Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
We’ve already been celebrating this week with one of our favorite sweets – churros! It’s almost unbelievable that it’s taken me so long to blog about them, considering our dog is named Churro. It’s true, we love them that much! And we love our little ridged-face Churro-the-Pug.
Check out those wrinkles!
These are no ordinary churros because they’re baked, and at first, I wasn’t sure such a thing could be done considering they are so wonderfully crisp when fried. It took a few test-runs (and the endless brushing away of cinnamon-sugar from my shirt front) but now the recipe is ready to share!
Baked churros for everyone!
Party tip: furbabies make the best valentines.
No valentine? You can find one here.
These pastries bake until slightly puffed, then you toast them within an inch of their life under the broiler. They’re best fresh and served with a side of dulce de leche or chocolate sauce. They are so light and delectable straight from the oven, I couldn’t help but eat exactly three and a half immediately. Which ended up being my lunch. Oops!
(I couldn’t feign regret if I wanted to. Best. Lunch. Ever.)
Sending you pugs and kisses!
Yield: eight 10-inch churros, about 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes; Total: 45-50 minutes
Source: Adapted from Latina.com
These are made as normal churros are – from choux paste. I’ve found that these bake best when piped in long thin sticks. I used earth balance margarine in the batch pictured, but I also made a batch with unsalted butter that was successful – they just puffed up slightly larger than the margarine version. Overall, the baked version is less crisp than the usual fried churros, so it’s important to toast them well under the broiler so they’re as crisp as possible. You can store leftovers (if there are any) in an air-tight container but they will become soft. You can remedy this by placing them under the broiler for a few minutes (watch carefully) and they will regain their former crispiness. Serve with prepared dulce de leche, chocolate sauce, marshmallow fluff – they’re good with everything!
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup margarine or unsalted butter (I used tub-style Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread)
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur unbleached)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt. Add butter and place over medium-high heat. Heat until butter is melted and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture will clump and pull away from the sides of the pan. Mix/mash with wooden spoon until no streaks of flour can be seen.
2. In a small bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Scramble mixture with a fork and then add to the dough-ball in the saucepan. Stir and mash, breaking up the dough until loosened. Stir well until eggs are incorporated and mixture has the appearance of mashed potatoes.
3. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with Ateco decorator tip #867. You could also pipe the dough in a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, but the churros will be ridge-less (delicious, nonetheless).
4. Pipe dough into long thin lengths on the parchment covered pans. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the end of the dough from the piping tip. Leave about 2-inches of space between the churros.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Turn oven to broiler setting and watch carefully as churros toast and turn deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. If you’re baking the churros one pan at a time, be sure to return the oven setting to 425°F before putting in the next pan.
6. Combine sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a long dish. Roll churros in mixture. Serve.
- Piping tip 867 made by Ateco (also known as French Star size 7) is just about the most perfect tip for piping these churros. It has a 9/16 diameter opening. I experimented with a few and this made them just thick enough and produced the most prominent ridges.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Brings little heat and adds a faint smokiness.
- I had no problems with the cinnamon-sugar sticking to the hot churros, but if you let them cool to room temp they might resist the sugar. Brush churros with a tiny amount of olive oil using a pastry brush, then roll in the sugar mixture.
- As I said in the description, these will become soft and rubbery if stored in an air-tight container. Put them under the broiler (even if they’ve been rolled in cinnamon-sugar, this works!) they’ll come back to life and crisp up under a watchful eye. Re-roll in cinnamon sugar.