"Epic fiestas every day!""And all-you-can-eat churros!"–"The Book of Life", 2014
Note: The churro recipe below is made from a pâte à choux dough meaning it contains eggs and butter (just like my "Cucco Puffs" recipe) causing the end result of the churro to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. In Spain, aside from churros, there is an almost identical looking food called a porra that only calls for water, flour, and a little salt. It's often called a churro mistakenly because of its appearance. If you'd like to make something more like a porra you can omit the butter, eggs, & sugar from the recipe below, adding in a tablespoon or two of oil, and continue with the recipe as is.
I used a decorating bag with a large Wilton open star tip attached to squeeze out the dough, but there is also a tool called a churrera (it's like a cookie press) designed specifically for making churros. The piping bag works just fine though!
Also to note, traditionally churros are deep fried, but it is possible to bake them! Simply make them according to the recipe below but instead of piping the dough directly into the hot oil, pipe the dough strips onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake in a 350ºF oven for about 20 mins or so, or until the churros are golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Dulce de Leche-Filled Churros
1 Cup Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar OR Granulated Sugar
1/2 Stick (4 Tbsp.) Unsalted Butter
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (optional)
Canola or Vegetable Oil for deep frying
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream Filling
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp. Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 of a 13.4 oz Can Dulce de Leche (caramelized sweetened condensed milk)
2 Large Decorating/Frosting Bags or Sturdy Plastic Baggies
Large Open Star Tip (Wilton #1M or larger. I actually expanded the opening ever so slightly with a pair of needle nosed pliers.)
Piping Tip (Wilton #230 or thinner)
Skewer or Chopstick
1. Place a mixing bowl (preferably metal) into the freezer. On a plate, combine the 1/4 cup sugar & 1 tsp. cinnamon & set aside. Line a tray with a few layers of paper towels to have at the ready. Pour about 2" of oil into a large/wide pan & let the temp rise to 350ºF (use a candy thermometer) during the next step.
3. Making the dulce de leche cream: Remove the chilled bowl from the freezer & pour in the heavy cream. Whisk on high until it thickens & then add in the powdered sugar. Turn speed to medium low & continue to whisk. Add the vanilla & whisk until stiff peaks form. Turn speed to low & add the dulce de leche 1 Tbsp. at a time until you've added it all (half of the can). Scoop the cream into a baggie fitted with a thin piping tip.
4 Cups Plain Rice Milk (I used Rice Dream, Enhanced Original)
1 Cup Plain Almond Milk (I used Silk, Original)
6 Cinnamon Sticks, broken in half
1 Tbsp Vanilla Syrup, or more to taste (I used Torani)
1. Combine the rice milk, almond milk, & cinnamon sticks in a pitcher & stir. Set in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Remove the cinnamon pieces with a slotted spoon & discard (or dry on a paper towel to use for something else–they still smell good). Stir in the vanilla sugar syrup & test the taste–add more syrup if you'd like it sweeter. Serve the horchata on ice or warm it up in a mug. Garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick &/or pinch of ground cinnamon sprinkled on top. To be really extravagant, scoop a dollop of the dulce de leche whipped cream on top of a warm mug of horchata.
To celebrate the premiere of such a beautiful film (in appearance and theme) I decided to do a giveaway of some fun items and a wonderful book! When I first read about "The Book of Life" and saw the first released images, a book and author instantly came to mind; the Señor Calavera book Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet by Yuyi Morales. Ms. Morales is a multiple award-winning author and artist, self-taught, originally from Mexico and now living in America. Her artwork is a gorgeous rotund of color and her stories invoke emotion with poetic simplicity. I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Morales a few years ago–you can read about the experience here.
*The hardcover book is a former library book with a clean archival cover around the dust jacket and is in like new condition save for the call number sticker on the spine, a date stamp on the front end paper, and a sticker on the title page. a Rafflecopter giveaway