Friday, March 9, 2012

Fast Friday: Mini corn dog muffins



Even though I'm the ripe old age of 27, despite appearing 18 to folks I encounter at work (?!), I'm still relishing new experiences every day.

Like buying my first Kate Spade bag.

And attending a traditional Jewish wedding on Sunday.

As fun as it is to look forward to things, there are some things from my past that I just can't shake.  Last summer, I crossed another item off my bucket list and promptly added it to my "favorite things in the universe" list: eat my first corn dog!

Sweet deep-fried crunchy yet fluffy cornbread batter enveloping a salty all-American hot dog.  Is there any better way to top one's day at an amusement park?  I could've eaten 10.  Okay, maybe three, but definitely more than the one that I did have.

Thankfully, for the sake of of my arteries, I stopped at one, but I haven't stopped thinking about it since.  And that led me to the challenge of recreating a healthier less unhealthy version of corn dogs at home for myself: mini corn dog muffins!

What sets these little morsels apart from a regular corn dog?  Aside from their uh-door-uh-bull miniature figure, there is no frying involved in the preparation.  No frying!

In fact, it almost seemed a little wrong how little effort -- under 5 minutes from start to oven and only 4 ingredients -- was needed to turn out an entire pan of mini corn dog muffins for my enjoyment and my enjoyment alone.

But, I learned my lesson from my last covert cooking mission and shared these with my favorite culinary consultant.  In fact, I've been looking for an excuse for months to make these and one finally arrived: Matt's birthday.  Yep, this was what he requested for his birthday dinner.  I offered to make anything he wanted.  Anything!

What he wanted were these super popable corn dog bites, dipped in ketchup and mustard, eaten with his fingers. 

We were practically giggling in anticipation.  We couldn't even wait to get to the dinner table before sampling each sample one as we hovered over the muffin pan, hot out of the oven.  We just couldn't resist!  I blame the mini corn dog muffins, not our lack of willpower.

These were so much fun to eat!  This was anything but a run-of-the-mill weeknight dinner.  There's something about sampling/buffet style dinners that always leaves me so satisfied.  It's not necessarily more food (in fact it's usually less) but the experience of a cocktail party for two that's

I can't wait to make a double batch of these for our next party -- who wouldn't love them?!  I mean, how could you not love little bites of hot dog wrapped in a corn muffin doughnut?

It's almost as difficult to believe as some poor schmuck waiting 27 years to try a corn dog.  I'd say I righted that wrong and then some, thankyouverymuch.


One year ago: Scrambled eggs with guacamole
Two years ago: Chocolate cake doughnuts


Mini Corn Dog Muffins
(adapted slightly from Iowa Girl Eats)
-makes 16

1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
3-4 hot dogs (I used 3 bun length dogs)
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Generously coat cups of mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Prepare corn muffin mix as instructed on box: whisk together egg and milk and stir in dry muffin mix until incorporated and still slightly lumpy.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Cut hot dogs into 1-inch pieces.

Using a #40 ice cream/cookie scoop (or a tablespoon measure), place one scoop/dollop into each mini muffin cup until no batter remains.  Place one hot dog section in the middle of each filled muffin cup.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove, run a knife around the edge of the mini cups to loosen them and turn out.  Enjoy your homemade mini corn dog bites immediately!  Try 'em with a side of baked beans for an extra dose of summery picnic goodness.

92 comments:

  1. I could eat these every day

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  2. Hi! I just found your blog when I searched for homemade mini corn dogs. I loved this post and I love the name of your blog! So cute. :) I can't wait to look around and find more recipes. I pinned this recipe, if that's okay. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks for the kind words, Sam! Take a look around, stay a while :) I've got some great recipes up my sleeve for the coming week. Let me know what you think of the final product!

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  4. awesome goodness!!!! Thank you for sharing ^__^

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  5. My daughter has been begging me to buy her corn dogs again. Her absolute favorite thing. But they are SO expensive and take up so much freezer space.

    I am going to try this in a mini muffin tin, and have her assemble them. See if this will pass her taste test. I think so though.

    Wonderful idea I would of NEVER thought of! Thank you!

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    1. And there's no mess that you'd normally have from frying. Woo! Can't wait to hear what the official taste tester thinks :)

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  6. How well do you think these would freeze?

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    1. I suspect quite well! Bake as directed and thaw in microwave for a minute or two until warm. Hope this helps!

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  8. I made these today in a standard size muffin pan, and was surprised how good they were! Sooo easy too! Will try mini's next time.

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    1. So glad you liked these! Minis just make it easier to go back for more ;)

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  9. Corndogs get a bad rap!! I like the idea of using my own hot dogs!!

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  10. I made this for lunch. There were awesome. I could not get enough.

