Mini Hot Dogs in their Buns

by Heather on January 18, 2010

About 2 years ago, maybe 3 actually, I was given a TON of food magazines- mainly Gourmet, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit. It was through Freecycle that I came across Amy in SF who was trying to get rid of her old food magazines, so I jumped on it. At the time, we didn’t have a car, so I begged Alex to walk the mile or so to Amy’s place and take as many magazines as we could fit in both of our backpacks. Then we walked back, in the drizzly rain, and I’ve been slowly going through the collection ever since. Usually, I bring one to the gym to bide my time, and it has helped me get through countless workouts. Thanks, Amy! If you have Freecycle in your city, check it out- there are people giving away pretty much anything you can think of.

This recipe I found, while on the elliptical machine, in the January 2004 issue of Gourmet. Instead of using yeast for the dough, a pâte à choux is made, which is the type of base used to make eclairs. It was divine and quite easy! I halved the recipe, using 2 eggs, and it worked just fine. These would be perfect for a Super Bowl or child’s birthday party- great finger food and much tastier than using store-bought dough!

Mini Hot Dogs in their Buns Makes about 40

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

5 eggs

2 cups cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

1 (12 oz.) package lil’ smokies

Bring water, butter and salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and add flour all at once, then cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan, about 2 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, then cool slightly. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at ledium-high speed after each addition. Add cheese and beat until combined.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets. Snip off 1 corner of a large sealable plastic bag to create a 1-inch opening and transfer cheese mixture to bag, pressing out excess air. Twist bag firmly just above filling, then pipe 18 to 20 (2 1/2-by 1-by 3/4 -inch lengths, about 2 inches apart, onto each baking sheet.

Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until buns are puffed and pale golden, about 30 minutes total.

Make 1 1/2-inch lengthwise slits in tops of buns with a sharp paring knife and let dry for 10 minutes. While buns dry, heat a skillet over high heat until it smokes. Reduce heat to moderate and cook lil’ smokies, turning, until heated through and browned, about 5 minutes. Nestle a lil’ smokie into each bun opening and garnish with mustard and/or ketchup.

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