For A Tangy Party Appetizer, Swap Out The Mini Dogs And Serve Pickles In A Blanket

Pigs in blankets are a classic party favorite, but mindlessly feasting on an abundance of these tasty pastries can leave you feeling overstuffed. Why not try switching the mini dogs for pickles to create a lighter, tangier appetizer that's perfect for vegetarians (and vegans too if your brand of store-bought pastry uses vegan substitutes like margarine or vegetable oil)?

Whether you favor short and stubby gherkins, slender cornichons, or full-bodied dill pickles, these briny and juicy beauties are heaven-sent to complement the crispy texture of puff pastry and its characteristic butteriness. There's something about munching through the exterior golden pastry and into the tender center of a vinegary but sweet pickle that makes the yummiest bite. Better yet, the assembly process is just the same as using mini dogs or chipolatas so it's a simple substitution with no extra legwork. Having said that, there's no harm in spreading a little mustard, sweet chili, or barbecue sauce on the pastry before rolling up your "pickle dogs" to amp up their flavor.

Finally, these bite-sized bundles are ideal for wowing your vegetarian and vegan guests. They'll be impressed with the inclusive spread that caters to everyone's tastes while they kick back and enjoy the acidic notes of these pastry-wrapped pickles.

Use baby pickles or cut larger varieties into chunks before rolling

Appetizers are diminutive by definition, so you'll want to use pickles that are on the smaller side. However, if you don't mind adding an extra stage to the prep work you can use larger ones and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Give them a quick dry on a paper towel and place each one on a square of pastry that's a little longer than the overall breadth of the pickle on top of it. That way, when you roll them up in the dough, their rounded edges will peep out, mimicking the appearance of a traditional pig in a blanket.

Bake your pickles seam side down until the pastry is risen and cooked through before chowing down. However, for an extra golden sheen, brush some egg wash onto the surface of the pastries before popping them in the oven to lend them more flavor and a crispier crunch (simply skip this step to keep your appetizers vegan-friendly).

Pair your pickles with a series of delicious dipping sauces so your guests can personalize them as they mingle. For example, a blend of mayo and sriracha is perfect for a little creamy spice whereas burger sauce is ideal for a comfortingly familiar flavor that works with the inherent brininess of the pickles. A balanced blend of honey and mustard, on the other hand, is outstanding for cutting through the richness of the pastry, but reliable ketchup is also a winner.