Can't wait for the county fair to come around? This recipe was an experiment combining two great loves of mine, and it turned out even better than I'd hoped. Join me and my assistants, The Bacon Buddies, on a culinary quest for midwestern carnival food meets artisanal dessert. Let's do this, piggies!
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Step 1: You Will Need...
Bacon (2 strips per funnel cake)
3 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Cups Milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 Cup Sugar
Carmel Sauce (like the kind used for ice cream topping)
Oil for frying
Bacon grease (optional)
Funnel Cake Pitcher or regular funnel
Measuring spoons and cups
Step 2: Bacon Prep
Cook Bacon --2 strips per funnel cake you plan to make. I used our seasoned cast iron pan, but any pan deep enough to support a layer of frying oil will do. Cook on medium heat to eliminate risk of burning the bacon.
*Safety Note: As always with bacon, watch out for hot grease splatters and hot pan handles!
Remove bacon from the pan when it is done well enough to set into crispy bacon when cooled.
Set aside on a paper towel.
Step 3: Batter Recipe
Combine your (3) eggs and sugar (1/4 Cup) in a mixing bowl. Whisk until blended.
Add the milk (2 Cups) one cup at a time, whisking in between portions.
Dry ingredients can be added in any order. I added my flour (3 Cups) first, one cup at a time and whisking after each portion was added.
At this point your mixture will be thick and lumpy. Switch to an electric mixer to blend the flour in smoothly and completely.
Add salt (1/2 tsp) and baking powder (2 tsp). Hit with the electric mixer one last time.
Transfer batter into a funnel cake pitcher. Ours came with a starter kit but we have since run out of the mix. You can use a regular funnel with the recipe if you like, but I find the pitcher to be more beginner friendly and less messy.
You can use a measuring cup to transfer the batter from the mixing bowl into the pitcher. Extra batter can be stored covered in the fridge for a few days.
*Be mindful of how you hold the pitcher during this process. I was holding mine slightly tilted forward the first time and batter went straight out the nozzle.
Step 4: Oil and Back to That Bacon...
You are ready to fry!
Pour enough oil to cover to the bottom of the pan. You may use the same pan you just cooked the bacon in, since we want maximum bacon flavor.
Double Bacony Bonus! For even more flavor and a way to use some bacon grease we've been saving from breakfast cooking, I added a dollop of real bacon grease to the oil.
Heat the oil on HIGH. Watch that bacon fat dissolve before your eyes.
While you wait for your oil to reach temperature, go back to your bacon strips, which should now be cool and crispy. Use your fingers to crumble and tear the strips into tiny bits.
When your oil has little bubbles rising throughout, you're ready to go.
Step 5: Pour N' Fry
Holding your pitcher over the hot oil, drizzle batter into the pan.
Go back and forth, side to side, or do a spiral. Everything will end up being an amorphous blob in the end. Mostly you just want to distribute the batter evenly so that cooking time on all parts will be the same.
Check the underside of your cake in about a minute, or when the edges begin to turn golden.
Flip with a spatula (I like this round one for burgers) when the first side is golden brown.
Fry on the other side for another minute, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oil and place on a double layer of paper towels.
* Dispose of your used cooking oil properly. Don't pour it down the sink unless you want plumbing problems later. Pour it off into a disposable container (milk jug, coffee can, etc.) and throw it away when the container is filled.
Step 6: Sweet and Salty Finishings
Add your toppings while the funnel cake is still hot so that they melt and adhere to the cake.
Sprinkle on brown sugar. I just eyeballed it. I probably used a little over a teaspoon.
Use a spoon to drizzle the surface generously with caramel sauce. I used a salted caramel Smucker's sauce.
Sprinkle on your fresh bacon bits. They should stick to the caramel, helping them stay in place.
And finally, what self-respecting funnel cake could go without a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Do this part to taste, but be careful not to drown out your other flavors.
Step 7: Why, Yes. This IS Heaven.
Done! Serve while warm and break out the elastic waist band pants, because you're going to want more than one.
I'm not usually too impressed with my own cooking, but this final result truly wowed me. This particular combo of salty and sweet really popped. Add even more options to your toppings bar and make it a county fair themed party!
If this Ible made your mouth water, consider casting a vote for it in the Bacon Contest! I've been a lifelong bacon lover and would be thrilled to have a bacon membership to experiment with!