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50 Recipes for Homemade State Fair Food

Bring the fairgrounds to your own backyard this summer with homemade versions of classic state fair foods like cream puffs, cheese curds and turkey legs.

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Indiana-Style Corn Dogs

One of the best parts of the many fairs and festivals in Indiana is the corn dogs! My family loves corn dogs, so I fix them fairly often at home. —Sally Denney, Warsaw, Indiana

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First-Prize Doughnuts

"One year I entered 18 different baked goods in the county fair and all of them won a ribbon. Here is my favorite prize-winning doughnut recipe. I have been making doughnuts since I was a bride 58 years ago!" —Betty B. Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania

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Bacon-Wrapped Corn

After one bite of this grilled corn on the cob, you'll never go back to your old way of preparing it. The incredible flavor of roasted corn combined with bacon and chili powder is sure to please your palate and bring rave reviews at your next backyard barbecue. —Lori Bramble, Omaha, Nebraska

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4 / 50

Chicken & Waffles

My first experience with chicken and waffles sent my taste buds into orbit. I first made the dish into appetizers, but we all love them as a main course, too. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri

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Blue-Ribbon Apple Pie

This pie is special to me because I won a blue ribbon for it at the local fair and was able to compete at the state farm show. —Collette Gaugler, Fogelsville, Pennsylvania

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Deep-Fried Cheese Bites

Cheese curds or cubes dipped in flour and beer, then fried, need only a good supply of crinkly toothpicks to turn them into a vanishing act. —Katie Rose, Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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Hot & Spicy Turkey Legs

Who doesn’t love turkey legs at a street fair? Why wait for the next fair when you can make incredible turkey legs at home? Grab the seasonings and begin! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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8 / 50

Funnel Cakes

This funnel cake recipe is simpler to make than doughnuts, and it's just as good. They have been a favorite of ours since we came across them living in the Ozarks. —Mary Faith Yoder, Unity, Wisconsin

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Waffle Fry Nachos

My husband and two grown sons really enjoy these fun nachos—they can devour a platter of them in no time. They're also fun to make when friends come over. —Debra Morgan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

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State Fair Cream Puffs

The Wisconsin Bakers Association has served this cream puff recipe at our state fair since 1924. —Ruth Jungbluth, Dodgeville, Wisconsin

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Baby Back Ribs

Slow-cook the ribs during the day and they will be ready to finish on the grill when you get home. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Lemonade Iced Tea

I have always loved iced tea with lemon and this great thirst-quencher just takes it one step further. The lemonade gives this refreshing drink a nice color, too. —Gail Buss, Beverly Hills, Florida

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13 / 50

Chocolate Caramel Apples

Caramel apples get dressed up for this harvesttime holiday with chocolate, nuts and toffee bits. Cut into wedges, these scrumptious apples are easy to share. —Linda Smith, Frederick, Maryland.

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Fried Jalapenos

Here's an appetizer that will heat up any gathering. Family and friends often request that I make these jalapenos. —DeLea Lonadier, Montgomery, Louisiana

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State Fair Subs

My college roommate and I first ate these meaty sandwiches at the Iowa State Fair. After a little experimenting, we re-created the recipe. We ate the subs often because they were fast to fix between classes and didn't break our next-to-nothing grocery budget. —Christi Ross, Mill Creek, Oklahoma

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Sweet Corn Beignets with Bacon-Sugar Dust

Opposites attract deliciously in these irresistible beignets—crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside. Salty bacon sugar contrasts nicely with the sweet corn in the pastries.—Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina

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Kool-Aid Pickles

Everyone will love getting into these pickles. They owe their color and sweet-sour taste to a long marinade in a fruity drink mix.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Jalapeno Popper Burgers

What do you get when you combine a jalapeno popper and a classic burger? This fantastic recipe! It takes the essential components of a popper and encases them in a juicy patty for a burst of flavor in every bite. —Jo Davison, Naples, Florida

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Corn Ice Cream

You have to give this novel ice cream a try. It’s actually made with corn, sweetly flavored by vanilla extract and maple syrup. I plan to make this surprising treat every summer.—Diana Burrink, Crete, Illinois

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Hearty Pork & Black Bean Nachos

My husband and I are both graduate students right now, so we don't have a lot of time to cook dinner. Our family loves coming home to this incredible nacho platter, and I love how easy it is to prepare. —Faith Stokes, Chickamauga, Georgia

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Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Here's a juicy, delicious and savory meal in a bun! I make it for picnics, barbecues and tailgate parties, and it always gets compliments. To transport, wrap the hot dogs in foil and then in paper. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

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Deep-Fried Mac & Cheese Shells

I created this recipe for my husband, who loves mac & cheese. He describes this recipe as "unbelievably delicious" because of the crispy deep-fried coating and the creamy richness on the inside.—Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida

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Pizza on a Stick

My daughter and her friends had fun turning sausage, pepperoni, veggies and pizza dough into these cute kabobs. Give our version a try or make your own using you favorite light pizza toppings. —Charlene Woods, Norfolk, Virginia

