I’m a firm believer that everyone should be making churros at home. There are few things in this world that are more indulgently satisfying than biting into a warm churro, freshly fried and generously doused in a crunchy, fragrant coating of cinnamon sugar. When done right, they’re crisp and sweet on the outside, and soft with a slightly eggy savoriness in the middle. And really, I promise, doing it right isn’t as complicated as you might think.
So, my friends, if it’s not there, add “hot, crunchy, homemade churro experience” to the top of your Life’s Simple Pleasures list, and continue reading.
The recipe below includes clear instructions for the frying process, so let’s take a little detour and discuss proper churro accoutrements. My personal favorite is caramel. My husband and I frequently visit Mexico with his family, and there you can purchase piping hot churros from street vendors with dulce de leche made from goat’s milk, but for the sake of simplicity (we’re already tackling frying!), I chose to serve this recipe with a traditional caramel sauce that comes together in less than 10 minutes on your stovetop.
It’s gooey, lightly salted and slightly bitter in a deliciously toasty way, so it adds a sweet depth to the churro situation. Chocolate, crushed pineapple and strawberry are also great options — if preparing for a crowd, set up a churro topping bar and let your friends choose their own adventure (and show off your newly acquired frying skills!)
For a long time, I avoided recipes that required frying at home. After years of elementary school firefighter lectures about the dangers of hot oil, combined with one horrific fritter-making fail attempted with hopes of impressing a college boyfriend, I was frying-averse for much of the last decade. So for those of you out there who share the same reservations, I get it. The high heat, the splattering, the equipment — it can be intimidating to the point that you find yourself convinced that you don’t really like churros, anyway.
I call your bluff, and I’m here in hopes of convincing you that fearless frying is possible, and you’re just a few simple steps (and less than an hour) away from hot, crunchy, homemade churro bliss. It all starts with having the proper equipment — a heavy-bottomed pot, a fork, and maybe a pair of metal tongs. That’s it.
The heavy-bottomed pot is the key player here, because it will ensure even, steady heating which will cut back on the risk of your oil becoming too hot and turning into a splatter burn risk. I learned this the hard way — my fritter fail of 2009 was the result of too-hot oil in a too-flimsy pot and yes, splatter burns hurt.
My husband and I received a Le Creuset dutch oven as a wedding gift and it’s the perfect vessel for frying. If you don’t have a dutch oven, a deep cast iron pan will also work. The fork is to help you turn the churros so they fry evenly on both sides, and I like to use a tong to remove the churros from the oil because it ensures a solid grip. Really guys, if you have these three things, you’re well on your way to churro success.
Good luck and enjoy!