Recipe: Funnel Cake

Mrs. Fields Secrets Funnel Cake
We’re back for the second installment in our Favorite Fair Food Series with a fair food that has been around as long as fairs themselves. Sweet, crispy funnel cake, dredged in powdered sugar is an indulgence that you can definitely enjoy at home. The key to a great funnel cake is a good batter, some hot oil, and the right squeeze bottle. (We highly recommend this Pancake Pen.) It’s really that simple!

Funnel Cake

1 large egg
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 quarts peanut or canola oil
powdered sugar

Directions
Heat oil to 350 degrees while you prepare the batter. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg, then add the milk and vanilla and whisk again until well combined. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until there are no lumps. Stir in the melted butter then transfer batter to a squeeze bottle. Once oil has reached the correct temperature, squeeze batter into the oil in a circular motion until you have an even layer (about a 1/2 cup of batter). Cook for about 30 seconds, or until edges appear golden brown, then flip and cook an additional 15-20 seconds on the other side. Gently remove cake to drain on paper towels, then coat with a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar before serving. Makes 4-6 cakes.

Recipe: Deep Fried Oreos

Mrs. Fields Secrets Deep Fried Oreos
One of summertime’s greatest pleasures is the local fair. Whether it’s a county fair in the midwest or a street fair in midtown Manhattan, people are drawn to fairs and especially those delicious traditional fair foods. Today we’re kicking off a fun new series featuring your favorite fare from the fair, beginning with a dangerously delicious indulgence: Deep Fried Oreos. Hot and sweet, crunchy and soft, Deep Fried Oreos are downright crave-able. With today’s recipe, there’s no need to wait for the fair, but beware: whip up a batch and you may get a spontaneous crowd (and maybe a blue ribbon)!

Deep Fried Oreos

2 quarts canola or vegetable oil
1 package Oreo cookies
1 1/2 cup pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
powdered sugar for garnish

Directions
Heat oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a tray with paper towels for drainage. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the milk, egg, and two teaspoons of oil together. Slowly add the pancake mix until no lumps appear. Once oil reaches temperature, coat 4-5 Oreos at a time in the batter, then drop into the hot oil. (Cook in small batches to prevent overcrowding and burning.) Cook for 20-30 seconds per side, or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with sprinkled powdered sugar.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tomorrow is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day and we’ve got you covered with a delicious recipe that will give you a proper peanut butter fix with the added benefit of chocolate chips. We suggest making a batch and sharing it with friends. After all, you wouldn’t want them celebrating National Peanut Butter Cookie Day empty handed, would you?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
3/4 cup sugar + more for rolling
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together, then add both the sugars and mix until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 2-teaspoon balls, then roll in the extra sugar before placing on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly browning. Remove to a cooling rack.

Recipe: Melon and Mint Salad

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Today’s recipe is a refreshing summer salad that you’ll want to put on repeat the whole season through. It’s got bright crisp flavors of fresh, sweet melon, mint, tart lime, sweet honey and crunchy toasted almonds. It’s grown up enough to serve at any summer soiree and still accessible enough to please the little ones too. Trust us, this one is a keeper.

Melon and Mint Salad
from Susan Vaughn

1/2 large seedless watermelon, diced
1 cantaloupe, diced
1 lime
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 handful fresh mint roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds

Directions
In a large serving bowl, toss the diced watermelon and cantaloupe together. Cut the lime in half and squeeze one half over the melon, then cut the other half into wedges for garnish. Drizzle the honey over the salad and give another toss. Sprinkle the fresh mint and almonds on top before serving, and garnish with fresh lime wedges.

Recipe: Breadstick Cones

Mrs. Fields Secrets Breadstick Cones
This recipe is a must try for your next summer party or picnic. These breadstick cones are a beautiful, tasty and portable way to serve your favorite salads. Sprinkle them with poppy or sesame seeds, or leave them plain, then fill them with My Favorite Chicken Salad, egg salad, tuna salad, green salad or one of your favorites. You’ve got an on-the-go meal right at your fingertips.

