About two months ago I was lucky enough to get to travel with a group of friends to the beautiful country of Costa Rica. It was an amazing trip for many reasons, but one was some surprise churros we ate one day.
What's a surprise churro? Just a churro you weren't expecting. Basically we drove back to the local airport (about 45 minutes from where we were staying) to pick up Laura's husband, Todd. He had to come a few days later because he's a rock star (no, really, that's his actual job). And on our way back from the airport we saw a small county fair-looking event off to the side of the road. And they had churros! So of course we pulled over.
Spoiler: They were amazing, with a light corn flavor. I've been itching to make my own ever since.
Cornmeal Churros, makes 15-18 churros.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon cream (I used half and half)
oil to fry (I used canola)
cinnamon and sugar to coat the churros after they are fried
In a small pot, combine the butter, water, and brown sugar. Melt over medium/high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Just before the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and add in the vanilla extract, salt, flour, and cornmeal. Stir until a thick paste begins to form. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between. Then stir in the cream. If your mixture feels too thick (won't be easy to pipe out of a bag), you can add another tablespoon of cream. I only needed one, but you can add more if needed. Place the dough in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. I used a Wilton tip #1M.
Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large pot to 350°F. Pipe the churros into the hot oil, using kitchen shears to cut the batter off when you're done piping. Cook on each side for 30-45 seconds. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
For the cinnamon sugar mixture, I'll go ahead and level with you here, I didn't measure how much I used. (Gasp!) I just filled a loaf pan with a 1/2" or so of sugar, sprinkled in a generous amount of cinnamon, and gave it good stir. Then I dipped my still-warm churros in the mixture to coat them.
I'm sorry for not having exact measurements here, but honestly you really don't need them. This is just to coat the churros. So if you don't make enough, you can always add more to pan if needed. If you make too much, save it and use it in something that you don't mind a little cinnamon sugar on (maybe coffee?).
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.