This summer may look different from years past, but that doesn
This summer may look different from years past, but that doesn't mean you can't satisfy your family's cravings for the best flavors the boardwalk has to offer.
PHOTO: iStock

Half the fun of a trip to the beach or a theme park is, of course, the snacks. We’re talking about the treats you can smell from 100 feet away, amid the gleeful yelps of kids darting underfoot. This summer may look different from years past, but that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your family’s cravings for the best flavors the boardwalk has to offer.

We turned to Rachel Farnsworth of The Stay at Home Chef blog for simple recipes for whipping up your favorite boardwalk bites without leaving your house. “Making your own summer boardwalk snacks at home doesn’t have to be complicated,” Farnsworth says. “These four recipes are easy to make and only require a handful of ingredients.” We’ve rounded up all those ingredients plus tools of the trade you’ll need, below. (The full directions and how-to videos for each recipe are available over at The Stay at Home Chef.)

Disneyland Style Hand Dipped Corn Dogs

Disneyland Style Hand Dipped Corn Dogs
Disneyland Style Hand Dipped Corn Dogs
PHOTO: Rachel Farnsworth

Some fans head to Disney for the rides, others are secretly in it for the corn dogs. We can’t say we blame them. “There’s nothing quite like a freshly fried hand-dipped corn dog,” Farnsworth says. “Use a high-quality hot dog for the ultimate corn dog experience at home.” Here’s what you’ll need.

Homemade Disneyland-style corn dog ingredients

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 8 hot dogs
  • Popsicle-style craft sticks

See the full recipe at The Stay at Home Chef.

Essentials for making homemade Disneyland-style corn dogs

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart ($69.90; amazon.com)

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart

A deep, sturdy pot is essential for frying treats like corn dogs. A cast-iron Dutch oven is a versatile staple that gets the job done.

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Lodge 12-Inch Aluminum Foil Dutch Oven Liners, 12-Pack ($20; amazon.com)

Lodge 12-Inch Aluminum Foil Dutch Oven Liners, 12-Pack
Lodge 12-Inch Aluminum Foil Dutch Oven Liners, 12-Pack

Drop in one of these liners to make cleaning up all that oil — after it cools — a little bit easier and less intimidating.

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KT Thermo Deep Fry Thermometer ($11.99, originally $15.99; amazon.com)

KT Thermo Deep Fry Thermometer
KT Thermo Deep Fry Thermometer

Ensuring that oil reaches the right temperature and that it stays hot is the key to perfect deep-frying.

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Perfect Stix Premium Wooden Corn Dog Stick (Pack of 1000) ($9.99; amazon.com)

Perfect Stix Premium Wooden Corn Dog Stick
Perfect Stix Premium Wooden Corn Dog Stick

Find a crafty use for the extra sticks once your corn dog fix is satisfied. Or use them to make ice pops or even as cocktail stirrers.

The Best Homemade Soft Pretzels

The Best Homemade Soft Pretzels
The Best Homemade Soft Pretzels
PHOTO: Rachel Farnsworth

Biting into a soft pretzel is a sublime experience that usually happens at a fair, on a boardwalk or while wandering the streets of New York City. Now you can sit back and enjoy one in the comfort of home. “Soft pretzels are always a family favorite,” Farnsworth says. “This recipe is easy enough for kids to join in on cooking, too.” Just don’t expect the end results to stick around for long.

Homemade soft pretzel ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water, lukewarm
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Melted butter and coarse salt, to season

See the full recipe at The Stay at Home Chef.

Essentials for making homemade soft pretzels

Anchor Hocking 4-Quart Glass Mixing Bowl, Set of 2 ($17.99, originally $19.78; amazon.com)

Anchor Hocking 4-Quart Glass Mixing Bowl, Set of 2
Anchor Hocking 4-Quart Glass Mixing Bowl, Set of 2

Large glass mixing bowls are kitchen multitaskers that transfer from workhorse to serveware with ease. They also make it a cinch to know at a glance if everything has been mixed together thoroughly.

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Sweese Porcelain Small Side Dishes - Set of 4 (starting at $15.99; amazon.com)

Sweese Porcelain Small Side Dishes - Set of 4
Sweese Porcelain Small Side Dishes - Set of 4

These small bowls are perfectly handy for little things like mixing the baking soda and water or dissolving the yeast. They also make great sauce and dipping dishes.

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RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Mini Whisk, 9-Inch ($5.95; amazon.com)

RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Mini Whisk, 9 Inch
RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Mini Whisk, 9 Inch

Speaking of mixing little things, this whisk helps get the job done. It’s also handy for whisking in a cocktail shaker. For more on that, see our favorite summer cocktail recipes and how to stock a proper bar cart.

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Oxo Good Grips Small Silicone Basting Brush ($8.99; amazon.com)

Oxo Good Grips Small Silicone Basting Brush
Oxo Good Grips Small Silicone Basting Brush

A basting brush is the chef’s tool for adding final touches — in this case, melted butter before taking the pretzels for a dip in a plate of salt crystals.

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Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (2 pack) ($21.99; amazon.com)

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet

You’ll get endless use out of a sturdy pair of baking sheets. One of our editors swears by hers that she has had for years.

