Pigs in Pretzel Blankets adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
24 Lil Smoky weiners
Pretzel Dough: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water
Topping: 1/2 cup warm water 1 tablespoons baking soda Coarse salt 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer add the yeast, sugar, and warm water together and allow to sit for five minutes. Add in the salt and flour and knead until you have a soft, smooth dough that is slightly sticky to the touch. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for an additional 5 minutes. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag. Close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand to double the size, and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 24 equal pieces. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda, and place it in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved.
Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about six inches long), and wrap it around one of the hot dog weiners, pinching the ends into themselves to hold firm. Next, immerse each one in the baking soda wash (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Serve with ketchup and mustard.
Super Roast Beef Sliders adapted from No Biggie 24 dinner rolls Deli-sliced roast beef 24 slices sharp cheddar or swiss cheese 1/2 cup butter 4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional) 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional) Directions Slice dinner rolls and stuff with slices of roast beef and cheese. Place snugly in a baking dish. (I use two 9 x 13 baking dishes.) Melt butter, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, pepper, mustard, and seeds in a microwave-safe dish. Stir and then drizzle or brush evenly over all the rolls. Cover dishes with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with horseradish sauce.
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