You had a light dinner and have been eating clean and healthy all week. That calls for treating yourself with a light and delicious sweet treat - a cheat day. Something that's crunchy but chewy and sweet. I have just the thing in mind for you to snack on: Churros!
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Churros are one of those nostalgic sweet treats that seem acceptable in any sort of venue. You could eat it at home, at a bakery, a restaurant, or even a wedding reception and it seems acceptable in all of those places. Why?
Because unlike a donut or a muffin, it can be dressed up to look fancy with dipping sauces and small bite sizes or dressed down for a carnival or a movie theatre with minimal mess when you eat it.
But of course, I'm not bad-mouthing donuts since I used them as a substitute for my wedding cake during my wedding reception and they were a total hit!
Churros are surprisingly easy to make. It's a bit of a mix of stove top action, mixing in a bowl, and then ultimately, deep frying back on the stovetop for its delicious crispiness. Since it's a blend of cooking techniques, I think that's why there's such a variety of textures within a churro.
Growing up, dipping churros in sauce wasn't an idea back in 19_ _. (I can't give away my age that easily!) But now, you can pair all different types of sauce with your churro, which is truly "the icing on top" of this dessert. The sky's the limit.
So here, I’ll show you why this is the ideal churro recipe.
Things to Note
Coinciding with my dairy-free recipes in my baking, there are a couple of things to note in this churro recipe that makes my recipe a bit different from other ones.
The first thing to note is that I will not be using butter in this recipe at all. This includes the first step of mixing the batter together on the stovetop, which usually requires butter. Don't worry. It'll turn out well despite the lack of butter.
Butter melts into a type of oily consistency anyways in this first step since it's over the stovetop, so it’s safe to substitute with oil or nondairy butter (essentially oil) to get the same consistency of churro batter.
The second thing to note in this recipe that may be different from the usual churro recipe is that instead of using only all-purpose flour, I added 30% of bread flour to the mix. Similar to my soft pretzel recipe, the bread flour allows for a soft chewiness in the middle of the churro while still allowing it to become crispy on the outside.
The ideal churro has the crunch on the outside and a soft chew in the middle. If the entire churro is crunchy from the outside in, you might as well eat a potato crisp instead of a pastry.
Choosing the Right Piping Nozzle
When it comes to choosing the cake piping nozzle, or in this case the churro piping nozzle, to obtain the churro shape, you want to use the closed star shape. If your piping nozzle set is like mine, you’ll have multiple sizes and be tempted to reach for the largest size. That would be a mistake.
The reason the largest piping nozzle would be a mistake is because despite it making the ideal large shaped churro, the churro most likely won’t cook on the inside despite browning on the outside.
The result will be a crispy outer churro with an uncooked middle. Yuck!
This recipe is a quick one. From start to finish it took me probably about 30 minutes, where the majority of the time was waiting for the batter to fry.
A Mini Tip
The mixing of the batter requires heat, so you need to move quickly to make sure the batter stays warm while mixing. My recommendation is to measure all of your ingredients out before going to the stovetop (before Step One)..
If you have all of your ingredients measured out and supplies ready to grab, the first four steps can be accomplished in about 10 minutes and you don't have to worry about burning the batter over the stove as you reach for different ingredients to add.
Churro Ingredients: 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup bread flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 cup water 1 large egg (cold) For Chocolate Dipping Sauce: 1/2 cup semi-sweet dairy free chocolate chips 1/4 cup almond milk (or any dairy free milk) 1 teaspoon maple sugar (if you want the sauce sweeter) For Cinnamon Sugar Topping: 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Making the Churro
(makes about 18-20 churros)
In a saucepan on the stove, mix together the water, oil, salt and sugar and bring it to a boil on low-medium heat.
Once the liquid mixture is boiling, add the flour and mix rigorously with a rubber or wooden scraper until the batter is smooth. Make sure to get rid of any clumps of flour by spreading the batter around in the saucepan while mixing.