Written on August 27, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
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.
Written on August 6, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Hi everyone! I’m Carrian and I’ve been writing the blog, Sweet Basil for over 5 years to inspire readers everywhere to reinvent family dinner. There’s something wonderful about walking into a home and having a burst of delicious aromas fill your nostrils. It just feels good, and it tastes even better. Recipes with a story behind them, or ones that have been passed down through generations are even better and should be discovered, cherished and passed on. We want you to join us around our dinner table where recipes come with stories of the past and present and everyone leaves full and happy.
We talk about cooking with your children all the time on our blog, but we are fully aware that it does in fact make things take a little longer. The other day our oldest wanted to bake and after I found this over-the-top delicious recipe for Dulce de Leche Fluff brownies which might just be even better eaten with dulce de leche ice cream. I mentioned that she should throw on a movie while we cooked. For one it would be like a little dessert and movie party and for two I knew it would help entertain her while I got things moving on the recipe. She was searching and found an old VHS which she read out loud, “Please be kind and remember to rewind”, which she then asked me, “What’s rewind mean?” Oh gosh, it’s official, I am old.
I couldn’t help but immediately think that the thought of rewinding movies again sounded awful. I kind of laughed to myself as I remembered a string bean 11 year old version of myself writing a report on “compact Discs” using the encyclopedia. Anyway, I got back to the matter at hand, brownies. I had her read me the recipe once over so we knew what all we needed and when I realized that we would be heating the chocolate in a pan I thought, ugh I’ll just let it cool a little more and use a bigger pot so we can mix everything in the pot and they can be a one pot wonder brownies because no one wants to clean multiple dishes!
So, we started the Dulce de Leche Brownies by melting the chocolate and butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Low and slow, folks, low and slow to create a smooth and shiny chocolate. Then we pulled the pot off of the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before moving on to our next step. We love that this recipe uses real chocolate and melts it all down first. It provides a better flavor and texture to your brownies. So worth it.
Isn’t the chocolate just silky and beautiful? Gosh, if it was sweetened I would have been so tempted to stick a strawberry in it. Anyway, we then added the sugar and then the eggs one by one. Please, don’t rush ahead and dump them all in. It truly will be harder to incorporate the eggs into the chocolate. Then the vanilla and finally we added the flour, but placed the baking soda on top and lightly stirred just the flour mixture together to help the baking soda filter through before we folded the flour into the chocolate. You do need to be a little careful, but it’s quite easy.
Next you dump in the chocolate chips, we used milk chocolate versus semi sweet because we knew it was already going to be a semi sweet, rich brownie, so why not? Now just line your pan with foil, spray with nonstick spray and pour in the batter. Bake these darlings at 350 for 20-25 minutes and remove the pan (not just the brownies and foil) to a wire rack.
Dollop the jar of marshmallow fluff and dulce de leche (yes, I may have “accidentally” gotten my finger in the can of dulce de leche and I just had to eat it because, well because I “do got time for that!”) and allow it to melt all over the hot brownies. Using a knife, swirl the marshmallow fluff and dulce de leche (remember how popular swirled desserts used to be? Swirled caramel chocolate cake, swirled cream cheese brownies, etc…)and then top with nuts like the recipe calls for.
Or let your kids decide. They will feel so special that you trust them and they get to be creative (sometimes I offer 4-5 ideas so things don’t turn weird). Ours chose Oreos instead so that’s what we did.
We absolutely loved these brownies. They are crazy delicious, super rich, and so fun for the kids to help out with since it includes ingredients they find fun and exciting. You may want to keep a glass of milk on hand to help wash it all down, because these really do have so much going on, but trust me you’ll have a hard time saying no to a second piece.
Thanks everyone! Come say hi anytime! Sweet Basil