How excited were you when you’d see a Churro cart at a local fair or carnival? Better yet…ever been to Mexico? Nothing beats the real thing! Given dessert as my task for Kyle and Joel’s Cinco de Mayo Great 8 dinner, I knew right away what I “had” to bring! You guessed it! Churros (roll your r’s the way your Spanish teacher taught you!) Hot, crispy and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar! These are the best! Sometimes even served with a little cup of thick hot chocolate!
Oh my! YUM! (Sidenote…in Madrid, they actually have shops that ONLY make churros and chocolate!)
After savoring all of the flavors of Mexico at the Van Boom fiesta, no one would want anything rich or too heavy…so these would be perfect! This recipe makes the lightest and airiest churros I’ve ever had.
With such simple ingredients, I realized I didn’t even need to go to the market! I had everything right in my kitchen! Can’t get any easier than that, right? Oh shoot! Since I’m not an avid (and amazing) cake decorator like Anna, I don’t have those pastry bags needed here! Not to fret! Jurga taught me a clever trick when I was making the deviled eggs a while back! Snip one of the pointy corners of a plastic zip closure bag and press the tip of choice through the snipped hole. That Jurga…she’s always thinkin’! Of course, you know me…I didn’t want it to be the typical Churro (roll those r’s!) shape…long, narrow and rod-like. I like to add a little fun and character to pretty much everything I make! I had so much fun seeing the swirly, curly whirly shapes drop and sizzle into the hot oil! Individual, no 2 alike, kinda like a snowflake! Although 2 sticks of butter sounds like “oh my gosh, is this a misprint”? Nope! The 4 eggs and the 1 egg white make them light and airy, not weighted down as you might think. Then a quick fry and drain; that was way too easy and so much fun! The final touch…a little dusting of cinnamon sugar…crispy, happy goodness!
I’ve got a little bit of time and since presentation is key, hmmm….I think Kyle’s Heavenly Hot Chocolate in little espresso cups is in order! No need to wait for the fair to come to town or catch a flight to Mexico, the traditional Churros can be made right in your own kitchen! Now remember…roll those r’s as you go!
Recipe adapted from Andrew Zimmerman, Food and Wine.
Place the butter, salt and 1 3/4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from the heat.
Stirring quickly, slowly add the flour. Continue stirring until fully combined.
Return to stovetop, and cook over medium-high heat. Stirring continuously, until dough comes away from the sides of the pan. About 2-3 minutes.
Transfer dough to a medium bowl (I used my KitchenAid mixer here.) To cool mixture slightly, beat the dough at lowest setting for about minute.
Increase speed and beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Lastly add the egg white. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough. Press the plastic so it is touching the dough’s surface.
Refrigerate until cooled to room temperature, about 10+ minutes.
While the dough is cooling, (I used my candy thermometer) heat oil to 375°, in a medium saucepan. You could use a large saucepan, but since I knew I’d be making thinner curly churros, (not long and narrow) I didn’t need a pan with a large diameter.
Cover a cookie cooling rack with paper towels. Place on top of a large cookie sheet.
With a whisk, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Keeping an eye on the oil temperature, spoon dough into a large pastry bag or zip closure plastic bag, using a large star tip.
Choosing your shapes willy nilly, or the traditional long narrow shape, squeeze (or squirt!) the dough into the hot oil. If necessary, cut the end of dough with a butter knife, careful not to snip the bag! Fry a few at a time; they puff up a bit as they cook. Fry over moderate/high heat, turning until evenly browned, about 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of your churros. Drain on the paper-lined rack for 3 minutes.
Dredge each churro in the cinnamon sugar.
Serve individually alongside hot chocolate. (Optional)
Some guests might not have as sweet a tooth as others. Give them their own small dish of the cinnamon sugar mixture for sprinkling.