Breadstick Cones

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
8 sugar cones
aluminum foil
nonstick spray
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
poppy seeds (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)

Directions
Begin by wrapping a piece of foil around each sugar cone and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir yeast and brown sugar, then pour warm water on top and allow to sit for about five minutes until foamy on top. With a dough hook, mix in salt, oil, and flour and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Allow dough to rest for 10-15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll dough out into a large rectangle and allow to rest another 10 minutes. Whisk egg white with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into 8 long strips. Spray each cone with nonstick spray, then wrap each strip of dough around the sugar cone, bottom to top, making sure to seal the bottom. Place each wrapped cone on a prepared baking sheet, roughly 4 or 5 to a sheet. Brush each cone with the egg wash, then sprinkle with seeds and allow to rise for 10 more minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake 10-15 minutes, or until rich golden brown. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before removing foil cone. Cool bread completely, then serve with your favorite salad.

Recipe: Banana Spring Rolls

Mrs. Fields Secrets Banana Spring Rolls
We’ve got the perfect dessert for your next Asian-themed meal. These Banana Spring Rolls are easy to put together ahead of time, keep them in the fridge, and fry them up when you’re ready to wow your crowd. They’re crispy, sweet, and dangerously addictive. We dare you to try just one!

Banana Spring Rolls

48 wonton wrappers
4 large bananas
1 cup Nutella spread
water
peanut or canola oil
caramel sauce (for topping)
chocolate sauce (for topping)

Directions
In a large pot, heat 3-4 inches of oil to 375 degrees. Cut bananas into four even pieces. Overlap two wonton wrappers by an inch or so and dab a bit of water to seal them together. Spread a thin layer of Nutella down the middle and top with a piece of banana. Dab water all along the edges of the wonton wrappers and then roll the banana inside and seal. (Depending on the size of the banana, you may need a third wonton wrapper.) Repeat with remaining wrappers and bananas. Once the oil is hot, drop 2-3 rolls in the hot oil at a time, turning after about 30 seconds, or when golden brown and bubbly. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with drizzles of caramel and chocolate sauces.

Recipe: English Trifle

Mrs. Fields Secrets English Trifle
A classic dessert from across the pond, the English Trifle is an easy, flavorful dessert to make for spring and summer parties. It’s got layers of fresh fruit, cubed cake, sweet pudding, and whipped cream. It’s ideal for potluck or outdoor parties, a perfect serve-yourself delight! Use this recipe, or get creative make a variation with your own favorite flavors.

English Trifle

1 white cake, baked but not frosted (angel food, pound, or white cake work great)
2 pints fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 pints fresh blueberries
4 large bananas
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (3.5 oz) package vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
sliced, toasted almonds (for garnish)

Directions
Prepare vanilla pudding with the milk and allow to set. Cut the cake into 1-inch cubes and set aside. Wash, hull, and slice strawberries into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle sugar on them and stir to evenly coat. Slice bananas into another mixing bowl and toss with orange juice to evenly coat. In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Take one large scoop of whip cream and fold it into the pudding. In a glass bowl or trifle dish, place half the cake cubes in the bottom, followed by half the strawberries, half the blueberries, half the bananas, and half of the pudding. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients, then top with a thick layer of whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted almonds. Chill before serving.

HINT: This is a perfect dessert to make if you have a cake that fell apart or somehow cooked unevenly. This dessert can hide a number of mistakes and come out tasting impeccable!

It’s Nutty Fudge Day!

Today is National Nutty Fudge Day, which means that it’s time to celebrate with a delicious piece of nutty fudge. Did you know that fudge is one of the easiest decadent treats to create in your own kitchen? We’ve gathered a variety of incredible recipes to prove it. Choose your favorite recipe (or your favorite nut) and make a batch to celebrate.

