Sweet Fair Treats

It is carnival and fair time!  Unfortunately, covid has cancelled a lot of these celebrations this year.  That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fair foods though!  I have put together a series of columns with fair favorites you can make at home.  I know it won’t quite be the same, but it will allow you to enjoy some of your favorites without going anywhere!

As an adult, I remember trips as families with my parents and my sisters and her family and my brothers family and even my husband and I a couple times.  Tyler had a photo taken on the mechanical bull each year for a few years.  Paul paint splattered his own Frisbee about 4 years in a row.  Growing up, you feel the wonder yourself, but watching the wonder anew in the eyes of a child is something special.  There was a newfound appreciation from me for certain things, like the Lego displays.  It takes patience to build some of the large things I saw.  I remember a sandbox someone took the time each day to make a new sand creation.  The dragon was my favorite of course!  While the petting zoo never had much appeal for me, I loved walking through the exhibit with the creatures of Oklahoma.  I enjoyed the snakes and spiders and alligator gar from our own back yard.  I had an absolute fascination with the cake and sugar competitions.  Those cakes were amazing!  I was always glad, even as an adult, I wasn’t driving home.  It was still a tired exhaustion for the ride home. 

This week, I tested a few fair favorite sweets at home.  I am not claiming these recipes are the fair recipes, but they are a way to get you something similar at home.  Make your grocery list and meet me in the kitchen for sweet treats from the fair!

Funnel Cake

2 large eggs

1 ½ cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

3 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

Oil for deep-fat frying

Powdered sugar, for serving

Heat oil to 375°F in heavy-bottomed skillet.  In large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, water and vanilla until well blended. Add flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Whisk until smooth.  Cover bottom of funnel spout with your finger and carefully ladle ½-cup batter into the funnel. Hold the funnel several inches above the oil and release your finger, moving funnel in spiral motion until all batter has flowed out of funnel. Scrape with rubber spatula if necessary.  Fry 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown, using tongs to flip once. Drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining batter.

Recipe adapted from lovebakesgoodcakes.com.


Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Chocolate melting wafers

Potato chips of choice.  I like Wavy Lays or Pringles because they are stiffer chip and hold up well for dipping. Dipping homemade is also an excellent option especially because they are thicker.  

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Melt chocolate in double broiler or in chocolate melting pot.  If you want half dipped chips, Just hold one end of chip and dip in chocolate as desired then lay on parchment paper until chocolate hardens.  If you want completely dipped chips, drop a couple chips into chocolate at a time.  Use fork to make sure chip is completely covered.  Remove chip from chocolate using a small pair of tongs or two forks.  Place on parchment paper until chocolate hardens.  Store in air tight container.  For an even more indulgent treat, fry up some bacon to crispy.  Pat all grease off with paper towel and brush it with chocolate.  Then you can drizzle with caramel or sprinkle with sea salt or even bacon bits to take it up a notch!


Elephant Ears

2 cups self-rising flour

cup warm milk

2 Tbsps. butter, melted

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Vegetable oil for frying

2 Tbsps. cinnamon sugar

Mix together self-rising flour, warm milk, melted butter and granulated sugar until ball forms. If your dough is too dry, add tiny bit of additional milk at a time. If your dough is too wet, add tiny bit of self-rising flour at a time. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.  Turn onto floured surface and knead several times. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a thin circle. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in cast iron skillet or heavy pot to 365˚F (use thermometer and maintain an even temperature). Use tongs to carefully add dough rounds (1 or 2 depending on the size of your pan) to hot oil. Fry for about 1 minute on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while warm.

Recipe adapted from thegunnysack.com.


Fried Candy Bars

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

4 ½ tsps. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

tsp salt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 large egg

½ cup water

½ cup milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Oil for deep-fat frying

24 fun-size candy bars, frozen for at least 2 hours

Wooden skewers

Confectioners' sugar, optional

Whisk together first 6 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together egg, water, milk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.  In a deep cast-iron or electric skillet, heat oil to 375°F. Dip candy bars one at a time into batter and place immediately into hot oil.  Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels.  Insert skewers into bars. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar.

Recipe from tasteofhome.com.