At Evermore, we love chocolate, and nobody here would ever turn down a nice box of them on Valentine's Day (or any day, for that matter). Since our pups can't share in the indulgence, we decided to whip up the next best thing for them. These gluten-free carob peanut butter hearts are so easy to make and healthy to boot! They're unabashedly canine-approved, and as it turns out, pretty tasty for humans as well. The peanut butter base has no added sugar, but the carob adds enough sweetness to please any palate.
Carob Peanut Butter Hearts (gluten/dairy-free)
Yield: 12-24 cookies, depending on your cookie cutter (or, if you make the mistake that I did and purchase a cookie cutter that is 4 inches wide, you may only get 3 or 4 very large cookies—unless you also do what I did and hand cut all the hearts out with a paring knife ☺).
1 cup oats, ground into flour using a coffee grinder or food processor
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup carob chips, for dipping
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat, and preheat oven to 350ºF.
Stir flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and hot water together until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing until dough comes together (add more water or flour if too dry or wet).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/4-inch thick. Use heart-shaped (or other shape of choice) cookie cutter to cut out cookies, then transfer cut dough to prepared baking sheets. For smaller dogs or training-size treats, you could also use the bottom of a pastry tip (the round part).
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges, or for 5-8 minutes for the small pastry tip cookies. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Once cookies are cool, melt carob chips and coconut oil (if using) together in a double boiler until smooth; if there are any remaning carob chunks that do not fully melt down, be sure to run the mixture through a sieve before dipping. Dip cookies into carob, coating half of the cookie, and place on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Allow to set for 20 minutes to an hour, until set.
Store in an airtight container.