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A Dozen Desserts Inspired By Country Fairs

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When country fairs begin in late summer, it’s time to rekindle our love for those treats that we only experience once a year. But it doesn’t need to be so: many are very doable at home. These recipes were inspired equally by county-fair recipe contest favorites and midway treats.

  • Recipe

    Black-Bottom Buttermilk Pie

    Old-fashioned buttermilk pie is as sweet and tangy as it is comforting, and it’s the perfect canvas for showcasing buttermilk’s unique flavor. Here, the custard bakes in a gorgeous dark brown, bittersweet chocolate crust with a texture somewhere between a cookie and a traditional pie dough

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  • Recipe

    Root Beer Funnel Cakes

    This is not a recipe to serve a crowd at home–despite the funnel cake’s popularity at county fairs–as you can only fry one at a time.

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  • Recipe

    Sweet Cherry Sheet Pan Pie

    Summer means fresh cherries are in season, so a juicy, sweet cherry pie is in order. Here, a lattice top gives this pie a classic look.

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  • Recipe

    Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Fluff

    A riff on the classic sweet-potato-and-marshmallow Thanksgiving side, this not-too-sweet pie has a light, billowy topping; together, they make a perfect bite. Torching the topping is optional but adds toasty notes and great color.

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    Recipe

    Caramel Apples

    Forget chocolate bars and candy corn this Halloween; grab some popsicle sticks and have some fun making a real treat this year. Get creative and garnish the apples with toppings like toasted coconut, chopped nuts, ice cream sprinkles, or mini candies. Before long, word will get out that you have the best Halloween candy on the block.

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  • Recipe

    Sweet and Spicy Fried Peach Pies

    Fried hand pies are a southern tradition; this one makes the most of summer peaches, with hot pepper jelly and a hint of cayenne for a spicy kick.

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  • Recipe

    Chocolate-Dunked Bananas with Peanuts

    Frozen bananas (with or without the chocolate) make a nice snack anytime, so make a big batch and keep them in the freezer.

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  • Recipe

    Bumpy Cake

    This chocolate-lover’s dream is almost equal parts candy and cake. A poured chocolate fudge crowns the peaks and valleys of piped vanilla buttercream. At its heart, it’s a devil’s food cake, but its topping sets it apart.

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  • Recipe

    Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling

    Maine’s official state treat meets a classic of the deep South in this recipe for a mini, portable version of red velvet cake.

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  • cider doughnuts
    Recipe

    Spiced Cider Doughnuts

    In the fall, almost every pick-your-own orchard in New England serves its family’s version of cider doughnuts. They’re all wonderful, but I’ve been told many times that mine—warmly spiced and ethereal—are the best.

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  • banana cream pie
    Recipe

    Old-School Banana Cream Pie

    A layer of firm-ripe bananas hides under rich vanilla pudding and a mound of whipped cream. Classic. We’ve garnished it with peanuts, but you can omit them if you prefer.

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  • CaramelPopcorn-sq-sip130
    Recipe

    Caramel Popcorn

    This fair mainstay is surprisingly simple to make at home.

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