Look at my wit! Look at my skill! Look at how I took two different types of food and made them into one!
OK. Enough on that. I cannot tell a lie: I made a blunder. A culinary blunder. And yet one that turned out to be just as delicious, albeit not what I had intended.
If you’re not catching my drift here, these here churro “fries” were not meant to be fries at all. Sure, they were meant to be made into warm, deep-fried pillows of deliciousness, but as churros — actual churros — not as crispy, cinnamon-sugary strings.
But here’s the rub.
These are still insanely amazing. I’d even daresay they’re better than regular churros, but perhaps only because they’re unique and eating an entire churro gives me a stomachache (perhaps that’s also because I tend to devour them before riding a bazillion carny rides at the county fair, but that’s beside the point). They’re like the bite-size, cuter and more fun cousin of churros that churros get jealous of when they steal all the attention. They’re crispy and deep-fried and sweet and yummy and I don’t care who knows it!
Sorry. Watching too much “Elf” (or is it ever too much?).
Anyway, my point here is that sometimes you’ve got to roll with the punches. Even when the star tip on your pastry bag is the size of an eraser instead of a penny and you want churros, you can make it happen. Sure, they might not be what you’d expect, but hey, aren’t most things? And in the end, what was considered a mistake might, in fact, be a stroke of accidental genius. Or, perhaps, just a tasty mistake. Either way, my tummy is happy. And whether you make these the right way or the “wrong” way, yours will be, too.
Adapted from Hy-Vee Seasons Magazine
Yields: About 40 pieces
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together water, butter, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
Add egg and vanilla, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Scoop mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small (fries) or large (regular churros) star tip.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside. Line a large plate with paper towels and set aside.
Heat 3 inches of oil in a large saucepan to about 375 degrees F.
Pipe 4-inch logs directly into the oil and fry for about 2 minutes on each side until a deep golden brown. With a slotted spoon, scoop out churros and drain on paper towel-lined plate, then transfer to baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining mixture.
In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Roll churros in cinnamon-sugar mixture and serve warm.