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Deep-Fried Blog: Recipes for State Fair fare

Written by Lois M. Rodriguez. Photographs by Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas.

bigtexWelcome to the Fried Food Capital of Texas! aka the State Fair of Texas.

You've heard the phrase, "Don't try this at home." Well, that warning may also apply to these recipes, but each year it's hard to not be overcome with a mix of disgust, amusement and even a curious craving at the fried offerings of the Texas State Fair. For some, it's THE reason to attend year after year.

"What will they fry next!?" How about baked potatoes and shrimp boils? There's much more to look forward to, as well. 

Til then, we've trolled the sources and made some adjustments, but here are a few recipes for some of the more popular State Fair items over the years.

What's your favorite fried State Fair dish? Do you have a similar fried recipe to share? Please do! We'll be glad to share more.

Corn Dogs

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • About 16 beef hot dogs (2 packs)
  • 16 wooden skewers

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add milk and egg to the bowl and whisk well. Insert skewers into hot dogs, then dip into the batter to cover hot dog completely. Cook battered hot dogs in a large pot of vegetable oil until golden brown.

Fried Butter

  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper (to taste) until smooth. Form small balls of the mixture and arrange on a parchment-paper lined pan, then freeze them. Coat the frozen balls in flour, egg, and then breadcrumbs and freeze again. Fry (oil at 350 degrees) balls for 10 to 15 seconds until just light golden.

Fried Coke

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups cola
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cola syrup

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the cola and sugar. Blend together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to cola mixture until batter is smooth. Fry (oil at 375 degrees) small dough balls for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Dust hot coke balls with powdered sugar. Drizzle with cola syrup.

funnel-cake2Funnel Cakes

  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Confectioners' sugar

Combine beaten egg and milk. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt and baking powder together. Slowly add the egg/milk mixture and beat until smooth. Pour batter into a funnel, using finger to keep tip closed. Hold funnel over hot oil (375 degrees), remove finger and allow batter to drop into oil (about 1/4 cup of batter at a time). Build a circular funnel cake starting from the center moving outward. Turn once, and remove from oil when golden brown. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve warm. Additional topping suggestions include cinnamon, strawberries, chocolate sauce, etc.

You can also use the funnel cake batter to make Fried Snickers.

Fried Snickers

  • Snickers candy bars
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Funnel cake batter (see above)
  • Oil

Insert popsicle sticks into Snickers bar from the bottom about half way up. Freeze Snickers until frozen solid. Dip frozen Snickers in the funnel cake batter. Fry until golden brown. Top with powdered sugar or caramel sauce if desired.

Fried Twinkies The Twinkie went away in November, but a private equity firm took over the Hostess brand after Hostess filed for bankruptcy. Twinkies are back on shelves. But, just in case, Little Debbie Cloud Cakes are apparently Twinkies’ twin. I personally, don’t like either.

  • 6 Twinkies (frozen)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Flour for dusting

Freeze Twinkies for several hours or overnight. Combine milk, vinegar and oil. In a separate mixing bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Add wet ingredients into dry mixture and blend until smooth. Dust Twinkie with flour and dip into the batter. Place battered Twinkie into hot oil. Because the Twinkie will float, use a fryer-safe cooking utensil to keep it submerged and cooking evenly. Cook until it reaches a golden brown color.

Dust with powdered sugar. Optional: Strawberry topping.

Strawberry topping

  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Clean and cut strawberries in quarters. Combine strawberries and sugar in a saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

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