Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so I have the perfect treat for you to make, homemade churros! Churros are simply a piece of heaven. I mean, who doesn’t like deep fried dough, rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture then dipped in a creamy dulce de leche sauce. Mmm, they are so good.
I’m quite not sure where Churros originated from but they are popular in many countries including Spain, France, Portugal, the Philippines and right here in the U.S. My mom is actually from Spain and my dad is from Argentina, so naturally I grew up with these decadent pastries. I had forgotten about them over the years, then they started to pop up at a few local mexican restaurants and at my absolute favorite place to be ever, Disneyland! Happiest place on earth + Churros! Yes! Eating them at Disneyland is pretty much the best.
These churros are smaller in size which is perfect. They are great for sharing at parties (Cinco de Mayo) or making a batch for a Sunday night treat! Don’t let the word deep fried intimidate you, it’s all about keeping the oil at the right temperature to ensure success. The dough is basically a “choux” as the french call it, or a light pastry dough. It’s pretty simple to put together, and they are done in no time at all.
You’ll need a few key tools to help you succeed at making these. A thermometer that you clip onto your pan. A heavy bottomed pan, preferably either a 5 qt pot, or at least a 4 qt saucepan. You’ll also need a “spider” of some sort (you could also use tongs or a slotted spoon) and a heavy plastic piping bag with a large star tip to pipe the churros. Your local craft store or even Wal-Mart has my favorite brand of piping bags. They are only about $5 for a box of 12 for the bags and a few dollars for the tip. The plastic for the bag needs to be a thicker plastic because you will be adding the warm dough to the bag, so you don’t want the bag to melt. I prefer to use the 16″ bags for better control and all of the dough fits perfectly when you use this size.
Have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to go. Place a large saucepan (at least 4 qt) or a large pot over medium-high heat. Pour enough vegetable oil in so it is at least 2-3 inches deep. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pan and keep on eye on the temperature. The ideal temperature is 350º but it will take a little while to reach that temperature. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan place the butter, 1 cup of water and salt and bring to boil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir over the heat until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pot and it comes together to form a cohesive dough, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beating on low speed, add the eggs one at a time until they are thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes.
Fit a 16″ piping bag with a large star tip . Using a spatula, scrape the dough from the bowl and place it in the piping bag. Twist the the of the bag to push the batter down. Set aside.
Place the sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl or plate. Mix together with a fork or a whisk until well blended. Line a large plate or tray with paper towels. Make sure that the temperature of the oil is at 350º. If the oil is too hot or not hot enough, the inside of the churro will stay uncooked and/or the dough will crack and separate. It’s imperative that you keep the temperature at 350º at all times. Pipe 3-4 inch in length of the dough directly into the hot oil. To release the dough from the piping bag, scrape the tip against the side of the pan or use a butter knife. Fry 4-5 pieces at a time, turning once. Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes total. Use a slotted spoon to remove the churros from the hot oil and place on the paper towels to drain. Allow them to cool for about 1-2 minutes , then place them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll them until well coated.
For the dulce de leche sauce, simply use 1/2 cup of your favorite store bought brand mixed with 1-2 T of heavy cream. Stir together in small bowl until well blended. You could use dulce de leche alone but I think adding the heavy cream creates a more smooth, decadent sauce. Enjoy!!!!