Mexican Churros

by Jillian
These Mexican Churros are perfectly crisp on the outside, buttery soft on the inside, and dredged in a shimmery coating of cinnamon sugar! And with THREE different sauces to dip them into, you’ve got the most heavenly combination of flavors!

These Mexican Churros are perfectly crisp on the outside, buttery soft on the inside, and dredged in a shimmery coating of cinnamon sugar! And with THREE different sauces to dip them into, you’ve got the most heavenly combination of flavors!

As the self-proclaimed dessert princess of the Internet, I’m ashamed to say that my experience with deep-frying is rather limited. Although I remember asking for (and receiving) an actual deep-fryer for my 13th birthday (that’s not weird, is it?), I really haven’t had that much experience with this monumental cooking technique. I feel like I’ve missed out on SO MANY phenomenal treats, like apple fritters, beignets, elephant ears, funnel cakes, and of course, DOUGHNUTS!

This week, however, we’re gonna break–no, we’re gonna obliterate that streak by making one of the most iconic Mexican desserts around…

CHURROS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is that enough exclamation marks for ya?

I didn’t think so.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As a cinnamon-sugar addict, it’s no wonder I would choose churros as my first deep-fried treat to post on this blog. Lord knows I can’t get enough of that heavenly spice when it’s combined with doughy deliciousness like cinnamon rolls or freshly-baked snickerdoodles.

My only regret in making these churros is that it took me over 35 years to make them. Seriously!! Not only are they super DUPER easy to make, but you don’t have to attend an expensive theme park or state fair to enjoy one. 

PLUS, you’re not gonna find a churro that’s fresher than a HOMEMADE churro straight out of the hot oil.

When researching churros, I was quite surprised to discover that churros are made with the same exact type of dough used for cream puffs and eclairs. It’s called Pâte à Choux. The only difference is that churros are deep-fried, and cream puffs/eclairs are baked. Who woulda thunk it?

So if you’ve made cream puffs before, this dough won’t be anything new for you. You’ll start by heating some water, milk, butter, salt, cinnamon, granulated sugar and brown sugar together in a medium saucepan. Although traditional dough recipes only call for granulated sugar, I decided to add a little bit of maple sweetness. I mean, why not?

Once the mixture starts to boil, take it off of the heat and add the flour, stirring constantly until it comes together, forming a dough. Transfer it to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. It needs to cool down a little so that it doesn’t cook the eggs when you add them.

After those 5 minutes are up, add the vanilla along with one egg, mixing until combined. Add another egg, and continue mixing. If at any point the mixture looks broken or curdled, don’t worry. This is totally normal, and the dough will eventually come together. Trust me on this one!

Alternatively, if you don’t have a stand mixer or a beater, this dough can be made with good ol’ arm grease. Just take a wooden spoon and stir in the eggs by hand. This is a great way to work off the hundreds of calories you’ll soon be consuming from these sinful sticks of cinnamon-sugar heaven.

Now that you’ve got your dough, scoop it into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip. I recommend using Wilton’s 1M tip since it creates a churro that’s not too fat, not too skinny…juuuuuust right! 

Before you get down and dirty with the deep-frying, I highly recommend having each “station” ready. This is what I mean by “stations”:

  1. A baking sheet double lined with paper towels for soaking up excess oil.
  2. A shallow bowl containing cinnamon-sugar for coating the churros.
  3. A plate to place the finished churros onto.

Having a station for each step will make the deep-frying process so much easier and a lot less messy.

Deep Frying Tips:

  1. I found that 360ºF and 2 minutes on each side (4 minutes total) was perfect. If you go too low in temperature, you’ll end up with soggy oily churros. If you go too high in temperature, you’ll end up with overly browned churros that are raw in the middle.
  2. Keep in mind that the temperature WILL drop once you add the dough, so you might have to turn the heat up for a little bit to compensate. 
  3. Don’t overcrowd the pot. I did batches of four 5-6 inch churros. However, I may or may not have let my boyfriend experiment with one really long churro…

Honestly, the reason why it took me so long to make anything deep-fried is because of the amount of oil you have to use. As someone who absolutely despises waste, the thought of using several cups of oil for just one treat never sounded appealing. No matter HOW delicious the treat was. Luckily, Google came to the rescue and informed me that it is indeed possible to save and store used oil.

