Don’t ya just love going to a State or County Fair and seeing all the available food choices?
The aromas are the first to attack your sense of smell….they just smell so good and make you want to buy one of each!
Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes and Salt Water Taffy are just a few of my favorites.
Corn dogs with their crunchy bread coating surrounding a juicy hot dog, and a drizzle of yellow mustard are a must as soon as I enter the fair grounds. I may not eat a corn dog all year long, but at the State or County Fairs….I just gotta have one.
AND the salt water taffy……
I can just stand there, mesmerized…. watching the huge ribbons of taffy being spun into candy and then the clip clip of the machine that snips a small piece off the pastel tinted ribbon, and wraps each piece with pretty little colored pieces of paper. Never mind that the taffy gets caught in my teeth…it is the experience of it all.
Finally, I love funnel cakes which are really not cakes at all.
Instead they are squiggles of batter dropped from a funnel into hot oil and fried until crispy brown and then topped with powdered sugar or cherries or whipped cream or chocolate or just about anything your heart desires or craves.
Last week I started experimenting with making funnel cakes and I mentioned it to “Only Daughter”.
A few days later she asked me if I was ready to post the funnel cake recipe, so I got busy and edited my photos, did a quick review of my text and my taste buds started to water as I remembered how good these funnel cakes were.
It didn’t start out that way.
I started out by making the first batch and using an actual funnel to disperse the batter into hot peanut oil.
And what a mess I had.
I would love to tell you that at least the funnel cakes tasted good even though they were stringing out all over the skillet, but they didn’t.
They tasted heavy and dense….and full of grease.
Of course they ended up in the garbage disposal along with the potato peelings for the scalloped potatoes from last nights dinner.
So back to the drawing board and I think I found the answer by reducing the flour a bit and using a squeeze bottle with the tip cut lower than for say catsup or mustard to flow through.
And they turned out so much better as I had more control over the thick batter with the squeeze bottle.
I have to admit my first few really spread out to almost the diameter of the large cast iron skillet I was using.
So I put on my thinking cap and a light bulb went off. Somehow I needed to “contain” the swirly batter from oozing all over the large skillet. Of course the oil temp has a lot to do with the way the funnel cakes hold together. So make sure your oil is about 350 degrees.
Another tip is to start your funnel cake by making a circle around your form or pan and then randomly criss cross around until you have a nice thin cake of squiggles.
Another tip is to be sure you sift your dry ingredients. Very important.
As one who does not like to take the time to sift….believe me when I say SIFT!
You can use a large cookie cutter (say 3-4 inches) for smaller funnel cakes which work just as well or you can use a smaller cast iron skillet which is what I started out using.
I ended up using the largest cookie cutter I had, but you could just as well use a pot pie tin with the center cut out if you do not have cookie cutters.
Try these if you like funnel cakes….they can also be used as a dessert drizzled with an apple or cherry filling, top it with whipped cream or caramel sauce…use your imagination.
Have you made funnel cakes? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.
Blessings for a wonderful new week.
- 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (pure)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar for the topping
- Add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a pour-able pitcher or extra large measuring cup. ( I use my 8 cup pyrex measuring cup).
- Very important: Be sure to SIFT the dry ingredients
- Add in a beaten egg, the milk and vanilla and keep stirring until the batter becomes thick.
- Use a funnel to pour the batter from the mixing pitcher into a plastic squeeze bottle, be patient as the batter will flow slowly
- Add about 1/2 inch of peanut oil or shortening to a heavy skillet and heat to 350 degrees
- Place a large metal ring(s) into the skillet
- Squeeze the batter into ring and cook until ring is solid (about 30 seconds to 60 seconds depending on your stove's heat.
- Use tongs to remove the metal ring and the little funnel cakes will float to the top a bit
- Turn them over with the tongs and cook the other side for about 30 more seconds until golden brown and crispy on the edges
- Be careful not to over cook as they cook quite fast
- OR you can do a free form funnel cake by using only the edges of your smaller cast iron skillet.
- Remove the funnel cakes to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar or your favorite topping.
- These are better served hot or warm and are nice and airy
- You might have to experiment with a few ways of making your funnel cakes before coming up with the way you like them to look and taste.
- I went through 3 batches of batter myself and hope I have worked out all the kinks for you
- Also, shake your squeeze bottle during your funnel cake making and most importantly sift your dry ingredients to prevent lumps in the batter which will clog your squeeze bottle