Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Funnel Cakes: Easy (and yummy) fix for breakfast or dessert!

Have you ever tried making funnel cakes? They are fast, easy and very inexpensive! You usually have all the ingredients on hand, which makes them great when you need a fast idea for breakfast or dessert. My kids helped me make these today. Doesn't the photo make you want one? I want to go eat one right now!  They turned out very light and airy - crunchy on the outside. So good! Of course we won't have these on a regular basis because they are fried, but they make a fun and special treat once in a while. The recipe is from Rachael Ray.

This makes 8 servings - just cut recipe in half for 4 people.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups vegetable oil
4 cups flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


DIRECTIONS:
In a deep medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it registers 350° to 375° on a deep-fat thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer like me, stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. When bubbles form and pop up around the spoon handle, the oil is ready to go! It will take a few minutes for the oil to be hot enough.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add the milk and eggs; whisk until smooth.

Transfer the batter to a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, remove the excess air and seal the top. With scissors, snip off a corner to make a 1/4-inch-wide hole. Carefully squeeze about 1 cup batter (one-eighth of the mixture) back and forth into the oil, making a free-form lacy web. If you have a funnel - pour the batter through the funnel and move it back and forth to create the lacy web. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the cake over and cook until golden on the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer the funnel cake to paper towels to drain briefly. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Dust the funnel cakes with confectioners' sugar and serve hot. Smart move: To avoid messy spills between frying each batch, set the bag of batter, slit side up, in a bowl next to the stovetop.

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