It’s October, which for a lot of you means Halloween. And while that’s big, it also means something else: The State Fair of Texas!! Which also means… fried foods GALORE! My arteries and heart are begging me not to go, but with well over 20 different fried foods to choose from, I’m not missing this!
The fair (at least in Texas) is a fall staple, so when it rolls around each year, you know that fall has arrived. Sometimes though, I wish we could transport the fair to the east coast or bring the cool weather from there here – I like to envision being at the fair with cool weather and it being more, well, fall-like! Not here, boy – the day we are planning to go, the temperature is going to be in the 80’s… the 80’s!! I think I want to cry.
I don’t know what the fried food situation at other fairs is, but it sure is a big deal here – that’s a big reason why you go to the SF (State Fair). Some of the foods can be weird, some super delicious, and some, I’m sure, downright disgusting. So it is our job as citizens to go to the fair and seperate the good from the bad, right? RIGHT???
Well, I think so anyway!
That’s nice Lexi, that’s nice… now lets get to the recipe, shall we?
In honor of the State Fair and as a tribute to the good, the bad, and the ugly (meaning fried foods), I am going to go with a bit of a fair food theme this week – so today’s and Tuesday’s (I don’t usually post on Saturday, but I’m a little – surprise!- behind this week) recipe is F.R.I.E.D!!! Come on – everyone has to live a little!! ;)
Now how much more fair like could you get than funnel cakes? I mean have you ever been to a fair/carnival/festival that did NOT serve funnel cakes? Never.
Before you start thinking about how unoriginal funnel cakes are and how you could think of a million different fried foods to try (me too), these were originally supposed to be funnel cake FRIES. But unfortanetly as you can see, that didn’t work out – there is more of an art to funnel cake making than I realized, I guess -or maybe I just didn’t do it right… the latter is more likely.
I first discovered funnel cake fries when reading through the list of food vendors that were going to be at one of my favorite spring events, the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival (a mouthful, I know). Of course this peaked my interest and of course I had to and did try them. We went to the festival two times (one time was mainly to hear a pianist – I promise!) and had them both days. They were pretty good.
So, I thought that funnel cake fries would be a neat idea to post, but obviously we know how that went. You do have funnel cakes and funnel cake puffs though!
Oh, I also made a chocolate version too, because not many desserts are complete without chocolate!
Also, to boost the experience of the funnel cakes up a notch, try making a chocolate sauce! I used this recipe here.
The lowdown: classic and chocolate funnel cakes served with a side of chocolate sauce will bring a taste of the fair into your home any day!
For some Friday fun here is some information about the big State Fair of Texas:
- 2 C. milk
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 stick 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- Powdered sugar for topping
- Oil such as canola, for frying
Heat oil (about 1 to 1 1/2 in. deep) in a large saucepan until it reaches 375° f. or until a small amount of batter immediately starts to fry when placed in oil.
While oil is heating, make funnel cake batter.
In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar.
Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients.
Beat with a mixer or whisk until smooth.
Fold in melted butter.
Pour batter into a funnel, squeeze bottle, zip top bag with a corner cut off, or an icing bag. If using a funnel, use your index finger to stop the flow of the batter.
Bring the funnel over the hot oil and release your finger to start a stream of batter while moving the funnel in a circular motion to create spiral-like shapes.
Fry for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
You can make the cakes any size you want, just be sure to adjust the frying time.
To make the chocolate version, add 1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder to dry ingredients.
The batter can be made ahead of time. I made mine on Tuesday (omitting the butter), added in the butter and fried some on Wednesday, and then fried the rest on Thursday - and to be honest with you, I think they tasted the best on Thursday!
If you don't want to go through the slight extra hassle of using an electric mixer, a whisk works just fine - I used one and it was so much easier!
Always, be careful when working with hot oil!