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Portland, OR

Jordan A. Smith is a freelance designer in Portland, OR.

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A collection of projects and extracurricular activities I partake in.

birthday pupcakes

Jordan Smith

What do Andre 3000, Vincent Price and Henry Kissinger all have in common?

They share a birthday with a very special pup named Arlie Bean:

I did not know Arlie (seen above in August 2007) until three months after his birth. When he came into my life he weighed only three pounds, played with his reflection in mirrors and dug at the base of trees because he had yet to figure out squirrels ran up them, not under. He's an active animal, but has nothing but love for every person and animal he crosses. And last year for his birthday, I started my homemade dog treat habit by making him these pupcakes (which I replicated Wednesday evening).

While I was busy shredding these carrots, Arlie learned that he loved carrots in spite of years of denial. It may have been because I was using the cheese shredder and he did not recognize the difference.

My roommate's father has a hobby farm in Wisconsin. We are overflowing with tiny eggs from his fancy, free-range chickens. Since they were so small, I decided to use six instead of the instructed three.

Note: the above photo is the "before" baking and the below is the "after". Since the recipe lacks a leavener, like baking powder, the batter does not change much in appearance. Feel free to fill the cups up as full as you please. They will not overflow.

Now I made the mistake of adding too much applesauce to the cream cheese, so my icing was not as fluffy as I would prefer. Dogs don't really give two wags, so I suppressed my anxious drive for perfection. And just because you're slightly dying inside doesn't mean you can't add a little flare with dog food sprinkles or Cesar Filet Mignon Softies.

And what can I say, Arlie (and his sister Etta) devoured the birthday treat. Remember to remove the paper liners before you serve. Unlike what I absent-mindedly thought last year, dogs do not eat around them.

Birthday Pupcakes (Carrot Cake Dog Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing)
from Dog Treat Kitchen

Makes: 8

Ingredients

Cake
2 cups shredded carrots
3 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 cups whole wheat flour

Icing
8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly spray cups of muffin tin (or use paper wrappers, but make sure to remove paper wrappers before feeding to pups).
  3. In a large bowl stir together the carrots, eggs and applesauce. Set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl whisk together the cinnamon, oats and flour.
  5. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Stir until well blended.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tin. The dough will be thick and will not rise very much, so don't worry about over filling the tin.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting or serving.
  9. For icing, blend both ingredients with a hand mixer.