Summer in Chicago is finally here. Hallelujah! The ice melted; the ground thawed; the sun pokes out every once in a while when spring showers go away. Chicagoans spend afternoons drinking on patios and wearing shorts in 50 degree weather. After a winter of temperatures in the negatives, 50 degrees feels like a day at the beach.
And another lovely feature of Chicago in the spring is the return of baseball season. Baseball is the perfect warm weather sport with enough action to keep you entertained but not too much that you can’t hold a conversation with friends (and the cold beer doesn’t hurt). A month ago, I got to attend my first baseball game of the summer for NU Day at Wrigley with other Northwestern alumni. Sorry to the Cubs, but I don’t have any baseball allegiances. I do, however, love stadium food, and baseball fields have the best food menus ever. There are tons of articles written about baseball stadium food like this, this and this. A staple in both Chicago baseball stadiums is the Chicago hot dog, typically made with yellow mustard, white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges and a dash of celery salt. It is a monster of a meal, one that I conquered at the first Cubs game I went to and that I never plan to take on again.
But this sugar cookie version is much, much sweeter. It is perfect for a barbecue, picnic or baseball watch party. This version of a Chicago hot dog is missing some ingredients, but hey, this is just a sugar cookie. Remember, if you are modeling this after a Chicago hot dog, NO KETCHUP ALLOWED!
Chicago Hot Dog Sugar Cookies
- Sugar cookie mix + necessary ingredients
- Red and yellow food coloring
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbs butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp milk
- Green sugar crystal sprinkles
- Green gummy candy (I used sour punch straws)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the sugar cookie mix according to the directions on the back of the package.
- Take 1/3 of the cookie dough and stir in 5 drops of red food color and 2 drops of yellow food coloring. This will end up as the “hot dog” part of the cookie.
- Take the undyed cookie dough and form into two-inch oval cookies. Use your index finger make a dent lengthwise in the middle of the oval cookie. Now you’ve made your sugar cookie “hot dun bun”!
- Take dyed dough and roll in your hands to form a mini-hot dog. Place in the cookie hot dog bun. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. Let cookies cool before decorating.
- To make the frosting, mix butter and powdered sugar. Add in vanilla and milk, and stir thoroughly. Add in five drops of yellow food coloring. Tada! Now, you have sugary “mustard” for the hot dog. Put frosting into a Ziploc and snip a corner to make a piping bag.
- Pipe a thin line of frosting on either side of the “hot dog”, and scatter green sprinkles on the frosting to add your “sweet pickle relish” to the “hot dog”.
- Pipe on a squiggle of yellow frosting on the hot dog to add the “mustard.”
- Add one piece of the green gummy candy on one side of the “hot dog” to add the “dill pickle spear” of the Chicago hot dog. If you are using the sour punch straw, I cut the straw in half and placed the sugary side down on the cookie so that it looked more like a pickle.