5 Indulgently Sweet Fried Treats to Make for Dessert
Sometimes, when a sugar craving strikes, a standard dessert just won’t do. You need something over the top, an unbelievably indulgent treat that pulls out all the stops and is gooey, rich, and, of course, fried to perfection. Your first instinct may be to stave off your craving until you can get to a state fair or bakery, but there’s no need to wait — it’ll only make your sweet tooth grow stronger.
Instead, make your own fantastic-tasting fried treats in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you’re in the mood for fried ice cream, fried cookie dough, or donut fries, one of these five recipes will cure your cravings. Dessert doesn’t get any more delicious than these indulgent sweets!
1. BA’s Best Beignets
A slightly chewy texture, crisp fried finish, and powdered sugar create Bon Appétit’s recipe, which yields about 3 dozen. A beignet is essentially a doughnut, only square-shaped and without a hole. Interestingly, What’s Cooking America notes that the word beignet comes from the early Celtic word bigne, which means “to raise.” It is also French for fritter.
This dessert takes a little time and patience, but the end result is well worth the wait. First make your dough, knead it until it’s smooth, then let it sit, covered, until it’s doubled in size, about 1 hour. Roll out your dough, cut into 2-inch squares, transfer to a baking sheet, and let sit for another 25 to 30 minutes. After that, this recipe moves quickly. Fry your beignets, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1¼ ounces envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup buttermilk, slightly warmed
- ¼ cup whole milk, slightly warmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3¾ cups bread flour, plus more for surface
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- Vegetable oil (for frying and bowl; about 6 cups)
- Powdered sugar (for dusting)
Directions: Whisk sugar, yeast, and ¾ cup warm water in a large bowl. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add egg, buttermilk, milk, salt, baking soda, and 2½ cups flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Add butter a couple of pieces at a time, mixing to combine after each addition before adding more. Add remaining 1¼ cups flour, mixing in ¼ cup at a time. Work dough until butter is completely incorporated and dough is no longer sticky.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to ½-inch thick. Using a knife, cut into 2-inch squares or diamonds and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until slightly puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Pour oil into a medium heavy saucepan to a depth of 3-inch and fit with thermometer. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 375 degrees. Working in batches, fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Generously dust beignets with powdered sugar just before serving.
2. Mexican Fried Ice Cream
Impress dinner guests with Taste of Home’s Mexican Fried Ice Cream. French vanilla ice cream, cornflakes, cinnamon, and oil are all you need to prepare this recipe. Freeze scoops of ice cream, roll each ball in a crumb mixture consisting of cornflake crumbs and cinnamon, and freeze overnight or up to 2 months. When you’re ready to indulge in this dish, use an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer to fry each scoop. Don’t forget to top your ice cream with honey and whipped topping before serving!
- ½ gallon French vanilla ice cream, softened
- 3 cups crushed cornflakes
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Oil for deep-fat frying
- Honey and whipped topping, optional
Directions: Place nine 3-inche scoops of ice cream on a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm. In a shallow bowl, combine cornflake crumbs and cinnamon. Roll ice cream balls in crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet; freeze overnight.
Wrap each scoop separately in plastic wrap; transfer to a freezer bag. May be frozen for up to 2 months. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap ice cream; fry one scoop at a time for 8 to 10 seconds. Place in chilled bowls; serve immediately. Top with honey and whipped topping if desired.
3. Deep-Fried Cookie Dough With Fleur de Sel
For days when cookie dough or standard cookies just won’t do, make Anne Thornton’s Deep-Fried Cookie Dough recipe, featured on Food Network. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors, gooey chocolate, and a crisp, fried finish. This irresistible recipe yields 6 dozen.
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1½ to 1¾ cup seltzer water, plus more, if needed
- Canola oil, for frying
- Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
Directions: For the cookie dough, add the flour, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Using a whisk, stir the mixture to incorporate all the ingredients. Cream the butter in a stand mixer until it lightens up. Slowly add in the sugars and continue to cream until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each egg. Stir in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture. Once incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
Take 2 teaspoons dough, or if using a spoon, take a good scoop and roll it into balls. Put the cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet and pop them into the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Chilling the dough will help the batter stick to the cookie balls.
For the batter, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Take a whisk and give the mixture a few swirls to incorporate the ingredients and break up any lumps. Whisk in the egg and the seltzer, making sure to combine well. You want the batter to have the consistency of heavy cream, so add more seltzer, if needed, to achieve this. In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Working in batches, add 3 chilled dough balls to the batter and turn to coat completely. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove each cookie dough ball from the batter, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl, then very carefully slip it into the hot oil and repeat.
