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A Latin American relative of the funnel cake, the ropes of sweet, fried dough known as churros make for a soul-warming snack, especially when paired with hot chocolate or coffee. Classic homemade churros covered in cinnamon sugar need no improvement, but for a delightful twist, add an extract to the batter. Orange and lemon are perfect for a summertime munch. Homemade churros on the breakfast menu? Try a maple extract. With a churros recipe this versatile, the possibilities are endless.

Total Time: 40 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons sugar 
  • 6 teaspoons butter, margarine or shortening
  • 1 teaspoon extract of your choice (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • cooking oil
  • cinnamon sugar
  • chocolate sauce, hazelnut spread or dulce de leche for dipping (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, butter and sugar to a boil. To give the churros a memorable flavor, add your favorite extract. 

  2. When the sugar has completely dissolved, and the butter has melted, remove the mixture from the heat and add the flour and salt.

  3. With a wooden spoon, stir the batter until thick. Transfer the batter to a bowl and allow it to cool for five minutes. 

  4. With a mixer, beat the eggs into the batter one by one until they are fully incorporated. 

  5. Fill a deep skillet or a wok halfway with cooking oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use a frying thermometer to determine when the oil has reached the desired temperature. 

  6. While the oil is heating, use a large spoon or spatula to transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large, star-shaped tip. Want to get fancy? Use a churro maker instead.

  7. Squeeze churros in strips, 3 to 5 inches long, directly into the hot oil. Use a butter knife to cut off each churro from the pastry bag or churro maker. Feeling creative? Try piping churros in other shapes. There are no rules here!

  8. Fry churros for around four minutes until golden brown, turning them with tongs to make sure they cook evenly and thoroughly. The perfect churro is crispy on the outside and a bit gooey on the inside.

  9. Remove the churros from the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. It is important for the oil to maintain its temperature at 375 F in order for the churros to cook properly, so wait a few minutes before putting in the next batch.

  10. Roll the freshly fried homemade churros in cinnamon sugar. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying, but don't wait too long; churros are best served warm and fresh.

Tip

To coat the churros with cinnamon sugar without any mess, use a large plastic bag with a zip top. Place the churros and the cinnamon sugar inside the bag and shake away.

Want to enjoy homemade churros with a bit less guilt? Consider baking rather than frying them. Pipe the churros onto parchment-covered baking sheets and put them in the oven at 425 F for about 10 or 12 minutes. When the churros have puffed up a little, transfer them to the broiler until they are golden brown.

On a vegan diet but still want to enjoy churros? All you have to do is replace the butter in the churros recipe with vegetable oil and skip the eggs entirely.

Tip

While they are delicious enough alone, churros are often paired with dipping sauces. In Spain, melted chocolate is the dip of choice. Store-bought options include hazelnut spread and dulce de leche, a blend of cooked milk and sugar resembling caramel.

About the Author

Nathalie Alonso

Since beginning her career as a professional journalist in 2007, Nathalie Alonso has covered a myriad of topics, including arts, culture and travel, for newspapers and magazines in New York City. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and lives in Queens with her two cats.