With only four ingredients, this Easiest Fudge Ever recipe can be made in ten minutes!

Another four-ingredient find is this incredible Peanut Butter Fudge. (Use chunky peanut butter for best results!)

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Fudge is the perfect blend of salty and sweet with rich dark chocolate flavor that will melt in your mouth.

Don’t want to go to the dark side with your fudge? White Chocolate Cashew Fudge is creamy, dreamy and perfectly nutty!

Two-tone Cherry Pistachio Fudge is sweet, salty, and so pretty.

A bit more time intensive, this recipe for Caramel Peanut Fudge tastes like a homemade Snickers bar…but better!

There is even fudge out there for those on a health kick! Try these Dark Chocolate Almond Fudge Bites that are gluten-free and vegan and made overnight in the freezer!

HINT: A batch of nutty fudge is a perfect Teacher Appreciation gift. Box it up with a pretty ribbon and a hand-written note.

How to: Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

Mrs. Fields Secrets Preserved Herbs
We’ve got a great tip to keep those fresh herbs from your garden or your crisper drawer from wilting and browning before you get a chance to use them. You can preserve them in olive oil for up to three months in your fridge, enjoying the same freshly-picked flavor. This works particularly well with basil and parsley, but try it out with chives, thyme, and your other favorite herbs.

Preserved Herbs

2 bunches of fresh basil or parsley
3-4 teaspoons of coarse salt
olive oil
small jar

Directions
Thoroughly wash herbs and allow to completely dry. Remove the stems and place the leaves in a food processor then sprinkle with the coarse salt. (The salt will help preserve the shiny green color as well as keep the leaves from sticking together.) Use the “pulse” function to chop the herbs into a fine mince. Drizzle olive oil all along the sides and bottom of a mixing bowl and transfer the herbs to it. Whisk the herbs into the olive oil and drizzle more oil in to give the herbs a chance to separate and become coated with oil. Pour the mixture into a small jar, then top with another thin layer of olive oil. Place the lid on top and store in the fridge for up to three months. Use a scoop or two at a time to add fresh flavor to sauce, or as a delicious dip for bread.

HINT: Pair this with a fresh loaf of bread and you’ve got a thoughtful gift!

 

Recipe: Banana Bread French Toast + Other Mother’s Day Meal Ideas

Mrs. Fields Secrets Banana Bread French Toast
Start your Mother’s Day off right with a delicious meal for mom made with love. We’ve got some incredibly delicious meal ideas, including this Banana Bread French Toast drizzled in maple syrup, dappled with fresh blueberries, and topped with a dollop of whipped lemon sour cream, the perfect tang to balance all the decadent sweet. Try it with our delicious banana bread recipe (which you can make ahead of time), or you can cheat with your favorite store-bought loaf. (We won’t tell Mom.)

Banana Bread French Toast

1 loaf banana bread, cut into 2-inch slices (see recipe below)
unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup blueberries
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
maple syrup

Directions
In a shallow baking dish, whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg together. In a small mixing bowl, whip the sour cream with the lemon zest until light and fluffy. Set aside. Heat a frying pan or griddle on medium-high heat. Melt a pat of butter in the pan. Dredge each side of each slice of banana bread in the egg mixture, then place on the hot pan and cook until crusty and brown before flipping over to cook the other side. Remove from heat and top with maple syrup, blueberries, and sour cream. Makes approximately 4 servings.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups ripe, mashed bananas (about 4 large bananas)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the mashed bananas and scrape the sides to incorporate any butter that sticks to the sides. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg together. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until combined. Finally, stir in the buttermilk until just combined. Prepare two loaf pans with nonstick spray and add the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife dipped into the middle comes out mostly clean. Allow to sit for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Other Favorite Mother’s Day Meal Ideas

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Menu
Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
German Pancakes
Baked Cake Donuts 
Berry Muesli
Bite-Sized Brunch Menu
Cherry and Sweet Goat Cheese Turnovers

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