Fry no more than 3 at a time, since you do not want the temperature of the oil to drop. Using a slotted spoon, turn them over a few times until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes total. Remove the crispy cookie dough balls from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of fleur de sel and serve warm.
4. Cinnamon Sugar Donut Fries
Beyond Frosting brings you donuts that are shaped into fries, coated in cinnamon sugar, and doused in a maple glaze. The best part? Refrigerated biscuit dough makes this dessert a breeze to prepare. Heat oil on the stove, roll out each biscuit until flattened, and cut into stripes with a pizza cutter. Drop each fry into the oil, cooking for about 30 seconds on each side. Toss in a cinnamon-sugar mix, and drizzle with a decadent brown butter maple glaze. The recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.
- 1 (48-ounce) bottle vegetable oil
- 1 (48-ounce) sleeve refrigerated home-style biscuits
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, browned
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons milk
Directions: In a medium-size pot, empty a full container of vegetable oil. Attach a candy thermometer to the size of the pot. Heat oil over medium heat until it reach 360 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn your heat down slightly to prevent the oil from getting too hot. Use extreme caution, oil will be very hot. Remove biscuits from container and roll out flat, lengthwise. With your hands, roll each cutting into a long string with a pizza cutter. Cut in half if necessary. Drop biscuits in oil.
Fry for about 20 to 30 second a side until golden brown. Remove with a pair of tongs and set on a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil. When finished deep frying, leave your candy thermometer in the oil until it is completely cooled. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a Ziploc bag. Throw fried donuts in the Ziploc bag, seal it and gently toss to coat the fries in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
For the glaze, sift powered sugar. This step is necessary to create a smooth glaze. Melt butter in a saucepan. Once melted, continue to stir until butter turns a golden brown. Pour melted butter over powdered sugar. Add maple syrup and milk. Whisk until smooth. For a thicker glaze, add only 1 tablespoon of milk instead of two. Or add additional powered sugar. To make glaze thinner, add additional milk.
5. Fried Apple Pies
Give your pie a mouthwatering makeover with this recipe for Mini Fried Apple Pies, which can be found on Fine Cooking, excerpted from David Guas and Raquel Pelzel’s cookbook Dam Good Sweet. A warm filling consisting of apple cider, apples, warm spices, vanilla, butter, and cornstarch is piled into a pie crust and fried. The pies can be made up to 6 hours before frying. The recipe yields 18 servings.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 5 firm, juicy apples (preferably Braeburn), peeled, cored, and diced into ¼-inch cubes
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean, halved widthwise
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Directions: To make the dough, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the melted shortening, eggs, and milk. Using the paddle attachment, mix the dough on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, about 2 to 3 minutes, adding more flour, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems very wet or sticky. Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the apple filling. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk ¼ cup of the apple juice or cider with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apples, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Wrap one half of the vanilla bean well in plastic wrap, and reserve for another use. Slice the remaining half lengthwise down the middle. Open the pod and use the knife to scrape out the seeds; discard the pod. Add the seeds to the apples and toss with the sugar and spices.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once melted, let the butter simmer for 20 seconds, then stir in the apples. Cook with a lid askew until the apples start to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ¼ cup of apple juice or cider and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook until the mixture is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Once the apples have chilled, make the piecrusts. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a small dish of water next to your work surface. Generously flour the work surface and roll one dough ball into a ⅛-inch-thick circle. Use a 3½- to 4-inch biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out rounds from the dough. Place the circles on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and place them in the refrigerator to keep cool. Set the dough scraps aside and reflour your work surface. Repeat with the second piece of dough and refrigerate the stamped out rounds. Press all of the scraps together, roll them into a ⅛-inch-thick circle, cut out rounds, and refrigerate. Discard the leftover scraps.
To assemble and cook the pies, place 1½ to 2 tablespoons of cold apple filling in the center of each dough circle. Using your finger or a pastry brush, moisten the edge of the bottom half of the circle with water and fold the top half over, bringing the edges together and pressing them tightly to seal. Using firm pressure, crimp the edges of the dough using an upturned fork. Refrigerate the filled pies while you heat the oil.
Line a plate with paper towels. Pour enough peanut oil into a large pot to fill it to a 3-inch depth and bring to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit over high heat. Fry a few turnovers until all sides are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, turning them over often. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you fry the remaining turnovers. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of powdered sugar on top.