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Olde Thompson 20-Ounce Mediterranean Sea Salt Crystals ($10.60; amazon.com)

Olde Thompson 20-Ounce Mediterranean Sea Salt Crystals
Olde Thompson 20-Ounce Mediterranean Sea Salt Crystals

Coarse sea salt is the mark of a pretzel baker’s job done and dusted.

Homemade Mexican Churros

Homemade Mexican Churros
Homemade Mexican Churros
PHOTO: Rachel Farnsworth

A must-have on summer sidewalks and park pathways, churros are surprisingly simple to make. “Roll them in cinnamon sugar or serve plain,” Farnsworth suggests. “Or inject caramel sauce, Nutella, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream into the center for an extra special treat.” Surprise your family with a taste test to see which filling they like best.

Homemade Mexican churros ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Nutella (optional)
  • Sweetened condensed milk (for dipping)

See the full recipe at The Stay at Home Chef.

Essentials for making homemade churros

Kasmoire Piping Bags and Tips, 24pcs ($14.99; amazon.com)

Kasmoire Piping Bags and Tips, 24pcs
Kasmoire Piping Bags and Tips, 24pcs

Reusable icing bags are environmentally friendly and versatile tools for icing cakes, piping out churros and anything else you can think up.

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Oxo Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads ($12.99; amazon.com)

Oxo Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads
Oxo Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads

Some tasks require a more delicate touch than those big stainless steel tongs that you use near the grill.

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Rachael Ray Cityscapes Hot Chip and Dip Set ($39.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)

Rachael Ray Cityscapes Hot Chip and Dip Set
Rachael Ray Cityscapes Hot Chip and Dip Set

Pair these churros with the sauce of your choice and serve them in a chip-and-dip set for easy carrying (if they make it past the kitchen).

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Oxo Good Grips Flavor Injector ($13.05, originally $14.99; amazon.com)

Oxo Good Grips Flavor Injector
Oxo Good Grips Flavor Injector

Filling churros with Nutella, dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk is delicious. This flavor injector, which was designed to inject flavor into meat, works wonders for stuffing churros, too.

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Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz (prices vary by location; target.com)

Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz
Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz

Creamy, sweet and perfect as a dip or filling for so many things, one of them being churros.

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Nutella Hazelnut Spread w/ Cocoa - 7.7 oz (prices vary by location; target.com)

Nutella Hazelnut Spread w/ Cocoa - 7.7 oz
Nutella Hazelnut Spread w/ Cocoa - 7.7 oz

Chocolate and hazelnut lovers will freak out over how deliciously this spread combines with the churro’s cinnamon and sugary schtick.

Double Chocolate Fudge Cookie Dough Shake

Double Chocolate Fudge Cookie Dough Shake
Double Chocolate Fudge Cookie Dough Shake
PHOTO: Rachel Farnsworth

Sipping on an ice-cold milkshake while walking the boardwalk is the stuff of classic summertime memories. While we may not always think to pull out all the stops when it comes to making milkshakes at home, this recipe is too fun to resist. “Over-the-top milkshakes are all the rage,” Farnsworth says. “This is the ultimate shake for chocolate and cookie-dough lovers.” Farnsworth’s ‘“cookie dough” recipe is made without eggs, so it’s safe to eat as is.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 quarts chocolate ice cream
  • 1 to 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup hot fudge sauce

See the full recipe at The Stay at Home Chef.

Essentials for making homemade milkshakes

KitchenAid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)

KitchenAid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer
KitchenAid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer

KitchenAid’s powerful hand mixer works great for any number of baking projects and saves counter space over a standing version. Use this to mix up the “cookie dough” for the milkshakes and more. A rainbow of color choices means there’s one to match any kitchen’s decor.

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Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base ($125.36; amazon.com)

Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base
Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base

A strong, versatile blender is a must for all manner of frozen drinks and desserts. This model from Ninja is a bestseller on Amazon that has more than 3,500 5-star reviews.

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Anchor Hocking 12.5-oz Vintage Soda Glass, Set of 12 ($25.48; amazon.com)

Anchor Hocking 12.5-oz Vintage Soda Glass, Set of 12
Anchor Hocking 12.5-oz Vintage Soda Glass, Set of 12

A fancy shake deserves an equally fancy glass. Cheers!

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9-Inch Long Handle Ice Cream Spoons, Set of 4 ($7.99, originally $11.99; amazon.com)

9-Inch Long Handle Ice Cream Spoons, Set of 4
9-Inch Long Handle Ice Cream Spoons, Set of 4

Make sure to get every lump of the cookie dough out with one of these extra long spoons, which also work wonders for iced tea and iced coffee.

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100% Biodegradable Paper Drinking Straws - 200 Pack ($7.99, originally $9.99; amazon.com)

100% Biodegradable Paper Drinking Straws - 200 Pack
100% Biodegradable Paper Drinking Straws - 200 Pack

Plastic straws have been banned in many beach towns, but these paper straws are even better anyway — they’re 100% biodegradable! They’re striped in a variety of colors, to make drinking a milkshake (or anything, for that matter) even more fun.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.