On my quest to turn as many of my favorite desserts into miniatures, I bring you the miniature counterpart of everyone's favorite amusement park treat... CHURROS!!! I can't think of anything better than being able to have amusement park style, warm, cinnamon sugary churros right at home, any time! This could be dangerous ;)
These fried treats are best when eaten fresh and warm right out of the cinnamon sugar, just like at an amusement park. They get soft and loose their crispiness if kept until the next day (even if kept in an air tight container... I tried this and was very disappointed).
At first I had my oil too hot and it burned the outside and left the inside gooey and uncooked. I started at 370 degrees F, and went down from there, finding around 325-350 degrees F (medium heat on your stove top), to be the perfect temperature to get the churros nice and golden with a crispy outside and a fluffy center.
Your homemade churros are easily made on the stove top in minutes. Simply combine water, butter, salt and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar mixture, and bring to a boil. Then stir in flour with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.
Remove from heat and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball of "dough" and add eggs.
Stir for about 5 minutes until fully combine and dough is smooth and thick.
Transfer dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (use a large star tip like a Wilton 1M for a larger churro, and a small star tip for tiny churros to top your cupcakes)
Squeeze out dough and slice it off into hot oil with a knife. Beware of splattering oil!
Fry until golden brown.
Golden perfection. I started with only 4 at a time in the oil, but towards the end of the bag, I felt like a pro and started frying 8-10 at a time.
Transfer to paper a towel to drain.
Immediately toss in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Perfectly crisp outside and a warm fluffy center.
You can also pipe the churro dough into fun shapes by piping onto paper towel transfer to a spoon and gently submerge into the hot oil. (I was using a very small star tip for these, any bigger and it just looks like a glob).
Even use them as cupcake toppers! (Note: If using churro bites, make sure to serve immediately so the churros are crisp and fresh and don't get soggy from sitting on the frosting).
Click here for the Churro Cupcake recipe from my WIN on the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" series premiere!
Yield: 1 dozen 6" churros or 2 dozen churro bites
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 eggs, beaten (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Oil for frying
Combine white sugar and cinnamon in bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar and salt, bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and vigorously stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and mixture forms a ball of dough, about 45 seconds. Let dough cool slightly. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Stir for about 5 minutes until fully combine and dough is smooth, glossy and thick. Transfer dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a sauce pan on medium heat (until it reaches about 325-350 degrees F). Holding your piping bag straight up and down over your pot of oil, squeeze out about 2 inches of dough and slice it off into the oil with a knife. Beware of splattering oil. Fry until golden brown about 4 minutes, making sure to flip the churros around in the oil to fry each side evenly. Keep your burner on medium heat (or at the bottom of the "deep fry zone" on a candy thermometer), any hotter and the outside of the churros will burn.
Transfer to paper a towel to drain and immediately toss in cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately.
I think it is important to show you the failures along with the successes... learn from my mistakes and spare yourself a plate full of sad burnt/raw churro bites :(