After seeing my cousin make these on Facebook I decided I had to give them a try! I am a huge fan of churros. I love both the Mexican style ones that are straight and dusted with sugar and cinnamon and the Spanish style ones that are curly, covered in sugar, and dipped in chocolate. I am told by my Professional Eater that there are Argentinian style churros which are filled with dulce de leche — but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.
For a novice baker, these were a bit tricky. It took some practice to get the hang of piping these out and frying them properly. And I must have been crazy! Because I decided to make them on one of the hottest days we have had so far this year (97 degrees F/37 degrees C), and let me tell you, standing and piping out warm, thick dough on a hot day in front of a hot oven and a pot of frying oil is a very sweaty task.
After you make these, I suggest you eat them immediately, as they tend to get soggy and limp (whether you fry or bake them) the day after or even a few hours later. Next time, instead of making them all at once, I will freeze some of the dough and make them to order.
1 cup water
100 gr (or 1/2 cup) butter
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar (You can add less, but I like my churros sweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 L oil (for frying)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
100 grams chocolate (optional)
Melt the butter and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously. Keep stirring over the heat until the mixture thickens and clumps together. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and sugar and mix well.
Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large, star shaped nozzle (you can also make them round if you prefer). Make sure to allow the dough to cool slightly and not to spoon too much dough into the piping bag as this can make piping difficult and and cause the bag to split.
For Baking (Straight Churros):
Set the oven to 200 degrees C (or 390 F). On a baking tray with non-stick baking paper, pipe out churros in long strips. Spray with cooking oil (optional) and bake for about 12 minutes until crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The texture here is what matters, not the color, as the churros I baked only browned on the bottom.
For Frying (Traditional, Curlier Churros):
Heat the oil to 180 degrees C (360 F) or, if you do not have a thermometer, insert a wooded spoon into the oil and you will know that the oil is hot enough when little bubbles start to form on the handle. Pipe the churro batter straight into the hot oil (be careful not to get the piping bag too close to the heat as it will melt). Use your fingers, a knife, or scissors to break off the batter when it is the required length. Once the churros are browned lift out with tongs or a slotted spoon and put onto a plate covered with some paper towels to drain.
Important: As soon as your churros come out of the oven or the hot oil, sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar mixture. To do this, you can either roll them individually in the mixture or put them in a paper bag with the mixture, close the bag, and shake them around a bit. I found that the sugar wasn’t sticking well to my churros if I waited too long, so make sure to do this as soon as possible.
Melt some dark or milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl on top of another bowl/pot of boiling water.
Serve immediately with a bowl of melted chocolate on the side.