I always looked forward to the local county fair when I was growing up. It’s held in September, and we always had an early release day from school so that we could attend during the week, if we wanted. There are a lot of things to like about the fair, like the exhibits from locals, animals, carnival rides, entertainment, the rodeo, and of course, the food! When I was younger, the fair was mostly about the carnival rides, as you can see in the photo below. But when I got older, I began to realize that fair food only comes around once a year!
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about “fair food” is the delicious fried food known as the Elephant Ear! This fried bread dough, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, has always been one of my favorite things about the fair. Sure, they’re easy to make at home, and there’s even a recipe for Elephant Ears on our website, but there’s just something about eating them at the fair that makes them so good!
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Oil for deep-fat frying
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, sugar, salt, shortening and 2 cups
- flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a
- soft dough.
- On a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise
- in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down and shape into 15 ovals, 5-1/2-in. round by 1/8-in. thick.
- Heat 3-4 in. of oil to 375° in deep-fat fryer. Fry ovals, one at
- a time, 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain. Mix sugar
- and cinnamon; sprinkle over warm pastries. Yield: 15 servings.
It’s been a few years since I’ve had the chance to go to a fair, but it seems like every year, I hear of a new “deep-fried” something that is making an appearance. Deep Fried Candy Bars, for example. I’ve never tried these, but I’ve heard good things about them!
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 24 fun-size Snickers and/or Milky Way candy bars, frozen
- Oil for deep-fat frying
- Wooden skewers
- Confectioners’ sugar, optional
- In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl,
- whisk the egg, water, milk and vanilla; add to dry ingredients just
- until moistened. Dip candy bars into batter.
- In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Drop
- candy bars, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry until golden brown,
- about 30 seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels. Insert skewers
- into bars; dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Yield: 2
Growing up in Washington, apples are always a popular treat, and caramel apples always make an appearance somewhere at the fair. But, these don’t have to be reserved for the fair, they’re good anytime you can get nice, fresh, crisp apples. Try this Caramel Apples Recipe, with made from scratch caramel for a delicious snack or dessert this fall!
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 to 10 wooden sticks
- 8 to 10 medium tart apples
- In a heavy 3-qt. saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup
- and milk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until
- mixture reaches 248° (firm-ball stage) on a candy thermometer,
- about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Insert
- wooden sticks into apples. Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture;
- turn to coat. Set on waxed paper to cool. Yield: 8-10 apples.