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  11. Would these keep to take to a potluck the next day?

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    1. Yes. Simply refrigerate until ready to serve. Pop into 350 oven for a few minutes to warm.

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    2. How about freezing? Have you tried it? Do they thaw and reheat well?

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    3. Mary, I haven't tried freezing (since they never last that long!). I imagine they'd freeze well; simply reheat, covered, in microwave. Let me know how it goes, please!

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    4. Yes they do keep for potluck next day. Covered in fridge. I told the people heat in micro like 8-10 sec if want warm. They ate them 20 min out of fridge, not heated. All were gone. (I took 45 minis...we tried at home first!!).

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  12. My brother loves corn dogs so I decided to try and make these for his birthday celebration. They look so good and so easy!

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    1. Be sure to include a candle in one (or a few!) :)

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  13. Tried this with Keilbasa and in a regular muffin pan..grandkids loved them!!

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    1. Glad to hear! And you've just given me a wonderful idea for a remix of these... stay tuned! :)

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    2. You can get keilbasa in the shape and size of a hot dog now too so it isn't so big around like the normal keilbasa is.

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  14. I just made them with my 5 year old. I liked them more than she did and I'm 28 :-)

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    1. Better make another batch after she goes to bed ASAP :)

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  15. Jiffy corn mix is slightly sweet because of the added sugar. Consider Martha White's cornbread mixes that come in pouches. They even make one that is slightly spicy. What about using "Lil' Smokies" instead of hot dogs since they're smaller in diameter?

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  16. Instead of hot dog pieces could you just add a tsp or Tbls of your favorite cooked chili hamburger mix to the cornbread batter? Even top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese?

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  17. Don't feel bad about waiting 27 years for a corn dog. I love hot dogs, corn bread, fairs, and carnivals, but for some odd reason I have never had a corn dog. I think I've had just about everything else fried that you can think of including insects, but never a corn dog. I turn 71 in a few days and will be making this tonight.

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    1. That's a long wait -- I hope these live up to the hype. Happy early birthday! :)

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  18. I just found your recipe for the mini corn dogs. It looks likes a fun recipe to do with kids. I'm a 4 H leader & I'm always looking for things like this to make at our meetings. I can't wait to make these with the kids! :)

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  19. These freeze wonderfully. For children under 3, I mince the hotdogs with a chopper and add them into the batter to eliminate the choking hazard.

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  20. Just what I'm looking for while watching the games..Makes a lot and is easy. Thanks

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  21. I'm going to try them with Bedder Chedder hot dogs.

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  22. I'm making these tomorrow! They look awesome!

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  23. Sounds great! Mmmm...how about pancake batter with link sausage for pancake and sausage without the stick?

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    1. I'm not sure how pancake batter would work -- let me know if you try it. However, for a breakfast spin on these, try adding a little maple syrup or maple extract to the corn muffin batter and using breakfast sausage in place of hot dogs. Have maple syrup on the side for dipping. Great idea -- might have to use this for a breakfast tailgate ahead of an early kickoff this football season! :)

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  24. If using breakfast sausage, would you cook it first?

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  25. I will make with regular cornbread batter. NO sugar, do not like sweet cornbread!!!!! Thank you for the concept.

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  26. These sound super yummy!! Is there a reason you use regular size hot dogs instead of cocktail size?

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    1. I like the bigger pieces yielded by cutting a regular size hot dog. I also prefer the thinner casing on hot dogs; cocktail size seem to be a little tougher/drier. Just my preference!

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  27. I'm planning to make these in regular sized muffin pans and have them with some chili on top...thanks for the idea!

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  28. Looking through the comments, seems like I'm the only one confused. It says mix corn muffin mix according to directions and then add milk/egg to "dry" muffin mix. I guess things have to be spelled out for me, lol, but that sounds contradictory. I would love to try these but want to make sure I have it right. Thanks in advance!

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  29. Oh, I get it. The milk and egg are from the box directions. I don't have a box of it handy so didn't realize that until now. You were just stating how to mix it.

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  30. These sound amazing and as a big fan of corn dogs but very disappointed in the frozen to microwave version these sound soooo good! Now to come up with a good reason to make them. ;)

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    1. Good reason #1...you're alive. All the reason I need to try them.

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  31. Wondering how these would be if you used a small Italian meatball and had marinara sauce for dunking.

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  32. How about adding some jalapeƱos!

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    1. What a great idea! My husband loves all things spicy, so I'll try this next time I make these. Thanks for the tip :)

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  33. I made these today for my Grands. So simple these are just GREAT! I got a LITTLE CREATIVE and used some cheddar cheese under the sausage. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. Making these for my daycare itty bitty's today!

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  35. Tryed them today. I add a little shedded cheese and a tbsp of honey. Great flavor. My first batch was hard to get out of the muffin pan.

