Monday, May 26, 2014

Chili Cheese Dog Muffins for #MuffinMonday

When you think about it, (or is that just me?) almost anything can be made into a muffin, including a chili cheese hot dog: Spicy chili, sharp cheddar and hot dogs baked in a muffin then topped with more cheese, onions and mustard. Happy Memorial Day! 

This week I am channeling Coney Island and bringing you a chili cheese dog muffin, in honor of Memorial Day, the holiday when we Americans honor and thank the members of the armed forces who  sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to protect our nation. It is also the kickoff to hot dog eating season. Not that we can’t and don’t eat them year round but according to Americans eat an incredible seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September. No telling how many of those are chili cheese dogs. But this year at least, a few of them will be muffins.

For the muffins:
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 oz or 115g extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup or 250g spicy beef chili
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup or 120ml water
4 hot dogs (about 7 1/2 oz or 215g total weight) I like all beef Ball Park Franks. (Plus they are on sale this weekend at my Houston grocery store – Score!)

Note: I used homemade beef chili that is very thick, mostly meat, cooked down till there’s not much liquid left. If you are going to use store-bought or juicier chili, cut back on the amount of water.

For garnish:
2-4 tablespoons finely chopped onions
Yellow mustard

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray or lining with muffin papers. If you have a kind and generous mother like mine, see if she’ll volunteer for a Dollar Tree run to buy paper liners with little blue and red stars. You can pay her back in chili cheese dog muffins.

Grate your cheddar if it didn’t already come grated and finely chop your onion. Set aside a handful of the cheese for topping.

Slice the hot dogs into small circles and set aside 12 to poke into the tops of the muffins before baking.

Combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cheese in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, oil, chili and water.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stop when it’s still quite dry looking.

Toss in the big pile of hot dog circles and stir again.

Divide your batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Sprinkle the tops with the reserved cheese and chopped onions. Add one reserved hot dog circle to each and push it in just a little bit to make it stick.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to continue cooling on a wire rack.

Drizzle with a little yellow mustard, if desired. But I say, what’s a chili cheese dog without a generous drizzle of mustard?


Now go shake a soldier's hand and thank him or her for her service. And pray for peace and that no one need ever make the ultimate sacrifice. And perhaps bake some muffins to share.

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