14 small breakfast sausage links (about 12 ounces)
2 quartsvegetable oil, for frying
14candy-apple craft sticks
1 cup fine- or medium-ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoonbaking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoonsmaple syrup, plus more for dipping
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Makes:14 corn dogs
Inspired by McDonald’s McGriddle, this breakfasty corn dog has the winning sweet-savory combination of juicy breakfast sausage links dipped in a maple syrup–cornmeal batter and deep-fried to golden brown perfection. Serve extra maple syrup on the side for dunking.
Special equipment: You will need a deep-frying/candy thermometer and a tall, narrow container or drinking glass, such as a pint glass, for this recipe.
Candy-apple craft sticks give these breakfast corn dogs an authentic state-fair feel. Look for them next to the apples in the produce section of the grocery store or order them online. If you can’t find them, use 6-inch wood skewers or wood coffee-stirrers instead.
Game plan: The fried corn dogs can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
1Heat the oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet; set aside.
2Cook the sausages according to the package directions. Place on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and set aside to cool.
3Pour the oil into a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 360°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer.
4Meanwhile, insert a craft stick lengthwise into each sausage (try to keep the stick aligned in the center of the sausage), leaving about 2 inches of the stick exposed at the bottom; set aside.
5When the oil is almost ready (about 325°F), whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk, eggs, maple syrup, and sugar together in a large bowl until combined and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cornmeal mixture to the milk mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until a smooth batter forms. Pour some of the batter into a tall, narrow container or drinking glass, leaving 1 inch of room at the top.
6When the oil is ready, evenly dip a sausage into the glass of batter by holding the stick and rotating the sausage as needed until it’s completely covered with batter. Immediately place into the hot oil. Repeat with 3 more sausages. Fry, turning occasionally, until light golden brown all over, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the breakfast corn dogs to the wire rack on the baking sheet and place in the oven.
7Repeat with the remaining sausages, working with 4 at a time, refilling the glass with batter as needed, and letting the oil return to 360°F between each batch. (When you reach the last few sausages, you may need to tilt the glass sideways while rotating the sausages to evenly coat them with batter.) Serve immediately with maple syrup for dipping.