Ever since I posted my carrot dog recipe a few weeks ago, people have been raving about how much they taste like real hot dogs! I decided to use my carrot dog marinade on baby carrots to make a snack-sized, toddler-friendly version: mini corn dogs!
These fun little snacks are easy to make and even easier to eat! I baked them instead of frying them, which makes them nearly fat free (and thus guilt free!). Abby enjoyed dipping them in ketchup, but they would also be great dipped in mustard!
Just make sure the kids are careful with the toothpicks. 🙂
Warning: These mini corn dogs are addictive! The smoky, salty marinade on the carrots combines with the slight sweetness of the cornbread coating to make you want to eat one right after the other. Abby and I ate two dozen all by ourselves!
Mini corn dogs are fun for kids, but also make great finger foods for a casual party or when you have friends over to watch a sports event.
As with most baked foods, these babies are best right out of the oven, so plan accordingly!
How to make mini corn dogs:
Begin the day before by boiling two dozen baby carrots 8-10 minutes until soft, then transfer to a plastic bag with the marinade and allow to marinate over night to 24 hours in the fridge.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix dry ingredients in one cup or bowl and wet in another. Stir together to make batter, and transfer to a small cup.
Insert toothpicks into the smaller ends of the marinated baby carrots, leaving about one inch sicking out. Dry carrots with a paper towel.
Holding the toothpick, dip each carrot into the batter until no orange can be seen. Scrape the bottom sides of the carrots against the edge of the glass to remove excess batter, then place the scraped sides down on the baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden. Remove one mini corn dog and taste it to make sure the batter is cooked all the way through.
Serve with ketchup and mustard, if desired. Yum!
- ~24 baby carrots
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari
- ¼ cup water
- 1 T. rice vinegar
- ½ T. apple cider vinegar
- ½ t. liquid smoke
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ t. smoked paprika
- ¼ t. black pepper
- ⅛ t. onion powder
- Cornbread Coating:
- ½ cup nondairy milk, unsweetened
- ½ t. vinegar (white or apple cider)
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 2 T. all-purpose or whole wheat flour
- ½ T. maple syrup
- ¼ t. baking soda
- ¼ + ⅛ t. salt
- Black pepper
- ¼ t. paprika
- ½ t. hot sauce
- Boil carrots in a pot of water for 8-10 mins until fork tender.
- While carrots are boiling, whisk together marinade ingredients and transfer to a large plastic bag. Add carrots and place in fridge to marinate overnight to 24 hrs.
- When ready to make corn dogs, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together milk and vinegar and allow to sit a few mins (this will be your buttermilk). Now combine cornbread dry ingredients in a medium measuring cup: cornmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, and paprika.
- In the cup containing the milk and vinegar, add the maple syrup and hot sauce and whisk.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until no clumps remain, and pour into a cup for easier dipping.
- Remove carrots from the marinade bag and place them on a paper towel. Pat them dry and insert a toothpick into the smaller end of each one until about one inch of the toothpick sticks out.
- Pick up each carrot by the toothpick and dip it up to the toothpick into the batter until no carrot shows. Scrape the underneath of the carrot on the edge of the cup to remove excess batter, then place on the baking sheet.
- When all carrots have been coated in batter, bake for 10-12 mins, testing one at 10 mins to see if the batter is completely cooked.
- Allow to cool about 5 mins, then serve with ketchup and mustard.
This recipe also works with normal carrots if you prefer regular-sized corn dogs. You might want to double the batter recipe for ease of coating though!
You’ll love this nutritious alternative to traditional corn dogs! And don’t forget to try the carrot dogs if you haven’t already. They allow for more toppings for those of us who prefer a lot of flavor and texture variety with our hot dogs!
Do you have kids who love corn dogs, but you feel guilty for letting them have so many? Try these mini corn dogs out on your kids and let me know what they think!