Friday, April 13, 2012

Pathfinder Fundraiser - Secrets of the Vege Corn Dog

by Tom King © 2012

Not as pretty as the frozen kind but incredibly delicious!
Corn dogs make a great Pathfinder or Youth Group fund-raiser. For that matter, they're just plain yummy for any youth party and an alternative to pizza that gets the kids involved. Here's what you need.

  1. Box of corn dog skewers – 1000 (they last for years)
  2. Large cans (20 count) of Vege-links, Linketts or Big Franks (charge more for the Big Franks)
  3. 1 Box of “complete” (add water only) pancake mix
  4. 1 Box Martha White Corn Meal Muffin Mix (no lard)
  5. Mixing bowl
  6. Wire Whisk
  7. Fry Daddy (2 or three is better if you have them)
  8. Gallon bottle(s) of Canola Oil (healthier and doesn't burn like olive oil)
  9. Paper towels
  10. Metal tongs (1 for each Fry Daddy)
  11. Bags of chips
  12. Paper plates
  13. Napkins
  14. The usual condiments

Step 1 – Work Area Prep
Clear a counter so the kids can each do their part of the process without falling over each other. The first station is wiener prep, followed by dipping, frying, plating and order delivery. Fill the Fry Daddy(s) with oil to about three-fourths and start them heating. This takes a while so do it first.

Step 2 – Batter Prep
Mix 1 box of pancake mix with one box of corn meal muffin mix. Add water and stir until the batter is no longer lumpy, but not too thin. That's all there is to corn dog batter.

Step 3 – Wiener Prep
Open the cans of wieners and lay them out on a flat, absorbent surface to dry. A towel will work. If you get in a hurry, blot them dry with paper towels. The skin of the wiener has to be dry or the corn dog batter will not adhere. That's the big secret with corn dogs. Skewer the lightly dried wieners onto the corn dog sticks and set them in a bowl or casserole dish to be dipped.

Step 4 – Dipping the Dogs
Gently dip the wiener into the batter. Allow the excess to drip off and then quickly set the corn dog into the hot oil. The oil should roil around the corn dog or it's not hot enough and the corn dog will be greasy. Let the oil cook the batter a bit before adding another corn dog to the Fry Daddy. This prevents two dogs from sticking to each other.

Step 5 – Timing
Watch the dogs. I like to set them in in a specific order circling the fryer so I know which one has been in the longest. Watch for the skin to turn golden brown. Don't let it get too dark or the dogs won't be as tasty. You're looking for a crisp golden brown coating. Pull them out one by one as they get done. Lay them on a plate for the plating crew.

Step 6 – Plating
Have a separate person handle putting the dogs on a paper plate with a handful of chips and placing the order on the counter. Have your drinks ready at the order counter to add to the orders.

Step 7 – Sales
Don't get too far ahead with dog prep. The secret to deliciousness with corn dogs is to eat them right out of the fryer while they are still piping hot. You'll need a cash box with about $40 worth of ones in it. Sell things in increments of $1 to avoid having to deal with a lot of change. Most people will have fives and tens and after a while you should have enough in several denominations to handle anything that comes. Sales get fast with fresh hot corn dogs. We used to sell these at Family Night basketball games and such. You can always glom onto church socials that don't have food themes and pick up some Pathfinder cash.

Step 8 – Cleanup
Corn dogs are a big favorite and cleanup is pretty easy, especially if you do corn dog suppers every few weeks. Allow the Fry Daddies to cool and then cover them with their plastic lids. The oil stays fresh and ready to go for next time. Keep a few smaller cans of links so that as the sales taper off you don't wind up with a monster can of wieners left over. Watch the kids and see who's been avoiding helping with the prep and sales work and commandeer them to wipe down counters and put things away. Spread the labor and you don't burn out your best helpers.

We used to use the first fund-raiser to build our supplies so if something came up that was appropriate, we could buy a few bags of chips and some drinks and break out the corn dog supplies and make a few bucks. Drat ! All this talk about corn dogs has made me hungry. Guess what I'm making for supper tomorrow night!

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