All you have to do is let the used oil cool completely, strain it through a fine mesh sieve, pour it into a tightly sealable container (glass jars are perfect), label it with the date, then store it in the freezer. It will keep for up to 6 months, which means you’ll have plenty of months to use that oil for all kinds of deep-fried goodness!

Ok, let’s talk dipping sauces! Because I’m horrible at making decisions, I decided that the best way to ease my anxiety was to make not one, not two, but THREE different dipping sauces for these churros. And to be honest, this is one time when having decision paralysis can actually be a blessing. Not only do these dipping sauces taste amazing individually, but you can also mix and match them to your tastebuds’ desires.

Whether you combine blackberry sauce and cream cheese icing, cookie butter icing and blackberry sauce, or cream cheese icing and cookie butter icing, you really can’t go wrong with any combination of these three sauces. Mind you, you definitely don’t have to make all three sauces to enjoy these churros. In fact, you could even just eat the churros as they are, which is how my mom preferred them.

Like most deep-fried goodies, churros are best when they’re eaten fresh since their crispy exterior tends to soften as it cools. However, if you have any leftover churros, just store them in a ziplock bag at room temperature. When you’re ready to enjoy one (or five), just preheat the oven to 350ºF, place the churros onto a baking sheet, and heat in the oven for 5-8 minutes. This will crisp them right up! Oh, and if you have an air fryer, I’m sure that would work even better!

However, I highly HIGHLY doubt that there will be any leftover churros…

These Mexican Churros are perfectly crisp on the outside, buttery soft on the inside, and dredged in a shimmery coating of cinnamon sugar! And with THREE different sauces to dip them into, you’ve got the most heavenly combination of flavors!

Mexican Churros with Three Different Sauces

These Mexican Churros are perfectly crisp on the outside, buttery soft on the inside, and dredged in a shimmery coating of cinnamon sugar! And with THREE different sauces to dip them into, you've got the most heavenly combination of flavors!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Blackberry Sauce:

  • 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 Tablespoons milk

Cookie Butter Icing:

  • ¼ cup cookie butter (Biscoff or Speculoos Spread)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk, at room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Place the water, milk, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, add the flour, and stir vigorously until smooth. The dough should pull away from the sides of the saucepan and form a ball.
  • Transfer dough to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and one egg, mixing until combined. Add the second egg and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and creamy.*
  • Transfer dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (I used Wilton's 1M tip).**
  • Pour the oil into a deep frying pan and heat it to 360ºF. The oil should be 1.5-2 inches deep.
  • While the oil is heating up, line a rimmed baking sheet with two layers of paper towels.
  • Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating by combining the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish.
  • Once the oil reaches the right temperature, pipe the churros directly into the oil, about 5-6 inches in length. Use a pair of kitchen shears (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) to snip the dough from the pastry tip. Fry in batches of 4 churros at a time. Try not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Fry in oil for 2 minutes, then turn and fry for another 2 minutes, or until golden on all sides.
  • Remove churros from oil, placing them onto the paper towel-lined baking sheet to soak up any excess oil. Allow to cool 20-30 seconds before tossing them into the cinnamon-sugar coating.***

Make the Blackberry Sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the blackberries over medium heat until they soften and their juices start to release, about 3-4 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon. Add mixture to the blackberries and continue cooking until it begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl.

Make the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt together until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, and continue beating until combined.
  • Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until desired thickness/consistency is reached. Pour into a serving bowl.

Make the Cookie Butter Icing:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cookie butter and butter together until creamy. Add the powdered sugar until combined.
  • Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until desired thickness/consistency is reached. Pour into a serving bowl.

Notes

*If dough looks like it's separating after adding the eggs, don't worry. Just keep beating, and the dough will eventually come together.
**If you don't have a pastry bag, use a gallon size ziplock bag and cut the tip off. You won't have the ridges of a traditional churro, but they'll still look and taste just as amazing!
***If you add the churros straight from the hot oil into the cinnamon-sugar coating, the excess oil will create clumps. If you add them too late, the coating won't stick to them at all.
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