Sunday, September 29, 2013

How To Make Your County Fair Favorites Part 2

Continued from Part 1-
If you're not a fan of funnel cake, perhaps you'd like to try a “whoopie pie”.

Whoopie Pie-makes 18
For the pie-
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup baking cocoa
3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

For the filling
1 ½ or 1 ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 425F.

For the pies-In a mixing bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Once it's beaten well, add sugar and oil and beat until crumbly. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and add milk. Stir until well mixed.

Now, take a can of nonstick cooking spray and spray down a large cookie sheet. Dust your hands lightly with four and roll the dough into 1 ½” balls. Put them about 2” apart on the sheet and press them down lightly. Bake until the tops are cracked, about 6 minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes and remove from the cookie sheet.

For the filling-While the pies are baking, mix confectioners sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Add milk and extract and beat until light and fluffy. Make a sandwich with two of the pies. To quote my nephew, “Little Debbie ain't got nothing on this!”

If you want to try something different, use mint extract. It might also be fun to add M&M Minis, finely-crushed Oreos or miniature chocolate chips.

One thing I really like about this recipe is that you can use it in other ways. Add some chocolate ganache to the pies and serve with ice cream and whipped topping, make ice cream sandwiches, add green food coloring to the filling to make them look weird-the possibilities are endless!

It's pretty much a given that any “non-dessert” food at the fair is either going to be put on a stick or in a small paper tray. Hot dogs are particularly good for this, so the county fair is likely to have at least one food booth serving corn dogs. If you want to make them for your kids or yourself, here's a basic recipe.

Corn Dogs
6-8 hot dogs
1 egg
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup flour
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
oil for frying

Heat oil to 375F. Boil the hot dogs until done, pat dry and lay on a plate or paper towel.

In a large bowl, beat the egg and stir in flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add milk, pour into a flat tray or tall glass and let stand until thickened, about 4 minutes.

Now, spear the hot dogs with a stick. Roll or dip into the batter and let any excess meal drip off. Fry for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Lay on paper towel to drain and cool.

Finally, here's a recipe for a good and versatile beer batter. You can use this for anything from fish to zucchini fries. The alcohol in the beer won't completely cook out, though, so keep that in mind if your health or religion prohibits alcohol.

Beer batter-makes roughly 2 ½ cups
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup beer, any variety
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Basically, mix the beer, egg and oil in one bowl, the flour, salt and baking powder in another and stir together until smooth and well-mixed.

Now you know how to make some of your county-fair foods at home. Enjoy!

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