I grew up in the Midwestern corn belt, where once the weather warmed up, the shoes came off and my sisters and I only came inside for meals. Even then, we’d often just grab whatever my mother had set out for lunch and immediately head back outside, eating as we went. Niceties like plates and utensils were blatantly ignored; food that traveled well reigned supreme. Sandwiches fit the bill, but corn dogs were even better. The stick made for easy handling, but even more alluring was the flavor contrast of salty, smoky hot dog encased in golden, fluffy cornbread. While my younger sisters were sometimes known to peel off the outside breading and leave the naked hotdog for last, I balanced each bite for the ultimate combination of savory and sweet, saving the extra crispy nub of batter clinging to the end of the stick for last.
These days, as soon as I feel the summer coming on, I crave that classic fairground treat. But because I had to go gluten-free for health reasons, it had been years since my last corn dog. I came up with this recipe for homemade gluten-free corn dogs which taste as good as I remember. The absence of wheat flour intensifies the corn batter’s natural nutty sweetness. Just as they were in my youth, these corn dogs are best enjoyed out in the summer sun.