When I was a child growing up, there was a pastry shop called Dulcinea Cafe that served “Churros con Chocolaté.” My parents and grandparents would take us there occasionally for a special treat. Churros are a traditional Spanish fried pastry that is eaten as a snack, or for breakfast, or even dessert. In Spain it is served with little cups of thick, rich Spanish hot chocolaté for you to dunk your churros in.
Churro dough is simple to make with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. The dough is placed into a churrera, which is like an old-fashioned cookie press or an icing tube equipped with a star-shaped opening at the end of the nozzle. The dough is piped out into little sticks or loops straight into a pot of hot oil where it fries to a beautiful golden brown. The churros are then removed from the oil, placed on a paper towel briefly to absorb any excess oil, and then quickly rolled in sugar while still warm.
It’s important to use a star tip when piping the dough out into the hot oil because the ridges that are formed help to ensure that the hot oil comes in contact with more of the dough so the churros get cooked evenly through to the center. Also, the churrerías (churro shops) in Spain traditionally roll their churros in plain white sugar, but you could roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture if you like (1 cup sugar + 2 tsp. cinnamon).
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- canola oil for deep frying
- Stir flour and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a saucepan, boil water, butter, salt and sugar together.
- When boiling, remove pan from heat and add in flour mixture all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth and forms a ball.
- Pour 2-3 inches of canola oil into a high-sided pot and heat to about 370ºF.
- Spoon dough into churrera and pipe 3-inch lengths over hot oil, cutting with a knife.
- Deep fry until light golden brown.
- Briefly remove to paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Roll churros in sugar.
- Serve with hot chocolaté for dipping.
NOTE: This recipe makes about 60 churros depending on how long you pipe out your churros. You could easily halve the recipe if you don’t want to make so many.
When frying, if the churros burst open before they brown, your oil isn’t hot enough. But be careful. If your oil is too hot, the churros will brown too quickly on the outside and will be raw on the inside.
Churros can be made in advance and frozen. Just pipe the raw dough out onto a cookie sheet, cover with saran wrap and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the churros to a ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer until ready to fry. Churros can be fried directly from frozen.