Lindsay Landis is a graphic designer and entrepreneur by day and a food blogger and cookie dough addict by night. Her food blog, Love & Olive Oil, chronicles her culinary adventures in and around the kitchen. She is the author of The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook and co-author of Breakfast For Dinner with her husband Taylor. Lindsay and Taylor also run Purr Design, a web and graphic design business. They currently reside in Nashville with their three crazy cats.
Classic cinnamon churros are deep fried tubes of perfection, dredged in cinnamon sugar and served when they are still warm and tender. When I think of churros I always think state fairs and amusement parks, where it seems like they are as ubiquitous as turkey legs and cotton candy. Why I never thought that these delicious carnival staples could be so easily made at home, I have no idea.
I stuck to the classic cinnamon churro recipe, but decided to mix it up a bit when it came to the sauce. Both chocolate and dulce de leche are fairly common churro dipping choices, but what if you can’t make up your mind (like me, in this case)? Easy: choose both, together in what may be the ultimate churro companion.
To make this chocolate dulce de leche sauce, simply heat approximately 1/2 cup of pre-made dulce de leche with 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (more or less depending on how thick you want it) and stir until smooth. It should take just under a minute in the microwave, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds, to fully melt the chocolate. The result is a thick and decadent dipping sauce unlike any other. Pro tip: the leftovers (if there are any) make a fab ice cream topping.
While the flavors may seem similar, a churro is much quicker to make than, say, a doughnut. There’s no yeast or rising time, and the dough itself comes together in a matter of minutes. The hardest part might be piping straight (ish) logs of dough; since the dough is thick it does require some muscle strength to extrude it through the piping tip.
A “tip” tip: use a large star tip for piping your churros. I used a Wilton 1B closed-star tip, but an open-star tip like 1M would probably be a better choice. Avoid smaller tips or jumbo tips unless you really want super skinny or extra fat churros, respectively. As you are piping, use a knife or kitchen shears to cut the dough cleanly at the end of each 4-inch-long tube.
Frying can be a little intimidating, but all you really need is a watchful eye and a good instant-read thermometer. Drop the churros into the hot oil very carefully by “laying” them in the oil away from you to avoid painful splashes. Use a pair of heat-proof tongs or a wire mesh ‘spider’ to flip the churros and transfer them to the cooling rack once they’re perfectly golden brown.
These cinnamon churros are best served fresh and warm the day they are made. However, I will say that frozen churros are surprisingly good (should you find yourself with extras), or even chopped and served over vanilla bean ice cream with a drizzle of that same chocolate dulce de leche.