Summer is the perfect time to enjoy local festivals, carnivals and boardwalks. These fun, family-friendly spots all have one thing in common — the fare. From corn dogs to cotton candy, these favorites are sometimes salty, sometimes sweet and always enjoyed without a fork! Here are some recipes to recreate these summertime foods at home.
TCH Tip: This would be a fun party theme! Recreate a carnival in your own backyard or suggest this concept for your child’s next birthday party.
Homemade Corn Dogs
(Recipe courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen)
- 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
- scant 1 cup milk (I used skim)
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 10-12 hot dogs
- brochettes or wooden skewers, cut in half
- Preheat some oil in a deep fryer or large skillet to 365 degrees. You need it to be a couple of inches deep and the pan needs to be large enough to fit the corn dogs in. I used my Le Cruset oval dutch oven. You want to completely submege the corn dogs in the oil.
- Place 1 Tbsp of the vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measure cup. Then add enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the flour,corn meal, sugar, baking powder,salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk and eggs then whisk until well combined.
- Insert skewer in hot dog and dip in batter. Coat hot dog well and fry in 356 degree oil until golden brown. Drain on towels.
Homemade Kettle Corn
(Recipe courtesy of PBS Kitchen Explorers)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn and sugar. Give the kernels a quick stir and then cover with a lid. Once the popcorn starts popping, carefully pick the pot up and give it a quick shake every few seconds until the popping slows down, between 3-4 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and pour the kettle corn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Do not make the mistake of removing the pot from heat without transferring to a bowl. Due to the high heat of the pot, if you don’t transfer the popcorn it will caramelize and perhaps burn. *Also, do not attempt to make a batch of this in a dutch oven. I made a second batch thinking it would work and it caramelized to quickly and burned.
Homemade Funnel Cake
(Recipe courtesy of Moms Who Think)
2/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. In a deep skillet, heat about two cups of oil over medium-high heat until hot. Test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the hot oil. If it sizzles right away without smoking, it’s perfect.
2. Beat egg and milk. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to the egg mixture, beating until smooth.
3. Using a funnel, drop into hot oil working from center outwards in a web pattern. (You can use a gallon sized freezer bag instead of a funnel by pouring the batter into the bag, snipping off a small corner of it, and squeezing the batter into the oil.)
4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, remove from the oil when golden brown and crispy.
5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Homemade Snow Cones
(Recipe courtesy of SheKnows.com)
Snow Cone Syrup
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid, any flavor
Place the sugar and water in a medium pan and bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in the Kool-Aid. Cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator until chilled. Pour over crushed iced.