A Great Alternative to Donuts
By Cordelia / Makes 20 to 25 churros
WHO: Cordelia is a home cook who lives in Seattle.
WHAT: Light, golden shells with eggy spongelike interiors, swabbed in any of a festive trio of sauces.
HOW: An easy choux pastry is piped directly into hot oil to make free-form churros, and the dipping sauces are all quick one-pot (or bowl) affairs.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We fell in love with the concept of churros for Hanukkah—a spicy-sweet twist on the traditional sufganiyot, or doughnuts. Then we tasted Cordelia's version, which will make you forget every leaden state-fair churro you've ever met, and decided we needed the recipe around for the other 355 days of the year.
For more great recipes, take a look at "Food 52 Cookbook: Volume 2."
To make the churros: Put 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the flour, beating it in quickly and firmly with a whisk until a ball is formed. Take off the heat and use a wooden spoon to mix in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let the dough cool down a bit while you make the sauces. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a big star tip. Mix the remaining ½ cup sugar and the cinnamon together in a shallow dish.
To make the Nutella sauce: Warm the Nutella and the heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Continue in 30-second intervals until the Nutella is melted. Or make it on the stove: warm the Nutella and the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. Mix well and serve warm.
To make the strawberry sauce: Put the strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. The sugar should dissolve and the strawberries should soften and break down. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the vanilla and lemon juice, and process until very smooth. Set aside to cool.
You can serve the sweetened condensed milk as is or heat it in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan (the oil should be about 2 inches deep) until very hot but not smoking; to test it, add a cube of bread to the oil, it should brown in 30 seconds. Squeeze the dough into the hot oil in sections of about 4 inches. Cook 4 to 5 churros at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry the churros for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they puff up and turn deep golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the churros from the oil and drain on paper towels. Roll the churros in the cinnamon sugar and serve immediately, with the sauces on the side.
What the Community Said ;
naked beet: "What a great alternative to donuts!"
Tips and Techniques
A&M: Cordelia uses the microwave to heat the Nutella, but our Nutella seized in the microwave. Heating it slowly on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, worked like a charm.
Recipe courtesy: THE FOOD 52 COOKBOOK, VOLUME 2: Seasonal Recipes from Our Kitchens to Yours (William Morrow Cookbooks Hardcover; on-sale: 12/4/2012; $30.00)