Funnel cake recipes

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I should actually say, St. Patty's Day Fun(nel) cakes!

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I was just at a huge outdoor festival and about every third person there was scarfing down yummy funnel cakes. I'm sure you know what they are. And if you're from the east coast you surely are familiar with them. These are the funny looking deep fried fritter kind of thing that is especially delicious with powdered sugar, whipped cream, fruit and honey. Delightful! - to say the least.

I was determined to learn how to make these and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be fun to make for St. Patrick's Day. But really they can be made at any time during the year, when you and the kids need a delicious treat.

Plus, I like to call this a pantry recipe - pretty much everything you need to make them in located right in your pantry.

The funnel cake originated with the Pennsylvania Dutch who called it "drechter kuche." The more common name funnel, comes from the technique used to make the cakes - the batter is poured through a funnel into hot oil.

The batter is similar to pancake batter, and is usually poured through the funnel into about 1 inch of oil into a circle pattern. I found that using a ketchup bottle or any squeeze bottle is much, much easier. The tip just needs to be about 1/2 in circumference. This makes the process really, really easy and very fun!

The key to the deliciousness of a funnel cake is the immediacy at which you eat it - this is critical. Make them to order, they need to be eaten right away, warm and scrumptious.

For St. Patrick's Day, I just made them into 4 little triangles, plopped them together on a plate to look like a lucky four-leaf clover, sprinkled with powdered sugar and outlined it with whipped cream.

I just want to share this "best" combination of the recipes I found. This batter is just sweet enough - so give it a try. The kids (and you) will love them.

Funnel Cake Recipes

4 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-cup brown sugar 3 eggs 2 1/4 cups milk 1/2-teaspoon vanilla extract Vegetable oil for frying Confectioners' sugar Whipped cream Fruit, honey and/or cinnamon for topping.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then stir in the brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients - the milk, vanilla and eggs. Whisk together. Then whisk in the dry ingredients into the wet until smooth. In a deep wide frying pan, heat the oil to 375 degrees. If you're using a funnel, put your finger over the hole and add batter. But, really use the ketchup bottle instead - so much easier. Hold the batter over the hot oil and drizzle the batter into the oil moving it around in a criss-cross or scribbly sort of design. Remove it from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain it on a paper towel. Top it with goodies and eat this puppy immediately!

This is an American classic - now you don't have to wait till the next fair to enjoy it. Fun, fun, funnel cakes. Enjoy!

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