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5 Fair-inspired foods to serve at your next party

Summer parties are a blast, but sometimes the food can be a bit predictable. Make your next bash a little more surprising with yummy fair and carnival treats — they’ll please adults and kids alike!

Candy Apples

Corn dogs

The corn dog – a coated hot dog on a stick – can be traced back to the 1920s.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 lb. hot dogs
  • wooden skewers
  • vegetable oil for frying


Heat the oil in frying pan or deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Place one hot dog on each skewer. Mix all other ingredients well to form a batter. Roll hot dogs in batter to coat. Immerse coated hot dog in hot oil and fry about 3 minutes. Simple!

Funnel cakes

This Pennsylvania Dutch specialty is simply deep-fried batter. Top yours with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar or jam.

You’ll need

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • funnel


Preheat the oil in frying pan to 375 degrees. Combine eggs and milk in mixing bowl and whisk well. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Gradually fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until smooth. Holding the funnel over the hot oil, carefully pour the mixture through the funnel in crisscross designs. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add sweet toppings.

Soft pretzels

Making these from scratch is challenging and time-consuming, so why not purchase a bag of frozen soft pretzels – then just follow the baking directions. Most require no thawing – just moisten with water, sprinkle with salt and bake (or microwave). Serve with a variety of mustard, cheese and dipping sauces. Quick, easy and still delicious!

Candy apples

The candy apple was introduced in 1908. This easy 20-minute recipe makes six apples.

You’ll need:

  • 1 (14 oz.) package strawberry glaze
  • 1-1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 1 (3 oz.) box cherry gelatin dessert mix
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 6 Granny Smith or Fuji apples, washed and dried (don’t peel!)
  • 6 wooden candy apple (or popsicle) sticks
  • chopped nuts (optional)


Push wooden sticks into the apples — make sure they’re set in deep enough. Combine glaze and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Dilute gelatin mix in hot water and add to glaze.

Stir and continue to cook until temperature is about 200 degrees (use a candy thermometer). Holding the stick, dip each apple in syrup and turn until completely coated. (If you want to add chopped nuts, do it now.) Cool on wax paper and serve.

Chocolate-dipped ice cream cones

Treat your party guests with this old-fashioned and easy-to-make favorite.

You’ll need:

  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 24 ice-cream mini cones
  • 10 oz. chocolate, chopped


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the freezer. With a small ice-cream scoop, firmly place 1 scoop of ice cream on each mini cone. Place the filled cones on the backing sheet in the freezer. Freeze overnight.

Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Set the bowl over (but not touching) a small saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate is melted, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Ideally, the chocolate should runny but not too hot. (If the chocolate seems too thick, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening.)

Remove the bowl from the hot water. One at a time, take the cones from the freezer, hold them upside down, and dip the ice cream into the chocolate, making sure the chocolate covers all of the ice cream. Return each cone to the baking sheet in the freezer immediately after dipping. If the chocolate becomes thick while dipping, simply set the bowl over the simmering water again. Freeze the dipped cones 2 hours or more before serving.

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