If you’ve been following my blog for any significant length of time, you will probably know all about my furbaby Tobias. He’s my [not so] little fuzzy Siberian husky puppy. I call him a puppy, but he’s very much an adult now because last Sunday he turned 4 years old. I always bake birthday treats for my loved ones, and Tobias’ birthday is no exception.
It was for his first birthday I first entered the world of home made pet treats, and every year I continue on the tradition. This year I wanted to incorporate some meaty goodness into them.
If you were around in my old [like early LiveJournal old] blogging days you’ll probably remember seeing him poking around in the background of my food photos. He’s my perpetually happy smiley puppy. Like most Sibis he’s a very active puppy. He loves nothing more than to run and run all day long. Running is on my list of things I like to do somewhere down near walking on broken glass. But even our hour or so long walks don’t tire him out, so the better solution is bike rides. We go on lots of bike rides together, and he loves them. I can go fast enough to keep up with him (sometimes even beat him), and he can run as fast as those amazing husky legs will carry him.
The only other thing he loves more than running is when he can run through water at the same time.
He also has a phenomenally massive tongue, which he frequently forgets to put away when he closes his mouth.
He is a constant source of joy in my life, so I like to do everything I can to return the favour. Which brings me to the cupcakes!
I wanted to make them meaty, but not like a meatloaf cupcake. I still wanted them to look like cupcakes. So I modified an old recipe. I fried off a handful of bacon first, then drained them on a paper towel. Next I took another handful of minced beef, mixed in an egg and enough breadcrumbs until it bound together. I didn’t bother measuring anything here, and you don’t have to.
Next for the cupcake mixture itself. You don’t have to be very fussy with anything here. Just dump all the cupcake ingredients into a bowl and whisk them to form a batter. Then I stirred in all the bacon bits.
To assemble I divided the cupcake mixture among the patty pans. Then I took tablespoon(ish) sized pieces of the meat, rolled them into balls and pushed them into the batter.
I was pretty sceptical as to how they’d come out, but they baked perfectly.
All that came next was the ‘icing’ I’ve seen a lot of people ice their doggy cakes with various dairy products, but dairy for Tobias is a giant no no. It makes him pretty sick so his treats are strictly dairy free. But he does like mashed taters. This time I added some peanut butter to it to make it a little extra special.
The best part about the mashed potato icing is that it pipes really well. Not that Tobias cares, but we do love a bit of aesthetics.
I topped them with some of his favourite puppy treats and we were ready to celebrate.
Before we did that we set about assembling his real birthday present. He has a lot of room to run outside and a lot of trees for shelter, but they’re not great shelter in a storm. He doesn’t seem to care about getting rained on, but it constantly worries me so I figured it was about time I bought him a kennel.
Tobias decided to ‘help’ us build it. When he wasn’t pulling funny faces he was taking advantage of the fact that we were spending our day at face-height to him and licking us on the face when we least expected it. Or offering us his butt for booty scratches.
All that hard work must have exhausted him.
It’s actually quite difficult to get cute and excited photos of him next to food as he has been trained to never touch it without being given the command to ‘eat it’. So instead he goes into avoidance behaviour mode and pretends the food isn’t there.
But once he was given the signal it was on like Donkey Kong.
He enjoyed making a giant mess of it. The one he got the next day he spent 5 minutes throwing in the air before finally eating it, something he loves doing with treats which is why he definitely wasn’t getting one inside the house. I opened up one of the others to give you guys a glimpse inside.
The following will make 6 pupcakes. You can alter quantities as needed.
I usually don’t put recipes in cup measurements, but this recipe doesn’t require a great deal of accuracy. The differences between AUS/US cups etc doesn’t make a difference here. If you need weight measurements there are a tonne of conversion devices online: I used AUS cups if you need to convert.
For the bacon I just used an economy cut and used the rind pieces (my partner won’t eat those bits so I have to chop them off and find a use for them anyway!) but you can use any part. The beef mince may also be swapped for your preferred meat. I used beef because a) it’s cheap, and b) I was making beef tacos for dinner anyway!
|Bacon and Meatball Cupcakes
|a rough handful of bacon, sliced
a rough handful of minced beef
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/8 cup peanut butter (i used natural/unsweetened)
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup grated carrot (skin on)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 cup honey
1 large potato
1/4 cup peanut butter
For the icing