I used to be a dog person, but messy life circumstances after my last dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge made dog guardianship too challenging (we have cats now). I still love dogs and have many dogs in my life. So when Family Circle published this recipe for Yogurt-Berry Bone Parfaits in August, I tore it out and left it sitting in the recipe pile for weeks because I knew I’d be attending Billy’s birthday celebration this fall. Billy is my friend Nancy’s dog. Her dog birthday parties are epic. She’s had as many as 15 dogs in attendance with party favors, treats for dogs and humans alike, pinatas, photo opportunities (visualize dogs having their picture taken in a Barbie car), and party hats and other costume options. She has everything short of a magician for these furkids!
Nancy always buys Frosty Paw treats at the grocery store for a dog treat (even the year our other friend made a salmon cake). She describes them as “frozen liver for dogs”. They come in an ice cream cup with a pull-off cardboard lid, but she couldn’t find them a couple of years ago, to every pup’s disappointment. I made these as a back-up treat for this year’s festivities. They have dairy and gluten, so if your pup has a sensitive stomach or is grain-free, this treat is not for you.
Yogurt-Berry Bone Parfait
2 Tbs plain greek yogurt
2 tsp fresh blackberry juice (from 3 smashed blackberries)
3-4 fresh raspberries, torn into pieces
1 tsp toasted coconut honey oats (toast 1.5 Tbs coconut oil with 1/4 rolled oats in skillet 5-7 minutes; stir in 1 tsp honey)
Use a bone cookie cutter as a mold. Place on flat surface, such as a glass or ceramic plate. Pour 1 Tbs yogurt into mold. Freeze at least an hour. Add layer of blackberry juice. Freeze 20-30 minutes. Place pieces of raspberry over juice layer and top with remaining yogurt. Freeze 20 minutes. Top with oats and freeze another 10-15 minutes.
Since I made a dozen of these for the party, I used a variety of cookie cutters in several shapes and sizes. The recipe is already labor intensive, and I wasn’t about to make one at a time! (If you were making one or 2 for your dog, I could see making them the same. I mean, I own 2 bone cookie cutters, but do you?)
Confession time– I didn’t measure anything. I held the open container of yogurt in one hand (not greek, by the way, but plain and fat free) and a spoon in the other. I put all my cookie cutters on a big cookie sheet, made a yogurt layer for the whole lot, and froze all 12. I smashed about 10 overripe strawberries with a potato masher and made the berry layer the same way. I topped it with more yogurt and froze overnight. After toasting my oats (omitted the honey, because I forgot), I popped the treats out of their molds and put the last layer on after the oats had cooled a bit.
The shapes were a big hit with the humans. The treats were VERY cold, so if I made these again, I would take them out of the freezer for a few minutes before serving. Most of the dogs licked them like popsicles, but nobody went crazy for them. One guest’s teenage son thought they looked so good he ate one too! Verdict: I probably would make these again, but only in mass quantities and only for special occasions.
The birthday boy!