Creative Cooking

Fry What You Like: Cinnamon Rolls and Bacon-Wrapped Avocado

I love my university for various reasons, but a new reason is that we have a "Fry What You Like" competition where teams of four get to fry anything of their choosing. All we have to do is prepare our items, dip them in a frying batter, roll them in a coating of our choice, and the Baylor dining service staff fries them for everyone to try.

A fraternity on campus hosts a "Fish Fry" where students eat a free fried fish meal, listen to live music, play carnival games and enjoy more fried food in the "Fry What You Like" competition.

Two years ago I competed in this competition and fried cupcakes. Yeah, you can fry a cupcake. I love seeing how teams come up with the most random things to fry. During this competition, you realize that you can fry absolutely anything.

This year, my team decided to fry two items: one sweet and one savory. After going back and forth between ideas, referencing our handy-dandy Web site of food ideas, Pinterest, we came up with two items that we thought would be delicious: cinnamon rolls and bacon-wrapped avocado.

When deciding what to fry, we had to consider how the inside would hold up in the fryer, how it would taste after it was cooked and what we should coat each of them in.

The fried cinnamon rolls we originally had in mind were the miniature cinnamon roll bites already made in the bakery section of the grocery store. We thought they would be small enough for a perfect bite, especially because they would already be coated in the icing. But we were given raw cinnamon rolls.

We didn't let this trip us up, so we decided to fry the cinnamon rolls as they were and coated them in graham cracker crumbs to make them even sweeter when they fried. With a dusting of powdered sugar, which everyone said was genius, these fried cinnamon rolls were delicious. Of course, dipping them in the icing after they were fried gave them that perfect touch of yummy goodness.

If I were to make these again, I would cut them into smaller pieces so that it would be a bite-size portion, like little cinnamon roll poppers.

Next, we made our savory item: bacon-wrapped avocado. What's better than anything wrapped in bacon? Especially when it is fried.

We cut the avocado into small chunks, halved each slice of bacon and wrapped the bacon strip around each piece. The trick with these is having the perfect proportion of bacon to avocado. You don't want the bacon to overpower the avocado or vice versa.

If you're worried about the bacon getting completely cooked, either cook it before wrapping it around the avocado or bake the bacon-wrapped avocado combinations before frying.

We decided to coat our savory item in cornflakes to give it an extra crunch with each bite. If Panko bread crumbs were available, I would have preferred to use those instead. But you have to use what's available.

My favorite item fried by the other teams was the Funfetti cake balls, which were easy to fry since they were small and thick enough to not fall apart in the fryer. Other items fried were banana, Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches, cookie dough and Oreo cookies.

Unfortunately, we did not win the competition; another sorority won most creative and the overall competition with chocolate chips and chopped strawberries stuffed inside a won ton wrapper, dusted with powdered sugar. Won ton wrappers work well in the deep fryer and hold all of the melted chocolate and strawberries inside. And with the added sugar on top, you can see why these won the judges' hearts.

Readers, if you could fry anything, what would you fry?

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn