Much as I love a good carnival corn dog, I can’t handle being in the sun for that long, and my hatred for crowds runs deeper than I can express with words. To get my corn dog fix outside of the fairgrounds, I make my own. While I’m not here to tell you what to do, I must recommend you try a corn dog made with mini breakfast sausages. Thanks to maple syrup-sweetened dough, breakfast sausage corn dogs are a tad brighter than the classic version. But best of all, instead of just one kind of hot dog, with breakfast sausage you can get busy with multiple flavor options. Apple, maple, roasted garlic, vegan—the choice is yours. While technically corn dogs are deep-fried, as the owner of a kitchen inside an apartment with no real ventilation, I bake my corn dogs. Here's how to do it:
Cut 4 tablespoons unsalted butter into ½-inch pieces and place in the fridge. In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, mix together 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.
In another bowl, whisk together ¼ cup buttermilk and ¼ cup whole milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Set aside.
If mixing by hand, use your fingers to rub in the cold butter to the flour mixture. If using a food processor, drop the butter into the mixture while pulsing the machine. Stop mixing for both methods when the mixture is in coarse crumbs.
Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and combine the batter until the dough holds together.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface to be about ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into 12-15 even squares
Defrost as many mini breakfast sausage links as you have squares of dough. Any flavor of breakfast sausage will do, but apple, maple, and roasted garlic flavored versions are especially great. Although it’s not officially labeled as breakfast sausage, link chorizo also works really well here—just make sure the links are mini, or cut into smaller pieces. Stick each sausage with a bamboo skewer that’s been soaked in water for at least 15 minutes.
Place 1 skewered sausage onto a corner of the dough square. Roll the dough around each sausage, pinching edges to ensure they’re sealed. Repeat with remaining sausages.
Place each finished corn dog on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400ºF for 12-15 minutes, or until dough is puffy and golden brown. If you’d like, at the last 5 minutes of baking, sprinkle a bit of shredded yellow cheddar cheese over each corn dog, then return to the oven.
Serve corn dogs with eggs on the side and a dipping sauce made from ¼ cup dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons maple syrup.