands of Anna and family.

I felt pretty helpless, but if I could do anything to make his final days a little extra cheerful, I would jump at the chance. I dropped the assignment I was working on and hit the kitchen to make some canine treats for beautiful Sammy.

I'd like to share them with you and your furbaby.

I had a poke around the Internet for inspiration and found a common theme amongst most recipes. I stuffed them with oats and coconut for some extra texture and flavour. Anna had said to me recently that Sam and Bonnie often beg for chocolate but never get any for fear of giving them chocolate poisoning, so I just knew they had to involve chocolate.

These cookies are half coated in carob for a dog-friendly option that makes them a little more special. They can, of course, be baked without it.

My puppy, Tobias, tasted a spare one before I coated it in carob and gave them his stamp of approval. I'm not sure he entirely understood why he wasn't getting the whole batch for himself. 

I wrapped them in a million layers of bubblewrap and plastic bags and newspaper – perhaps the ugliest pass-the-parcel job ever, but was hopeful it would survive the trip. Tobias and I went for a walk to the post box and sent them on their way. The next morning I woke to this picture and the following message on my Facebook wall.

"Dear Aunty Rhi,

Thank you so so much for my delicious treats! You can see how much my tail is wagging in this photo. I loved them so much I even jumped up to try & steal more, despite the fact that my cancer has eaten away at the bones in my elbow & it was incredibly painful. I never was the brightest dog. But I think you get the gist of how delicious the bikkies were. Thank you so much! I'm a very happy boy now! Tobias, I hope you got to lick the bowl! Nom nom nom!
Love, a much happier Sam!"

Lots of waterworks all around. 

Those pretty eyes say it all. 

These cookies were mine and Tobias' gift to Sammy. Now this is Sammy's gift to your furbaby. If you make these for your pooch, give courageous Sammy a pause for thought and pass on lots of hugs to your puppy from all of us. We hope your furry friend loves these as much as Sam and Bonnie did. 

Sammy's Heart-Shaped Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup plain or wholemeal flour
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple sauce (you can simply microwave and mash a little peeled apple, pear or similar to make this component)
100g carob chips 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Knead on a lightly floured surface until mixture is well incorporated and forms a smooth ball.
  3. Roll out dough to 5mm thickness. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out treats and transfer to a baking tray. 
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Melt carob over a double boiler, or in a microwave (melt in 30-second bursts, stirring well between bursts). Dip cookies in carob, gently shaking off the excess. Invert on the wire rack until carob sets. 

Download the printable version of the recipe here

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13 thoughts on “Sammy’s Heart-Shaped Cookies

  1. That was a lovely thing you did for Sammy, and it was great to hear the lovely words from Anna. Those biscuits look just as good as any human-variety ones, too.

  2. thank you for the recipe. we learned last week thkat cancer has returned for our golden, kinako. I’m baking your cookies for kinako and her buddy, Gus. thnks! mari

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