Elephant ears are always a must for me at the state fair. I can never resist the deep-fried cinnamon deliciousness (we won't get into the debate, but they're MUCH better than funnel cakes). Anyways, I saw the other day a friend posted on FB about how she made some homemade and I guess I never really thought to do that. It's one hot summer here in the Midwest but we are anxiously awaiting the fair so in the mean time, make a batch of elephant ears and relax by the pool.
Yields: 15 (freeze the extra)
1.5 cups milk
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp white sugar
3/8 cup shortening
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart of oil for frying
3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
8 Tbsp white sugar
In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the shortening. Mix well and heat until shortening melts and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm, approximately 110 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy.
Transfer the cooled mixture to a large bowl and stir in the flour to make the dough. Knead until smooth and cover. Allow dough to rise for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the quart of oil (about 1 inch) on medium-low heat until mixture reaches about 350 degrees. (Note: I turned my heat down quite a bit after the first two because they were so unevenly cooked so I recommend no higher than 350 F.) Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls and flatten into a thin sheet. Fry the sheets until brown on the bottom, around 40-60 seconds. Flip and cook around the same amount of time.
Place cooked elephant ear on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Mix the sugar and cinnamon to make an even mixture and sprinkle on the warm elephant ears. Enjoy warm.
Now I made about 6 of these ears (some for us and the neighbors), but I froze the excess dough. I will certainly update this to see if that works when I try to make them again.
These were so tasty and you just have to have a nice, deep-fried treat once in a while. They were flaky and messy, which of course made my toddler absolutely love them. <3