Oh, but the churros. It was an unplanned but very much welcome addition to our Easter brunch-slash-Easter egg hunt. It’s a good thing I had a crowd to pawn them off on, or I would have cooked up the rest of the batter and eaten them all myself, and then exploded like that guy in The Meaning of Life.
It’s not like I was a closet churro addict before. I can’t even remember where I’ve ever had them. But I am aware that they are in fact fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar, and that’s enough information for me. As it turns out they really aren’t more complex than that, and don’t need to be.
I dug up a few recipes, and decided to go with a version made with choux pastry, a flour-butter-milk mixture that is so much easier than its name implies. Ironically, this afternoon after saying goodbye to the last of our friends and ingesting the final churro (and a couple waffles with butter and syrup, for good measure) I went and plopped myself on the bed (wasn’t physically able to do much more than digest at that point) and opened up a recent issue of Saveur – to a page with a churro recipe. They were made with orange juice and self-rising flour – very different – but I can’t imagine getting any better than these. The choux pastry makes them amazingly light, and crisp, and everything I imagine a churro should be. (I imagine some recipes might produce cakey churros, like a cake donut vs. a cruller.) You use a pastry bag with a large star tip to give them their shape – or if you only have the tips and have long lost the bag, snip off a corner of a large ziplock freezer bag and reinforce the connection with some electrical tape. Works a charm. The batter puffs up as it cooks, opening up and becoming light and airy – I never tired of watching them cook.
Remember the mini donuts I made last Stampede? These, I think, are better. And easier than cutting out all those little ‘nuts – you just squeeze the batter right into the hot oil. And are people ever impressed that O.M.G. you made homemade churros.
But their delicious pulchritude can backfire: my poor sister was determined today to get past her weight loss plateau. She went for two extra-long walks today, and ate well, and read a Weight Watchers magazine (hey, thinking thin helps). Then she came to my parents’ house for dinner, and I walked in with a bowl of fresh churros, and she ate the whole thing. I’m not sure she’ll forgive me anytime soon. But then again maybe she will, because I can make homemade churros.
Homemade churros! And really, they are not hard at all.