Divas on a Dime: DIY Funnel Cakes keep the festival feeling all year long

It’s busy here in Pahrump because it’s Fall Festival weekend!

I’ll be there with KPVM-TV at the entertainment stage so come say hello. The carnival rides, live entertainment, rodeo, crafts and contests, and loads of vendors with something for everybody.

Yes, that’s all well and good. But you can probably guess my favorite part. Pretend to be surprised, OK? It’s the food. I’m a sucker for a battered, deep fried anything. I must acknowledge this should not be anyone’s usual diet as these are special occasion foods. (In my world, every day I wake up is a special occasion, but I digress.)

Our family favorite is the funnel cake. We have enjoyed them every place you can imagine. Fairs, zoos, carnivals, farmer’s markets across the country. I must say my favorite are the funnel cakes at Knott’s Berry Farm.

They do this wonderful thing where you can add an array of toppings. All kinds of dessert accoutrements: chocolate, caramel, boysenberries (of course), pie fillings, whipped cream, nuts, and mounds of ice cream. These creations are enormous, and we split one between the four of us. But the simplicity of a fresh, warm funnel cake with powdered sugar is a thing of beauty.

Who wants to wait for the fair to have a funnel cake? Making them at home is surprisingly easy and inexpensive. They can be rather expensive when you buy them at events. I’m probably going to get hate mail from funnel cake vendors but I hope they realize, I’m keeping their customers happy until they return.

DIY Funnel Cakes

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need:

Oil for deep frying

½ cup milk

½ cup water

1 large egg

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

dash salt

Powdered sugar, for serving

Here’s how:

Heat about 2 inches of oil to 375°F in a deep-fat fryer or heavy bottomed pan. You may need to replenish the oil as you fry. In a bowl, beat milk, water, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk until smooth.

Cover the bottom of a funnel (*see note) with your finger and scoop in about ½ cup batter into the funnel. While holding the funnel a few inches above the oil, release your finger and let the batter drain, moving the funnel in a spiral and crosshatch pattern as the batter flows out of the funnel. Let fry for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, using tongs to flip, fry until beautifully golden brown and delicious. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar, and/or embellish with the toppings of your choice. Repeat with remaining batter.

Note - As alternatives to a funnel you can repurpose a squeeze bottle, or use a zip-top baggie with a small tip cut off a corner.

This column marks my 4-year Pahrump Valley Times anniversary. I want to thank everyone at the PVT and all the readers for your encouragement and support. Here’s to many more! Cheers!

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog - www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.