I know – you don’t need to hear this. It’s not sound nutritional advice. But. If you were ever feeling inclined to indulge a little and fry a Mars Bar – they are pretty fantastic, and not at all difficult to make – this is the time of year to try it. Because the mini Mars (and other) bars that are prevalent at this time of year (and this week – 50% off!) are ideal candidates for deep frying. Whole, full-size Mars Bars are a little much, but the bite-sized ones come out like crisp, golden little fritters, with chocolate-caramel goo inside. Perfect for those days when you need to carb load. (You’re running a marathon, right?) They also go over great at a party if you’re looking for something different for the sweets table.
You needn’t limit yourself to Mars Bars – raid the kids’ treat bags and try Oh Henrys, Snickers and Caramilk bars. The batter – a simple whisked-together slurry of flour, cornstarch, baking soda and milk – will contain whatever you dunk into it. (Older kids will think this is a riot, and will likely begin to raid the pantry to see what other goodies can be deep fried.)
Deep Fried Mini Mars Bars
mini chocolate bars – any kind (Mars works well, as do Snickers and Oh Henry)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. baking soda
enough milk or water to make a thin batter
canola oil, for frying
powdered sugar, for sprinkling
Unwrap your chocolate bars and if they’re big, cut them into pieces (aim for an inch or so). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and enough milk or water to make a thin batter – it should have the consistency of thin cream.
In a wide pot, heat an inch or two of canola oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (You’ll know it’s ready when a scrap of bread held into the oil bubbles around it.) Dip a few chocolate bars at a time into the batter, coating them completely, then gently slip into the oil. Cook a couple at a time for a minute or two, flipping with tongs as necessary, until golden. (If they are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down – if it’s taking too long, the oil may need to be hotter. Don’t crowd the pot, or it will bring the temperature of the oil down.)
Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to handle and eat, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.