Churros remind me of two things. Number one, Disneyland. We used to have annual passes when we lived in Southern California so we went often. I would take Jack on my own, Ethan and I would go on dates, I remember going with Amelia often and we went out to dinner a few times with Ethan's parents. When you aren't a tourist, you are able to relax and not run from ride to ride and enjoy the atmosphere. When you do enjoy it, you might find that Disneyland is quite relaxing. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as eating a churro, sitting on a bench and people watching at Disneyland.
Churros also remind me of dental work. When we lived in Southern California, Ethan would drive down to Mexico to get dental work done. And he swears by it. Said the office was nicer than any other dental office in America. The dentist went to school in America and then went back to Mexico. Ethan claimed he had never had a more pleasant experience than his dental appointments in Mexico. When he would go, on his way back through the border, he would buy a bag of little churros from someone selling them from car to car. They were his favorite part of going down there. Tiny, crispy and sweet.
Since it's probably a proven fact that everyone loves churros, I thought I would post a recipe for churros of the autumn persuasion. I had to really mess around with this recipe to get them right. What makes these autumn is pumpkin puree and some autumn spices. The exterior is crunchy and the middle is soft and almost like pumpkin pie. I found that when I fried these, they were best made small because the middle didn't cook enough when they were big. Plus, one big churro isn't as fun as a bag of small ones. I hope you like these as much as we did. They were Jack's and my lunch.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups water
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
Oil for frying
In a medium bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside for tossing the finished churros in cinnamon sugar. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Whisk to combine and set aside. Pour vegetable oil into a large pot fitted with a clip on thermometer, having the oil come 2 inches up the side of the pan.
In a medium pan over high heat, add the water and shortening. Bring to a boil. Pour in the flour mixture and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until a ball forms. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. With a hand mixer, stir in the pumpkin and eggs until smooth. With a rubber scraper, put the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Fry the churros at 325 degrees. Pipe the dough into the hot oil, using scissors to cut each churro. Fry until the outside is browned and the inside is slightly cooked, but still soft, about 5 minutes. Once the churros come out of the oil and let drain on paper towels. Transfer the churros to the bowl of cinnamon sugar and toss gently until coated. Serve warm.
Rookie's Notes: When I say cut each churro with a pair of scissors, I want you to have the pastry bag in one hand and scissors in the other. Apply pressure to the bag and start piping the dough in. Continuously pipe and use your other hand to cut each churro as you go.