Funnel Cake & Corn Dog Kits
By: Amy Jacquin
Do you look forward to fair season for the food... like corn dogs and funnel cakes? Now you can make those things inside your own kitchen. But do the All-American Kitchen Kits sold in grocery stores satisfy your appetitie? Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
Mary-Ann Maloney's had almost four months of maternity leave, and she's missing the news crew! So Amy invited her to help test these two Kitchen Kits... one for funnel cakes... the other for corn dogs and fried twinkies... yes, fried twinkies.
We start by mixing the funnel cake batter, because that needs to be refrigerated. And her son, two-year-old Griffin, is a big help!
"Ooh! He got it all over his face!" Mary-Ann laughs, as Griffin helps stir some batter. "Ha! Okay, now you're getting Mommy dirty!"
While the funnel cake batter is chilling, we move on to fried twinkies. First comes measuring the oil into the special pot...
"It says measure the length of two twinkies and fill the pot with that much oil," Mary-Ann reads off the directions. "My house has never seen th is much oil!"
The batter directions just say add water to the mix and stir until it's the consistency of whipped cream. It doesn't say how much water, or how to mix it.
Meanwhile, Griffin loses interest and is off to play... "That could be a problem," laughs Mary-Ann. "Because if it comes back badly, I can't blame it on anybody else! Ha ha!"
As Mary-Ann puts the sticks into the frozen twinkies, Amy helps stir... but the best consistency they can get, is that of pancake batter.
"It never was like whipped cream," Mary-Ann shakes her head. "In all the stages along the way, it was like wallpaper paste!"
But the batter sticks to the twinkies. And we're ready to fry. However, getting the twinkies into the pot of boiling oil is tricky!
"Really hold onto that pot handle, because that thing could flip and really burn you," cautions Mary-Ann.
And we notice the pot is *not* the same pot pictured on the box... "That is misleading!" she exclaims. The picture shows removable metal grippers.... Ours has permanently installed grippers... which means your hands come awful close to some very hot grease.
"Watch it drop off that stick!" Mary-Ann mumbles as she wiggles the stick, trying to get the twinkie out of the pot. "Oh! The oil is popping! Oooh that's dangerous."
Getting them out of the pot is more difficult than getting them in...
"There you have a fried twinkie, folks," Mary-Ann says as she finally puts it onto a plate. "Look at that thing!"
As the twinkies cook, Mary-Ann takes a break to tend to her infant son, Cooper. As of July 4th, he's almost four months old. But Cooper would just as soon sleep through the excitement!
Back in the kitchen, Mary-Ann mixes the corn dog batter. "This looks and smells more like you're making cornbread," she says, as she stirs the yellow batter.
She coats the corn dogs, and into the pot they go.
"I don't like that part, right there," she says. "It's scary. And it is hard. By the time I get the last one in, the first one will be done! I think this one is done, guys. That's a corn dog. That looks like a corn dog!"
Finally, we're ready to fry the funnel cake. The kit comes with the ring, and directions on pouring the batter.
"One, two, three, four times around, and then zig-zag," Mary-Ann says as the batter fries.
The funnel cake is fried in about 30 seconds. Mary-Ann tops it off with sugar... and we're ready to taste-test everything.
"We have to taste these, you know?" Amy says to Mary-Ann. "Really? Can't we just SAY we tasted them? Ha ha!"
The fried twinkies are gross! You mainly taste oil... Griffin even refuses to try it! And the babysitters agree... "It's really greasy."
The funnel cake is better... At least it tastes like a funnel cake, though it's a little greasier than normal. Griffin at least tries this one!... Finally, the corn dogs.
"It's better than the first two, frankly," Amy says. "But the hot dog itself, is barely warm!"
And Griffin would rather play with the corn dog than eat it!
Bottom line, these kitchen kits are average at best. They use a lot of oil, are too dangerous for children, and somewhat smoke up the house. You may want to save the $15 and treat yourself at the fair, instead. We give both "All American Food Kits" a C.