Stop buying the popular appetizer frozen and make it, perfectly, from scratch at homeWe know what you’re thinking. How is it even possible to perfect a pig in a blanket? When you think of the popular mini appetizer, you probably think of it frozen on a sheet pan, ready to be popped in the oven – so what’s there to discuss?
Even if you do want to make the classic cocktail wieners at home, you’re probably thinking that there’s not much to worry about. A package of pre-made dough, mini cocktail franks, and a side of mustard for dipping and you’ve got yourself a dish, right? We beg to differ.
Pigs in a blanket will forever be a widely loved dish, and it deserves to be treated like one. Whether whipping up a small batch for a pre-dinner snack or preparing them for a crowd, there are certain steps that you should take to make them into perfectly passed treats. Ever think about the dough getting soggy? Because if you don’t dry your cocktail franks well, it’s definitely a possibility. Or how to get a perfect golden crust without overbaking your pigs? All it takes is one simple step.
From the dough and the miniature franks to everything in between their rolled-up goodness, here’s how to make the perfect pig in a blanket.
There’s one thing that’s inevitable for the home cook to avoid when making pigs in a blanket, and it’s using store-bought dough. A lot of people buy pre-made croissant dough and roll up their mini franks inside it, but for the classic, perfect mini hot dog, you want an even amount of dough wrapped around it, so buying square sheets of puff pastry and cutting them into strips the width of your franks is the way to go.
The name “pigs in a blanket” leaves a world of options open for when you’re making your cocktail wieners. Depending on what country or culture you’re enjoying them in, the blanket-wrapped “pig” could be a variety of pork-based foods, including vienna sausages, mini hot dogs, or breakfast sausage links. The recipe we’re most familiar with uses mini franks, available at many grocery stores in 14-ounce packages. Whichever pigs you go with, make sure to pat them dry and poke a few holes in them before blanketing them so they don’t make the dough soggy and they don’t burst while baking.
There’s always that special bite to a mini hot dog, and it’s due to a layer of Dijon mustard between the dough and the frank. To make sure your dogs have an extra bit of tang, spread a thin layer of mustard on the dough before rolling them up.
Make Sure to Grease
The crispy dough wrapped around the hot dog is important, and there’s nothing worse than when you go to scoop them off the baking sheet and they’re all stuck to it. You don’t want your pigs’ blankets to get torn, so make sure to grease your baking sheet well before placing them on it to bake.
Sure, there’s more butter in puff pastry dough then we’d like to acknowledge, but unfortunately it doesn’t give our pigs as much of a golden shine as we’d like. Brushing a light egg wash of beaten and eggs and water is the last and final step you need to make before placing them in the oven.
Pigs in a blanket wouldn’t be what they are without their sidekicks. Some people’s dipping sauce of choice is mustard, and for others it’s ketchup, but for safety’s sake, better put out both.
Perfect Pigs in a Blanket
– Anne Dolce, The Daily Meal
There’s nothing more rewarding than making something from scratch at home, and these classic appetizers are easy to make by keeping a few simple things in mind.
• One 12-ounce package cocktail franks (about 30)
• 1 package of puff pastry sheets, thawed
• Dijon mustard, as needed
• Cooking spray
• 2 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Remove the cocktail franks from their package and pat them dry with a paper towel. Poke 1-2 small holes in each frank and set aside.
Unroll each pastry sheet onto a clean work surface. Take a cocktail frank and measure out a little less than the width of it on the pastry sheet and cut the sheet into long, thin strips. Divide the strips into 3-inch pieces (you may want to test to make sure this is long enough to wrap around an entire frank).
To assemble, spread about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard onto each pastry strip, then wrap around a cocktail frank. Press the seam with your fingers to seal, and then set it seam side down on a baking sheet greased with cooking spray. Continue to assemble the rest of the cocktail franks with the pastry strips.
Add 2 tablespoons of water to the beaten eggs and whisk quickly to combine. Using a pastry brush, brush each miniature hot dog with the egg wash, then bake in the oven until the puff pastry is cooked and golden brown, about 15 minutes.