I try very hard to make good choices about the kinds of food I put in my body. And for the most part, this family eats very healthy indeed. But sometimes you need a little bit of whimsy, a little bit of comfort, and a little bit of naughty. That’s where pigs in a blanket come in.
This recipe was my mom’s. I’m not sure whether she made it up or got it from someone or somewhere else. But these pigs have been enjoyed by three generations so far and I hope it will go on for more. They are easy to make, with simple ingredients, and they pack a flavor punch that make them truly addictive. I’ve never met a kid that didn’t go crazy over these.
And it’s not just for kids! I recently made a batch of 48 of these when my 79-year-old father-in-law and his brother came to visit us for Sam’s college graduation. They did not last long. And when he got back to Kansas, he called me for the recipe. Cecil doesn’t make the pizza dough from scratch (that’s what these babies are wrapped in), but that’s ok. If you want to buy frozen ready-made dough, feel free. But I don’t recommend crescent roll dough. It is too flimsy and will not hold up to cooking and handling.
As I mentioned, these pigs are wrapped in pizza dough. I shared my recipe in a previous post. For that recipe click here.
I use all beef hot dogs, going for kosher or the lowest sodium content I can find. Some of these pigs will be stuffed with pickles, others with cheese. I have one son who does not care for pickles, so I always make both varieties. That way everyone gets what they like!
Start by cutting 2/3 of the way through each hot dog. This will make a trough for stuffing. Do not cut all the way through or they will not stuff well and will come apart during baking. But here’s a tip: cut through the ends (see my knife position) to make sure they are cut 2/3 of the way too. It is easy to miss the ends, which will make stuffing these babies more difficult.
Next, prep the stuffing. I’m not sure if you noticed in the picture of the ingredients, but I use the pickles that come as sandwich slices or stackers. Those make it easier to cut the pickles into thirds to make little spears. The mozzarella sticks are cut in half lengthwise.
Start stuffing the dogs by using one hand to open the trough and the other to drizzle first ketchup then yellow mustard. You can use all kinds of mustard, but I prefer the yellow for these because it has the wonderful, tart bite.
It is easier to fill all the dogs with ketchup first, then repeat with the mustard. Don’t worry about being neat and pretty. This is a messy job and there is no need for perfection. You just want to make sure that when these get eaten, there is ketchup and mustard in every bite.
Then stuff half your dogs with the cut cheese and the other half with the cut pickles. If the pickle slices were not hot dog length, cut smaller pieces to fill the trough to the end. You can’t have a no-pickle bite! That would be awful!
Roll out your dough into as much of a rectangle as possible. Roll it very, very thin. There has to be enough to wrap all of the dogs. Plus, I don’t like too much puffy dough on mine. If you do like lots of puffy dough you can leave it less thin, but make sure you prepare enough.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough on the short side into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Then wrap each stuffed dog in a spiral pattern. Leave little gaps between each turn of dough for venting while baking.
Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. That makes cleanup much easier, trust me! They should look more or less like this when you are done.
They look like little mummified hot dogs smeared with ketchup and mustard, don’t they? If yours look like that too, then you are on the right track!
Bake at 350° for 20 – 25 minutes. For a nice golden color, you can always spray the dogs with a little canola spray in the last five minutes and/or turn on the broiler for a bit at the end. Just be careful not to burn them.
Be sure to let them sit for about 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan. The baking process releases a syrupy juice that will act like cement between the foil and the cooked dough. Trying to take these guys out right away will likely result in the loss of your beautiful little dough coats and burnt fingers. But if you wait, the cooling process shrinks the dough back a little and they come off the foil very easily.
Remove them all to serving platters, set them on the dinner table, and watch these guys disappear before your very eyes!
Yes, I did just take that bite. Yum, yum, yum. Both are long gone as of this writing. I feel a little shame, but no remorse. AND I will be going to the gym later today.
Pigs In a Blanket
- Raw pizza dough
- 2 dozen all beef hot dogs
- 6 mozzarella string cheese sticks cut in half (12 total)
- Dill pickle sandwich slices or stackers cut into thirds
- Yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Cut each dog lengthwise about 2/3 of the way through, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Use one hand to hold cut sides open and drizzle ketchup into the hot dogs from end to end.
- Repeat with the mustard.
- Stuff half with the cut cheese and half with cut pickles, making sure to fill the dogs from end to end.
- Roll the dough very, very thin into a rectagle.
- Cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips on the short length, cutting enough strips to wrap all of the stuffed hot dogs.
- Wrap the dogs in the strips of dough in a spiral pattern leaving a little room between each turn for venting in the oven.
- Place on baking sheets lined with foil.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Spray some canola spray in the last five minutes or turn on broiler at the end for more color, if desired.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer to platters and serve.