As holiday shoppers look for the perfect gifts, we wondered if a "Gourmet Dog Treat Maker" might be the perfect choice for the dog lovers in your life. Or, for the four-legged friends in your home?
Sunbeams' Gourmet Dog Treat Maker was recently touted in USA Today as a good choice for the dog lovers. So, Local 4's Ruth Spencer headed into the kitchen of a Southfield dog owner to see how the treat maker worked.
Meet the Testers
Dog owner and computer engineer Kim Hall told Ruth the treat maker was a product she was interested in trying. She said she likes the ability to control what's in her dog treats. To sample the treats, she signed up her doggie helpers, Bailey and Carson, two dogs she's had since they were 6-week-old pups.
"They almost act like I gave birth to them. I take them almost anywhere I can possibly take them," Hall said.
A little camera shy at first, the duo warmed up when they realized food was involved. Taking their cues from Kim, they soon got into the game.
"Since I enjoy cooking, then I would enjoy cooking for them as well," Kim said.
Ruth to the Rescue brought the treat maker, the ingredients and the cooking directions to Kim's Southfield high-rise, hoping to bake up some homemade dog biscuits.
What's on the Menu?
The dog treat maker comes with six recipe options, including "Peanut Butter Bones" and "Wheat & Gluten Free Biscuits."
For our product test we planned to make "Chicken Broth Biscuits." The recipe required whole wheat flour, baking powder, eggs, olive oil, unsweetened applesauce and chicken broth -- ingredients many people are likely already have lying around their refrigerators and shelved in their pantries.
Time to Cook
Following the directions, Ruth plugged in the cooker to pre-heat the treat maker for 10 minutes.
Then, Kim mixed the dry ingredients while Ruth whisked the rest in a separate bowl and combined it with the dry ingredients to complete the batter. This took only minutes.
Once the batter was poured into the bone-shaped grooves of the treat-maker plate, they closed it and set the timer for 15 minutes.
Beware Hot Surfaces
The only thing bad Ruth to the Rescue discovered is that it's easy to accidentally burn a finger. Unfortunately, the red plastic coating doesn't completely cover the entire exterior edges of the heated plates. So, if you're not careful, you can walk away with a small burn like our Ruth Spencer did.
The directions include a warning, "Do Not Touch Hot Surfaces," but with the way the cooker is made, you might not see some of the surfaces on the side are metal, and likely to get quite hot.
When the timer went off, Bailey's head popped up from a quick nap, as if he knew his treats were minutes away.
The homemade biscuits came out a golden-brown and the non-stick surface lived up to its name.
After they cooled, Kim gave the treats to Bailey and Carson, and we waited for the moment of truth. The dogs looked at the treats, sniffed them, and pushed them around a bit. But, after Kim broke one in half, they started munching away and didn't want to stop.
So, does Hall think it's a good idea for any pet lover to have this product?
"Most definitely. Yes," she said.
Would she get it for friends with dogs?
"I sure will."