So, if we’re being truthful, these are nothing like your typical carnival dog. Because Mommy Guilt. Truly.
My kids freaking love corndogs – honestly, I could probably dip a hat in cornmuffin batter, and they’d devour it. These muffins deliver the taste, but I get to control the quality (and variety!) of the ingredients. I used to make them in tiny mini-muffin bite sizes when my kids were little. Now, they’ll bite my hand right off if I approach them with such a small morsel … so muffin tins and popover pans it is!
I love the bright little pops of color and nutrition that broccoli gives, but feel free to add other veggies, or to add a center column of cheese instead of the hot dog itself. Plus, this is an easy one to turn into a gluten-free option.
Move over, carnival dog. My freezer wants to be fed.
- 5 cups flour (you can look for certified gluten-free flour, or use rice flour, if worried about celiac issues in your family)
- 5 cups cornmeal (again, look for gluten-free if you prefer!)
- 1 ¼ c sugar
- ¼ c baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb Cheddar cheese (as always, you can buy pre-shredded, but I hate the desiccated processed stuff, and hate paying for the good stuff that's already shredded - would much rather grate myself, by hand or with the grating attachment in my food processor)
- 5 cups buttermilk (or I love doing 3 cups Greek yogurt and 2 cups milk here)
- 5 eggs (or, you can substitute flaxseed meal. For each egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir well, and place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes, then use as you would the eggs)
- 1 ½ cups melted butter, cooled
- 2 medium broccoli crowns – about 3-4 cups
- 30 all-beef hotdogs (Hebrew National makes a good-quality frank) – you can also do turkey, or omit completely, but remember that the quality of your hot dogs is going to make or break your recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (I do this in my standing mixer).
- Grate your cheese, if you haven’t already (have I mentioned yet how much I looooove my Food Processor? What’s that? I should shut up, you say? No, YOU shut up!)
- Cook your broccoli – I put mine in a glass bowl with a splash of water, cover it loosely with Saran wrap, and pop it in the microwave for 5-7 minutes. Easy peasy. Chop coarsely in the bowl.
- Mix shredded cheese into dry ingredients – this is important, since the flours will coat the cheese and avoid clumping when you throw everything together.
- Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
- Add broccoli to dry ingredients, letting it get coated in the flour, then add wet ingredients and mix until just moistened.
- Chop hot dogs in half and use two halves for a popover-sized muffin, one-half for regular, or into 1-inch pieces if using mini muffins (and slice in half length-wise). Because, you know, it would suck for a little person to choke on a recipe that a Pediatrician blogged about. Ahem.
- Line muffin tins with paper wrappers, and fill cups. Watch out! No foil liners for these muffins! Reheating foil in the microwave = BAD!
- That’s about ½ cup for popover pans, ¼ cup for regular muffins, and 2 Tb for mini mufins.
- Place half a hotdog vertically into each muffin cup (or little chunks into mini tins), and bake 8-12 minutes for mini muffins, 15-20 minutes for regular size, 20-24 minutes for popovers. Note that the more batches you bake off, the shorter the time you’ll have to leave the muffins in the oven, since the oven will be hotter.
- Let muffins cool on a rack.
- In my case, I made 24 jumbo, because big kids, and 12 regular, because smaller kid. 12 days’ worth of lunches, about 2.5 school weeks’ worth for me!
Label heavy-duty freezer bags, and fill with muffins (no need to flash freeze here!). Place muffins upright side by side, removing all air, on a jelly roll pan (while already in the bag) so that the bag of muffins holds its shape until it’s completely frozen, and then you can place it horizontally or vertically in your freezer, whatever works best. Or instead of freezer bags, use a vacuum sealer. Because a vacuum sealer is proof that there’s hope for humanity, y’all. Just make sure to stop the vacuum sealer before it crushes the fragile muffins.
To serve, place in chilled lunchbox – muffin will be thawed by lunch time. Otherwise, you may heat the muffin (we do 1 ½ minutes for one muffin, and add an extra minute per muffin from there on), or in the oven (we do 325 degrees for 20 minutes while kids are getting ready in the morning, though we prefer microwave).
You’ll need paper muffin liners (don’t get the foil wrappers for these! Foil muffin liners + Microwave = bad words in comments on my blog):
Here are links for Popover “Tulip Cup” liners, Regular Liners, or mini baking cups
- RECIPE 1: Ridiculously-Easy Cinnamon Apple Chips
- RECIPE 2: Ridiculously-Easy-And-Totally-Worth-It Tomato Sauce
- RECIPE 3: Pesto Chicken Wraps (or Pesto-Mozzarella Wraps)
- RECIPE 4: Breakfast Burritos
- RECIPE 5: Broccoli Cheese Corndog Muffins