Doggone good. That’s one way to describe Stephanie Rossino’s creations.

“I’m a foodie at heart,” she said, plating fresh bacon and cheddar muffins. “Our treats are very flavorful.”

Birthday cakes, biscotti, holiday meals — they all set tails wagging.

“People often confuse us with a people bakery,” explained the owner of GiggyBites Bakery & Marketplace in Chadds Ford, named for Gigabyte the Chihuahua. “We like to experiment and come up with new recipes. We have a good team, good collaboration, a nice balance of fun and nutrition.”

Her oatmeal-peanut butter treats, for example, feature banana, cinnamon and vanilla.

“It smells good baking, and it smells good to the dogs when they eat it,” she said. “It’s a gift, and they know it’s special.”

No bones about it. Pets deserve a little homemade happiness too.

“Pets give us so much companionship and love back. It’s nice to do something for them as well,” agreed Christina Verrelli of Devon, a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner, food blogger and Kitchen Aid on-air guest for QVC. “I actually make a lot of pet treat recipes for my work at QVC because one of the hosts here has just about every pet you can imagine.”

Try her peanut butter and pumpkin doggie biscuits, “meow-ums” kitty crackers or “gnaw, gnaw” biscuits: teeth tamers for guinea pigs and rabbits.

“I think I even did a bird treat,” recalled the creative cook. “The only thing I haven’t done is fish treats.”

Back at GiggyBites, Rossino straightened a display of gift bags and offered some advice.

“Start out with small batches, so that if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, you can start over,” she said. “But the dogs don’t mind.”

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Doggie Biscuits

Recipe adapted from my sister-in-law, Laura’s, Doggie Doughnut recipe. Makes about 9 or 10 biscuits, depending on size of cookie cutter.

Ingredients1¼ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup oat flour½ cup rice flour

¼ cup brewer’s yeast (found with protein powders in grocery)

½ teaspoon baking powder2/3 cup chicken broth

1 egg3 tablespoons rolled oats¼ cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons pumpkinInstructions

Measure into medium bowl flour, brewer’s yeast and baking powder. (You can use whatever flour combination you like, 2¼ cups total.) Whisk together chicken broth and egg, and add to dry ingredients. Mix in rolled oats, peanut butter and pumpkin. Wrap and refrigerate dough an hour or longer to firm up. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle flat surface with some additional flour and roll out dough about ¼- to ½-inch thick. Use bone-shaped cookie cutter to cut about 9 or 10 bones (re-rolling dough as necessary). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes in bones (helps moisture escape.) Brush on an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) if you’d like a glossy finish. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then reduce oven temperature to 250 and bake for another 20 minutes. Turn oven off and leave biscuits in as oven cools. You want them to be quite dry. Store in an air-tight container.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHRISTINA VERRELLI, WWW.EPICURICLOUD.COM

Meow-ums Kitty Crackers Ingredients

2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened

1 cup flour (I used ½ whole wheat, ½ brown rice)

2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast1 tablespoon dried catnip

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons cold waterAdditional flour for rolling

InstructionsPreheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl add coconut oil; mix in flour and brewer’s yeast until mixture looks sandy. Stir in catnip and cheddar cheese. Mix in egg and add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms dough. Sprinkle flat surface with a little additional flour and roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Use pizza wheel to cut dough into 1-inch squares. Arrange squares on prepared baking sheet and prick with a fork. Bake for about 12 minutes or until starting to brown. Cool on baking sheet. Store in airtight container for a week or freeze for longer storage. Makes about 70, 1-inch crackers.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHRISTINA VERRELLI, WWW.EPICURICLOUD.COM

“Gnaw, Gnaw” Biscuits: Teeth Tamers for Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

Ingredients1 cup kibble (guinea pig or rabbit)

¾ cup water½ cup unsweetened applesauce

¾ cup finely shredded carrot1 cup small pieces of Timothy hay (I used the fine bits from bottom of box)

InstructionsPreheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the kibble and water to hydrate them. Stir in the other ingredients. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet and pat until about ¼-inch thick. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and use a pizza wheel to cut into squares (don’t separate at this point.) Continue baking for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cut on the same scored lines, use a small spatula to turn the squares over and separate them on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minute more or until dried to the desired consistency. Store in an airtight container.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHRISTINA VERRELLI, WWW.EPICURICLOUD.COM

Bacon and Cheese MuffinsIngredients

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix1 egg

1/3 cup milk¼ cup bacon drippings

¼ cup precooked bacon¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon parsley (optional)Instructions

Follow directions on package, combining mix, egg and milk. Add bacon drippings, bacon, Parmesan and parsley. Coat mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Bake according to package directions.

RECIPE COURTESY OF GIGGYBITES BAKERY & MARKETPLACE

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