Busy nights growing up occasionally gave us the mouth watering treat of pigs n’ blankets for dinner. My mom would whip out the can of buttery crescent rolls and we would slice each hot dog length wise, stuff in a piece of American cheese and wrap each dog in a buttery tasting crescent blanket. After smelling them baking in the oven it was hard not to eat them so quickly that we burned our tongues on the gooey melted cheese.
Years ago in thinking about some of my favorite meals growing up, I really wanted to try these on my family. However, the oftentimes yucky ingredients in the canned rolls, hot dogs and American cheese deterred me until I decided to try a homemade version. I began by using the hot pretzel dough I spoke of in my pizza recipe. I then waited for the good uncured all-beef hot dogs to go on sale and sliced up some real cheese. I decided to jazz them up by adding some diced onions and they were a hit! They were even better than the ones that I remembered growing up with and my family loved them. While they took a little more work than the ones with store bought canned rolls, they still went together pretty quickly and were so worth the effort. You can also tailor them to your personal tastes by changing up the cheese or other fillings. This past week I decided to make more of a gourmet blanket by adding rosemary , garlic and Parmesan to the dough. My husband declared this almost ranked above his top favorite meal which is saying a lot! That is when I began to wonder why in the world I hadn’t shared them here!
Real Food Pigs N’ Blankets
Makes 12 Pigs N’ Blankets
For the blankets:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or a combination of whole wheat and white flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
For the pigs:
2 packages uncured all beef (or turkey) hot dogs (the kind we get has 6 hot dogs per package)
1 small yellow onion, minced
12 small chunks or slices of cheese (We love using raw milk cheddar or monterey jack, but choose your favorite kind to use.)
1 teaspoon sugar mixed in 1 cup warm water
1 stick butter
Any additional filling ingredients you want!
Make the dough:
-Place all dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer or just a large bowl. Mix using a dough hook or your hands for 5-10 minutes or until dough is well combined and thoroughly kneaded. The dough will be a nice clean ball.
-Sprinkle the dough with a small amount of flour rolling it around to cover the whole lump of dough. This helps keep it from sticking to the bowl. Cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
For the Pigs:
-While the dough is rising, prepare any toppings such as the cheese and onion. Also prepare the sugar water mixture if you haven’t already. You can also prepare the 2 cookie sheets by either greasing them with butter or lining them with parchment paper.
-Once dough is risen divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Preheat the oven to 495 degrees.
-Working with one piece at a time, roll the piece into a small rectangle that is just big enough to cover the hot dog; about 4×6″.
-Place a hot dog, a piece of cheese and a pinch of onions or other topics on the rolled out piece of dough. Roll the dough around the filling pinching the ends to seal. Dip the whole pig in the sugar water and place on the cookie sheet. Continue this until you have rolled all the hot dogs in dough.
-Sprinkle all the hot dogs in dough with kosher salt. Place trays in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until bread is turning golden brown. While they are baking, melt the 1/2 cup butter.
-Once the pigs are baked immediately pour the melted butter evenly over the pigs.
-Now enjoy!! Just don’t forget to wait long enough to let the gooey cheese cool.