December 9, 2012

Holiday Cheer - A Gingerbread Dog Biscuit Kind of Christmas

By: Carla Rossi

So, one sunny day I’m writing a short story for Pelican Book Group’s Holiday Extravaganza.  It’s a Christmas short story, and I’m all in to writing about the holidays – except that it’s 92 degrees and I’m wearing shorts and watching the heat rise off the driveway through my writing cave window.
And in walks a dog.
Let me back up.  I always knew this story would include animals.  I’m a pet lover from way back, and can’t put a single word on the page without Saber the Maine Coon Muse Cat sitting nearby.  When Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy took root in my brain, I happily developed situations to include furry companions.
Now.  In walks a dog.
I say A dog because it’s not MY dog.  It’s my son’s dog.  But between flight school, job changes, and life events, Case the Cuddle Monster has spent more time with me at my house than he ever has with my son at his.  A rescue from Houston Area Doberman Rescue, Case has always been eternally grateful to have a safe home.  He was found wandering a country road – underweight, with burned and blistered pads from walking the on the hot concrete, and with a chain well on its way to being embedded in his neck.
So I’m writing my Christmas story…
And in walks a dog.
I’m like, “Hey there, Dog, I’m writing a Christmas story and this heat is making it hard to stay in the Christmas frame of mind.”
And he’s like, “Baking always does it for you... Do some Christmas baking.”

Then I’m all, “Brilliant idea, Dog!” 

So my heroine Jane got busy researching how to make homemade dog biscuits with a holiday theme, and Jane and Dr. Noah’s Gingerbread Dog Biscuits were born.  And let me just say these treats are yummy (Case says so) and make the whole house smell like Christmas. 

So in walks a dog.  And he’s eating Christmas cookies. 

Jane and Dr. Noah’s Gingerbread Dog Biscuits

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup molasses
¾ cup water 
¼ cup canola oil  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until combined.
In a small bowl, stir together molasses, water, and canola oil. 
Pour molasses mixture into flour mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Separate dough into manageable portions and roll out to ¼ to ½ inch thickness.
Use your favorite dog cookie cutter to cut shapes.
Lightly spray a baking sheet or use a baking stone.
Bake for 20 minutes. 
Cool completely on wire rack.
These dog biscuits will keep fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks. They also freeze well.  

Also from Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy:

Sunny Trumbull’s Best Ever Sugar Cookies

 1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup shortening
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Combine sugar, shortening, butter or margarine, eggs, and vanilla and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer.
Spoon dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Mix well.
Chill for several hours or overnight. (Dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)
Separate dough into portions and roll out to desired thickness—usually ¼ to ½ inch.
Cut out cookies.
Bake on cookie sheet or baking stone at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
 Decorate as desired.
Blurb:  Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy

Take one lonely veterinarian and one reluctant ballerina.  Add a dash of crazy family and a pinch of adoring pets.  Mix well.  What’s not to love about Christmas?

     College senior and not-so-ex-ballerina Jane Trumbull is home for Christmas break.  She welcomes the joyful chaos of a happy family holiday – then the rollercoaster of emotions begins.

     Veterinarian Dr. Noah Barron hopes his return to Texas and his new clinic will help him forget about his dark days in California.  But he can’t outrun unresolved issues and doesn’t know how lonely he really is – until he meets slightly clumsy Un-Plain Jane. 

     Can Jane and Noah learn to share who they really are and what they really want?  And can they allow God to send joy after sorrow, hope for hidden dreams, and healing for past wounds? 

Enter a comment to win a PDF copy of Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy!
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Thank you, Anna Kathryn, for letting me stop by!


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Carla. Thanks for being on Holiday Cheer today. Love the dog biscuit recipe, we have a wee dog and we'll need to make this for Shaggy.

Carla Rossi said...

Shaggy will love them! Good to be here.

Sarah Richmond said...

What a fun post! Thanks for the recipes.

Sherida Stewart said...

Fun to read this post. And I love to read romances with a Christmas theme. Thank you!

Melissa said...

We just got a new puppy! I'm sure she'll love these treats! And I'll love how the house smells. It's a win, win! :)

Love your storyline, Carla. Off to get my copy now!

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

I love holiday stories with animals, and the recipe sounds great.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...


Start your story for next year now! Heat or not, you scored with Dr. Noah AND the Dog Biscuits!

Carla Rossi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla Rossi said...

Thanks, everyone.

Melissa: The cookies will be great for a puppy because on the first day they are soft and chewy - puppies love to chew...
After a couple days they get real crunchy - puppies love to chomp...

Davalyn Spencer said...

Loved the post - what fun!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks for the recipes. Your books sound so clever.

Becky said...

Loved reading the post. I'm going to give the dog biscuits a try and hopefully my 2 dogs will like them. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I love the sound of Dr. Noah and the Sugar Plum Fairy. I'm going to get myself a copy of this story.

Mary Manners said...

Loved, Loved, LOVED this book! It's so wonderful. Congratulations and Happy Holidays!!!

LoRee Peery said...

What a tease! I can hardly wait to read this story. Your recipe sounds wonderful. I'm sure my big Bogey would love such a treat.

Rita Webb said...

Cute! Your dog who isn't your dog has some brilliant ideas. Mind if I borrow him sometime?

Carla Rossi said...

Thanks to everyone for visiting here! I'm glad you are enjoying the post and recipes.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Oh what a cute doggie!

Thanks for the recipe. I have four dogs and they're already licking their chops. lol

kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

dog food chicago il said...

I have two naughty puppies. They are like biscuits and I am finding a delicious biscuit recipe for them. Your recipe sounds tasty. I am going to make it and I am sure they like it very much.