Baked Churros

That’s right! Baked, not fried.

I’ve been wanting to make a baked version of these insanely addictive treats for quite some time now. My mom absolutely loves them and I so wanted to bake her a batch while she was here, visiting us. But every time we went out to eat she would skip the entree and order a plate of churros for herself. I did not want to double up on those calories so I kept delegating this recipe to the bottom of my baking to-do list.

Then I found the perfect motivation. I made a batch of Smitten Kitchen’s Hot Fudge Sauce. This stuff is indeed the bomb. I want to put it over everything! And what goes better with chocolate sauce than churros?

I mean, just check this out!

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It’s easy to make – half an hour from beginning to end – and it’s something you can easily whip up for company. Best part is, no special equipment needed. Just a saucepan, spatula and some elbow grease!

Let’s get started

Yield – 24 Churros each 4 inches long

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour – 1 and 1/3 cup
  • Large eggs – 3 (at room temperature)
  • Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup (If using salted butter leave out salt from the dry ingredients)
  • Light brown sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Granulated sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract -1 tsp
  • Granulated sugar with 1 tsp of nutmeg or cinnamon for dusting finished churros – 1/3 cup

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 F or 205 degree Celsius
  • Add butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, salt (if using) and water to a medium sized saucepan and place it on medium heat. Stir occasionally till the sugars and butter melt completely
  • Let the liquid come to a boil and then take it off the heat
  • Add in the vanilla extract and flour to the hot liquid and stir vigorously till a smooth dough is formed and it begins to gather around the spatula
  • Make a well in the center of the dough and and the first egg. Stir vigorously again till the egg is completely incorporated. It takes a couple of minutes. You will see the dough getting smoother and shinier after the egg is mixed in
  • Mix the other two eggs one at a time stirring thoroughly after each addition. Here’s a visual guide. The image on the right was taken after the three eggs were added

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  • Fill the dough into a piping bag fitted with a wide open star tip and pipe the dough in straight lines on a parchment lined sheet tray. I piped them about 3.5 to 4 inches long

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  • Spray or lightly brush the piped dough with oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes
  • When done the churros will be crisp and golden brown on the outside and will slide around easily on the tray
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes
  • Take granulated sugar and nutmeg (or cinnamon) in a wide bowl and mix. Toss warm churros in the sugar till they are lightly coated. Serve!

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Notes – These churros are best eaten fresh, right out of the oven. You can dip them in any sauce of your choice – melted chocolate, salted caramel, fudge – all work great! If you want to make these churros in advance, cool them and store in an airtight container. Just before serving, warm them in a preheated oven at 350 F or 180 degree Celsius for 5 minutes and then toss them in the sugar – nutmeg mixture 

Recipe adapted from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt

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Caramel Sauce

I love a good dessert sauce. It adds a generous dose of glamour and oomph to even the most mundane of desserts. But as far as caramel sauce is concerned I’ve been sitting firmly on the fence for a long time. And I refuse to budge. I have to concede, however, that it is not always the adulterant I’d like to think it is. I may not like it on my ice-cream or in my coffee but it does pair very well with popcorn, apples or dark chocolate.

But have I ever tried making it at home? Nah! ‘It’s not worth the effort’, I kept telling myself. That’s until I came face to face with this recipe. It’s pure gold! image

I tried to drink it straight out of the jar. It was only when husband reminded me that I wasn’t pregnant anymore and that drinking dessert sauces neat wasn’t going to do my waistline any good, did better sense prevail. It’s THAT good!

For this basic sauce you need just three ingredients – Sugar, Butter and Cream. It’s super simple.

Follow the pictures below for a step by step visual guide. You’ll be done in 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Granulated sugar – 1 cup
  • Salted butter – 6 tbs (chopped into cubes)
  • Cream – 1/2 cup

Method

In a saucepan with tall sides, heat granulated sugar on medium heat, stirring constantly with a silicon or wooden spatula.

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The sugar will get clumpy before it melts into a thick golden coloured liquid. Keep stirring. Make sure not to burn the sugar. Reduce heat if required.

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Once melted, add in all the butter. The sugar will bubble up. This is where the tall sides of the pan come to your rescue. Keep stirring till the butter melts entirely.

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Slowly drizzle in the cream while stirring. This too will cause the caramel to bubble up and splatter. And yes…..continue to stir

image Allow the caramel to boil for a minute. After this stage, you can take your caramel off the heat and allow it to cool.

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If you’d like a thicker caramel which just a faint hint of bitterness to it….keep stirring on a low flame till it reaches the desired consistency. Remember, caramel will thicken further once it is cooled. Pour the caramel sauce into a jar with a tight lid and store it in the refrigerator. It lasts for up to 10 days. Reheat in the microwave, in short 5 second bursts before using.

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