Crunchy BBQ Liver Dog Treats (Wheat-Free)
Makes about 40 2-inch treats
1/2 pound bacon
1 pound liver (such as calf liver, chicken liver, beef liver, etc.)
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato puree (substitute carrot, pumpkin, or butternut squash)
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup coarsely ground cornmeal (preferably organic/gmo-free)
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup chicken broth (salt-free or low sodium; you can also use water)
2 large eggs + 1 egg, divided
1/4 cup bbq sauce (use a non-spicy variety)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside. Arrange 2 baking racks in middle of oven.
Cook the bacon on a skillet over medium heat until the fat is rendered and bacon is a bit crisp. Remove from skillet and transfer to food processor. Drain all but a thin layer of fat and add the liver pieces, cooking them in batches about 2 minutes on each side, until cooked completely through (will be stiffer and shrunken a bit). Add the cooked pieces of liver to the food processor and puree into a paste. Add the oats, flaxseeds and cornmeal and puree again into a thick dough.
Transfer to a mixing bowl or stand-up mixer, and add the sweet potatoes, chicken broth, eggs and egg yolk (reserve the 3rd white). Mix well until a thick, sticky dough forms and gathers into a ball. If too wet, add a bit more ground cornmeal until you reach the right consistency.
Sprinkle cornmeal over your work surface and turn out the dough. Using a cornmeal dusted rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Use 2″ round cookie cutters dusted in cornmeal to cut out circles, and transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets (they can be placed close together). Re-roll out any remaining dough and repeat until all dough is used.
*No cookie cutter or just want a quicker way? You can also just cut the dough into 2″ squares with a knife or pizza cutter.
Place in oven and bake until dry and crunchy–3 hours for regular oven or 1 1/2 hours for a convection oven. (Check about 20 minutes before end of time to make sure they’re not burning.)
Remove from oven and lower heat to 200 degrees.
Beat together the remaining egg white and the bbq sauce. Brush on the still-warm treats and then return to the oven for another 40 minutes for regular ovens or 20 minutes for convection ovens to allow the glaze to set.
Store completely cooled treats in an air-tight container for up to 6 weeks.