I just did something ground-breaking. I made churros at home. And they actually taste like churros!
You know when you get something super-cool and fun, like a snow-cone machine and think I’m going to be eating cherry snow cones at home for the remainder of my lifeeeee! But then you operate it and it gives you like, two shards of ice and the cherry juice just isn’t as good as from when you get it from the ice cream shop… thus, you’ve wasted all this money on this lame snow-cone machine for fake, wannabe snow cones.
Or if you go on vacation and the restaurant makes an AMAZING risotto and once you have the recipe you think, I’ll be making this nightly? But then when you make it, it’s all not as delicious?
Or maybe I am just terrible at doing things? It’s possible.
But anyways, I finally mastered the churro. Before I’ve made churro imposters, like Churro Bugle Mix and Churro Donuts, both of which taste INCREDIBLE (they’re actually some of my favorites on the site!) but aren’t actual churros.
I wanted an unmistakable churro. Something piping hot made of fresh, light pastry dough, fried until golden and dusted copiously with cinnamon and sugar. Something that had that signature crunch when you bite into it, but has a light and airy dough inside that soaks up all that sugary goodness. And then I met these.
- 1 cup water
- 6 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Cinnamon sugar for dusting (mix about 1 cup white sugar with 1-2 tsp cinnamon and stir together)
- Place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, quickly stir in the flour at once with a wooden spoon, stirring until the dough comes together. Place the saucepan over very low heat and keep stirring the dough to dry it out. The dough will begin to pull away cleanly from the pan -- which is when it is ready.
- Place the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the dough on medium speed and begin adding the eggs one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and the cinnamon. The dough will be smooth, golden yellow and somewhat firm.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag attached with a large star tip. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or deep skillet, heat about 3-4 inches of oil over medium-high heat until a thermometer reaches about 350 degrees F OR until a small drop of water causes the oil to sizzle.
- Pipe strips of churro dough into the hot oil, using scissors to snip off the flow. Careful not to overflow the pan; only cook about 5 churros at a time, depending on the size of your pan or skillet. Allow the churros to cook about 1-2 minutes on each side before turning and cooking for another 1-2 minutes. The churros will be puffy and golden brown.
- Remove the churros with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto a paper-towel-lined baking sheet or plate to drain briefly. Immediately roll the hot churros into the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve. The churros are best served immediately.
Churros are actually made of a dough called pate a choux, which happens to be cream puff dough. Not only is the star shape of the churros a classic look, but the ridges in the freshly fried dough allow the cinnamon sugar to cling to the pastry better, filling every nook and cranny with that sugary goodness. As most of you know, churros are usually sold at fairs, carnivals and theme parks, but they’re often found at street vendors on the streets of Mexico and Spain where they typically enjoy them for breakfast! They even include thick, pudding-like dipping sauces like chocolate or dulce de leche, which is a nice touch if you’re feeling extra indulgent. However, I prefer mine straight-up — there’s nothing like a hot and airy churro!
These would be AWESOME for Cinco de Mayo (May 5!)
Have a fantastical day!