I managed to live in Minnesota for around 5 years before I was finally talked into attending the Minnesota State Fair. I had always just assumed it was ridiculous and I was somehow 'too cool' for the fair but a few years ago I ended up going because a friend had given me their sweet tickets to Jackson Browne, who just happened to be playing at the fair grandstand one night. I went with my pal, Donnie. Now, Donnie is a state fair genius, if there ever was such a thing. If you were to go with anyone for your first trip to the fair I would recommend her. She used to show her animals and stay with them there for like 10 days while she was in high school! How awesome is that?! Anyway, Donnie and I peddled our bikes down to the bike coral for my first trip to the fair. We parked the bikes and walked into something I wasn't expecting. Awesomeness.
The Minnesota fair isn't just lousy carnival rides and cheap games like I had experienced at the Fargo fair, it has art exhibits, horticulture exhibits, animal barns with birthing centers. Yuuup, I accidentally watched a sheep give birth last year. Gross. They also have tons of live music, FOOD, state senators, and ancient Twins players that toss the ball around. The list just goes on! Needless to say, I honest to goodness love the Minnesota Sate Fair. In one small 4 hour dose a year.
My first 'food-on-a-stick' experience was a little too over the top. We found a key-lime pie on a stick and it was just a tad too sweet, but we couldn't throw it away because the little old lady from Florida claimed she made them herself. Several years later, becoming a fair regular, I have finally figured out a few fair favorites regarding delicious food. My 'savory favorite' is deep-fried pickles, and my 'sweet favorite' is the salted nut roll with cashews. I realize that the Pearson's Salted Nut Roll is available all year round, but this one is different. First off, it has cashews. That's fancy folks, straight up class. Second, it's hand-made right there at the fair, it's amazingly fresh. I decided to re-create my favorite sweet treat, the nut roll. I actually decided to use cashews on some and peanuts on others, I'm not rich you know.
Fancy Salted Nut Roll
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 (17 ounce) bag caramels (60)
16 ounces salted nuts, peanuts and cashews
Knead together the marshmallow creme and powdered sugar. Shape into small fingers or bite size balls. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets and freeze. Melt caramels with water over a double boiler (or microwave). Dip creme fingers into caramel mixture,then roll in chopped nuts.
Freeze until set. Store in refrigerator.
Serving sizes are just a guess depending on how big or small you decide to make them.
Also, I am not really sure on how much time these take because of the freezing and it just depends on how fast you work. They are a little time consuming, but not hard.
*Warning: I had a panic attack when I first started kneading this 'dough'. It sticks to your fingers for a long time but just continually keep working in the powdered sugar and it was start sticking together and soon form together.
These nut rolls taste almost exactly the same, in my opinion, as the fair nut roll. They may put a little more caramel on their nut roll, but the nougat center is pretty darn close to the same. I want to say that they might put a hint of vanilla extract in their nougat. I'll have to test that theory out next time. Hope you get to try these at home or the fair! Happy baking.