I’ve had these buggers in my head for a looong time now, which is weird, because I really don’t eat hot dogs much anymore. Now childhood? That was a different story. Remember those hot dogs they sold at the grocery store that were filled with cheese? They were regular hot dogs, but when they were made (in whatever sketchy way they were made), some sort of cheese solution was squeezed in there with them. Talking about it now, it sounds pretty gross, but at the time, wooo weee, those were my FAVORITE. I always wanted them, but my knowing mother only allowed them once in while, especially on special occasions. (What kind of special occasion merits a cheese filled hot dog? Who knows) I remember having them when my babysitter came over for a day, cooking them in the microwave until the cheese started oozing out the sides and them slapping a good ol’ slice of American cheese on them. Double cheese-ish product, lots of ketchup, hold the bun please. Yep, that was me.
Now, obviously my habits and tastes have changed, but I’ll still go for a good hot dog, especially if it’s dressed up a little bit. Back then, ‘dressed up’ qualified as all those various cheese things, but now, wrap a hot dog in a soft pretzel and I am good to go. For some reason, I got a craving for these a few weeks ago and vowed I would make them right away. Since I wanted them so badly, I even made a special trip to Whole Foods (aka where my wallet goes to die) and purchased my favorite Field Roast hot dogs. Then, more important things came up; like reading this book, watching The Office for the 900th time or just becoming obsessed with/wanting to be Nicole from Rehab Addict. Finally, I vowed to make these this past weekend, prepping them and making sure I had ample time for the dough to rise and even kept a close eye on the broiler while I made sure they got a nice golden hue and crunch to them. Sidenote: The broiler is usually the bane of my existence. I mean, I love something that will put a crunchy top on anything or make the top of my favorite dessert all caramelized, but really, that thing just goes from 0 to 100 in .5 seconds. Before I know it I’m all ‘AHHHH!’ and standing on a chair trying to wave the smoke away from our very loud, very close to the oven smoke detector. Anyway, these pretzel wrapped hot dogs came out perfectly and I even threw together a cranberry ketchup to make them feel seasonal and Thanksgiving-ish. I thought about making ketchup from scratch, but the truth of the matter is, I was getting frustrated with the waning winter light, over taking pictures, and really just wanted to eat a few of these before relegating to the couch for a few hours. Plus, my fiance was getting antsy and asking ‘Are you going to let me eat those yet or are you going to take MORE pictures?!’. So, I ended up just mashing up a few cranberries and mixing them with bottled ketchup, which ended up turning out pretty well.
If you want, you could even swap out the hot dogs for your favorite vegan sausage (this smoked apple sage one is my favorite right now) or put some sort of breafast sausage in there for a brunchy treat. Either way, these are a break from all the Thanksgiving recipes floating around and could be a nice ‘we are stuffed let’s watch football the rest of the day’ treat. These also refrigerate/freeze nicely, so if you want to make a batch before company comes over and pop them in before people start having a second hunger wave, that works well too! I know I mentioned breaking from Thanksgiving recipes, but next up is a cheesy/savory green bean casserole without mushrooms. Bon appetit!
Vegan Pretzel Wrapped Hot Dogs with Cranberry Ketchup
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 package vegan hot dogs each cut into thirds
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- For the ketchup:
- 1/3 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup ketchup
To prepare the pretzel dogs: In a large bowl, combine the warm water, granulated sugar and dry yeast, Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the whole wheat flour until dough is 'shaggy'. You may need to use your hands for this part, especially if the dough is sticky. If needed, add an additional 1/2 cup of flour to form a smooth, elastic dough. Remove dough from bowl and knead on a well-floured surface for 5-7 minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a cookie sheet, set aside. After dough has risen, turn out onto a clean surface and break into gold ball sized pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope by rolling with both hands from the inside of the rope, out to to the ends. The rope should be about 6-8 inches long. Wrap a rope of pretzel dough around each piece of hot dog, smooshing the ends onto the ends of the hot dog when they have been wrapped. Place pieces on the greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until starting to turn golden brown. If desired, broil for 2-3 minutes to get an even golden and crunchy exterior.
For the ketchup: place the cranberries into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, until they start to become soft. When done, smoosh the cranberries until broken down, stir in the ketchup.
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