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    1. Glad you liked them! When I said "generously coat muffin tins with nonstick spray" I should've written "super mega ultra generously" :)

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    2. So if your using regular muffin pan, i'm guessing you should cut the dogs longer and use more batter, yes?

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    3. You got it! Let me know what cooking time is, just out of curiosity.

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    4. I used a regular muffin tin today, and they took about 13-15 minutes. They stuck like crazy for me too, but the flavor was great! I think next time I'll use cupcake liners to hold them together :)

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  36. Thank you so much for this idea! We are vegans and have been looking for corndogs. I made them with our vegan cornbread recipe and vegan hotdogs. You saved the day! :)

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  37. Hi Im from Australia and ordered the jiffy muffin mix from our USA store so I could try these. I was disappointed with the fact that I greased my pan well but still couldn't get the muffins out in one piece. The ones that did crumbled in my hand. HELP please. I think this is a great idea and would like to try again. Where did I go wrong? thanks Jenny from the land down under.

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    1. Hi, Jenny! First of all, I'm so flattered that you went to such an effort to make these. As far as the greasing of the pan, like I told another reader, I should've written "super, mega, ultra generously grease" the muffin cups. Try butter or solid vegetable shortening and then nonstick spray, too. Also, paper muffin liners work; I've used them on occasion when traveling with these. As far as the dry and crumbling muffins, was the mix you used fresh? Be careful not to overmix the batter and add a little extra milk. Good luck! :)

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    2. Thanks for your reply, I'll give it another go for sure.

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    3. If you are having trouble with the cornbread crumbling too much you can add a quarter cup of all purpose flour to your batter and it makes them slightly more dense so they crumble less. I always do that when I make cornbread to eat with butter because I don't want them quite as crumbly that way.

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    4. If you are having trouble with the cornbread crumbling too much you can add a quarter cup of all purpose flour to your batter and it makes them slightly more dense so they crumble less. I always do that when I make cornbread to eat with butter because I don't want them quite as crumbly that way.

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  38. I grated some cheese and added to batter as well as a 1/2 tsp of oil in mixture then oiled muffin liners seem to work for me

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  39. I grated some cheese and added to batter as well as a 1/2 tsp of oil in mixture then oiled muffin liners seem to work for me

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  40. Thanks for your help I'll give it a try.

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  41. Will skim milk work ok or should I use whole milk?

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    1. Skim, 2%, and whole milks will all work well with this recipe. I imagine almond and soy mills would work in a pinch, too.

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    2. Thanks so much! Making these for a family birthday party so I'm going to make them with whole & chopped up pieces of hot dog. Wish me luck! ;)

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  42. use canned cream corn instead of milk,makes it more moist.

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  43. I would like to try these for a New Years Eve party. Any suggestions on how to keep them warm while at the party? If I put them in a crock pot on the "warm" setting do you think that would do the trick or will it just make them soggy?

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    1. I think a Crock Pot would do a fine job, as long as you don't a) overload the bowl, and b) keep the muffins in there for more than 2 or 3 hours. You could also make one batch at a time. Since the batter can be prepared and chilled in the fridge and hot dogs sliced, you can always make a fresh batch every hour or as needed since assembly is super quick. Good luck and great idea!

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    2. P.S. Also could heat your oven on a low setting (i.e. 200 degrees F) and place muffins on a cookie sheet and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.

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  44. hi. did u cook the hot dogs before you put them in the batter?

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    1. No, since the hot dogs I use (and most available) are pre-cooked.

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  45. Great recipe!! I made these for my bible study group and I made a bunch for home to freeze. Next time I make them I want to play around and maybe add some jalapenos, green onion or cheese! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I am so happy I found this site!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed these little treats! Jalapenos, green onions and cheese all sound like great additions -- if my husband hears of this, he may want to join your group ;) Happy cooking (& reading)!

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  46. These are awesome! I used a silicone mini muffin pan and they popped right out!

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  47. Snuck in chia seeds into my muffin mix... score!

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  48. Going to do a double batch, second batch mixed with sriracha! Sweet spicy and savory, yum!

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  49. Add can of green chilis for an added kick. Delicious!

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  50. I made these but they didnt holduffin form & instead they crumbled. Any suggestions?

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Shelby. The only thing I can think of is that not enough liquid was added or the eggs were smaller than called for. Also, remember to be extra generous when greasing the muffin tin!

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  51. Can i use a normal sized muffin pan?

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    1. Yes, you can. I'd increase the cooking time 3-5 minutes.

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  52. I made these today for a football game later on. I'll heat up in microwave. Just wanted to add that I used little smoked sausages since it's for a grown up group.. I hope they are a hit!! (I tasted, they are awesome!) thanks

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