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Baked Elephant Ears

My mother-in-law handed down this recipe from her mother. They’re a special treat—even better, I think, than those at a carnival or festival. And (shh!) they're baked, not fried. —Delores Baeten, Downers Grove, Illinois

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Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, these okra nuggets are crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas

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Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to Mom's delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia

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Winning Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie

While being raised on a farm I often ate rhubarb, so it's natural for me to use it in a pie. I prefer to use lard for the flaky pie crust and thin, red rhubarb stalks for the filling. These two little secrets helped this recipe win top honors at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. —Marianne Carlson, Jefferson, Iowa

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Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you're really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Walking Tacos

These Walking Tacos are great for an on-the-go dinner, campfire meal or easy game night supper. The ingredients go right into the chip bags! —Beverly Matthews, Pasco, Washington

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Ultimate Oreo Caramel Apples

My kids like to give Halloween goodies to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. These cookie-caramel apples were door prizes for a few lucky ghosts and goblins. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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Peppery Hush Puppies

For our family, a good fish dinner just isn't complete without these zesty hush puppies. You can also serve them alone as a satisfying snack. —Carolyn Griffin, Macon, Georgia

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Blackberry Lemonade

Here's a special drink that's perfect when blackberries are in season. It has a tangy, refreshing flavor. —Rich Murray, Nevada, Missouri

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Best-Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

For a classic grilled sandwich, this recipe is the best. You can also use your imagination for other fillings, such as a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, chives or even a tiny spoonful of salsa. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah

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Chocolate-Covered Bacon

It's a hit at state fairs everywhere, but you can make this salty-sweet concoction at home. Some say bacon is perfect as is, but chocolate makes everything better! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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35 / 50

Poutine

The ultimate in French-Canadian junk food, poutine commonly features warm fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This side dish is quick to fix with frozen potatoes and packaged gravy but has all the traditional greasy spoon comfort. —Shelisa Terry, Henderson, Nevada

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36 / 50

Frozen Chocolate Monkey Treats

Everyone needs a fun, friendly way for kids to play with food. These “bites” are nutty and yummy when you coat bananas in chocolate and dip them into peanuts, sprinkles or coconut. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin

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37 / 50

Marina's Golden Corn Fritters

Just a bite of one of these fritters takes me back to when my kids were young. They're all grown up now, but the tradition lives on at get-togethers, when I double, sometimes triple, the recipe. Serve fritters with maple syrup or agave nectar. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California

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Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies

My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It's big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin

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Sloppy Joe Dogs

There are so many different ways to top a hot dog, but this tasty sloppy joe version beats them all. ‐Kimberly Wallace, Dennison, Ohio

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Deep-Fried Candy Bars on a Stick

Why wait in line for deep-fried candy bars when you can satisfy your curious taste buds in your very own home? —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cheesy Chili Fries

My family is all about chili fries, but restaurant versions pile on the calories. For a healthier approach, bake them and serve with green onions and avocado. —Beverly Nowling, Bristol, Florida

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42 / 50

County Fair Cherry Pie

This cherry pie is so easy! I'm a teacher and a Navy wife, so simplicity and quickness are both mealtime musts at our house. —Claudia Youmans, Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Italian Sausage Hoagies

In southeastern Wisconsin, our cuisine is influenced by both Germans and Italians who immigrated to this area. When preparing this recipe, we usually substitute German bratwurst for the Italian sausage, so we blend the two influences with delicious results. —Craig Wachs, Racine, Wisconsin

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44 / 50

Dessert Waffles

Everyone raves about the contrast between the crunchy waffles and creamy ice cream in this dessert.—Sheila Watson, Stettler, Alberta

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Fried Mashed Potato Balls

The key to making this recipe is to use chilled, firm mashed potatoes. Serve these fried mashed potatoes with sour cream or ranch salad dressing on the side. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Candy Craze Ice Cream Sandwiches

These ice cream sandwiches have a little bit of everything in them to satisfy all your cravings. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Barbecued Burgers

I can't take all the credit for these winning burgers. My husband's uncle passed down the special barbecue sauce recipe. We love it on everything...it was only natural to try it on, and in, burgers. —Rhoda Troyer, Glenford, Ohio

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48 / 50

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Cake doughnuts remind me of family trips to South Dakota. We’d stop at Wall Drug for a dozen or so before camping in the Badlands. Maple glaze was and still is my favorite. Share a batch with friends and family who appreciate a hot, fresh apple cider donut. —Melissa Hansen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Grilled Seasoned Bratwurst

Whether you're hosting a picnic at home or at a park, cook these bratwurst on the stovetop first. Then you can quickly brown them on the grill. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Refreshing Rhubarb Ice Cream

No matter where my military family is stationed, this ice cream always makes me think of my parents’ backyard rhubarb patch in Rochester, New York. —Rachel Garcia, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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