This is my last Cinco de Mayo themed baked good for this year…I think. I saw a post by one of my favorite baking bloggers, Sprinklebakes, on how to make a “healthier” baked, not fried, churro. I knew I had to try my hand at making some because I love anything sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
I didn’t make any modifications to the recipe, so I’ll just paste it in here. I did opt for the unsalted butter and not margarine, and I made mini churros instead of long sticks. By the way, if you haven’t bought the Sprinklebakes book yet, I highly recommend it. It was one of my favorite book purchases last year!! And if you don’t already follow her blog, again, I highly recommend that as well. Not only is she extremely talented in the kitchen, but her food photography is inspiring and drool-worthy.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt. Add butter and place over medium-high heat. Heat until butter is melted and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture will clump and pull away from the sides of the pan. Mix/mash with wooden spoon until no streaks of flour can be seen.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Scramble mixture with a fork and then add to the dough-ball in the saucepan. Stir and mash, breaking up the dough until loosened. Stir well until eggs are incorporated and mixture has the appearance of mashed potatoes.
- Pipe dough into long thin lengths on the parchment covered pans. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the end of the dough from the piping tip. Leave about 2-inches of space between the churros. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with Ateco decorator tip #867. You could also pipe the dough in a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, but the churros will be ridge-less (delicious, nonetheless).
- Combine sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a long dish. Roll churros in mixture. Serve.Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Turn oven to broiler setting and watch carefully as churros toast and turn deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. If you’re baking the churros one pan at a time, be sure to return the oven setting to 425°F before putting in the next pan.
- Piping tip 867 made by Ateco (also known as French Star Size 7) is just about the most perfect tip for piping these churros. It has a 9/16 diameter opening. I experimented with a few and this made them just thick enough and produced the most prominent ridges.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Brings little heat and adds a faint smokiness.
- I had no problems with the cinnamon-sugar sticking to the hot churros, but if you let them cool to room temp they might resist the sugar. Brush churros with a tiny amount of olive oil using a pastry brush, then roll in the sugar mixture.
- As I said in the description, these will become soft and rubbery if stored in an air-tight container. Put them under the broiler (even if they’ve been rolled in cinnamon-sugar, this works!) they’ll come back to life and crisp up under a watchful eye. Re-roll in cinnamon-sugar.