Churros are another kind of fried pastries first brought to the American continent from Spain, like buñuelos. Churros are traditionally made from a thick paste extruded through a pastry bag with a star-shaped tip, and then deep-fried. In my region in Southern Ontario, Canada, I have found churros at Christmas outdoor markets, and they are also regularly sold at the Food Court of the local mall, like the ones shown below:
In Mexico, the classic way to enjoy these treats is freshly cooked, dipped in a cup of hot chocolate, like the one I prepared for my previous post:
The resulting grooves on the churros add surface area, which makes the texture extra crispy and airy after deep-frying. My recipe for unfried churros, as shown in the picture at the top of this post, starts with basically the same paste as traditional churros, but they are cooked in a waffle iron instead of a pot filled with oil. I had seen this technique on various cooking websites, and I really wanted to try it out. The waffle grid produced the same structural effect as the pastry bag tip, with the final result of a treat with the full flavour and crispiness of traditional churros, minus the extruding step and the vat full of oil.
Waffle Iron Unfried Churros –
Churros en waflera sin freir
¾ cup water
¼ cup butter, cut into chunks
1 tbsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling
¼ tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
½ cup flour
1 large egg
Vegetable oil, for greasing the waffle iron (optional)
Syrup, for dipping, such as maple or cajeta (optional)
In a pot over high heat, bring water to boil; reduce heat to medium and add sugar, cinnamon and butter (photo below, left). Continue cooking until sugar and butter are completely dissolved. Turn off heat and dump flour in the pot (photo below, right):
Beat flour and liquid mix vigorously (photo below, left), and continue to incorporate into a smooth and thick paste. Remove pot to a cool surface and add egg, and continue mixing (photo below, right):
Continue stirring with a spatula, until a very smooth and shinny paste is formed (photo below, left); it will still be firm, and slightly sticky.
NOTE: For traditional fried churros, this paste may be transferred to a pastry bag with a star-shaped tip, extruding long sections of paste directly into a pot with hot oil over medium-high heat, and frying until golden brown.
For unfried churros, heat up a waffle iron (mine is electric*); greasing cooking surfaces with a paper towel dipped in oil is optional if the waffle plates are non-stick (I did not use any). Spread a thin layer of churro paste on the bottom cooking surface (photo below, right):
Close iron and allow paste to cook for a lapse of 8-10 minutes, until very crispy and golden brown:
I found it a little hard to spread the paste, as appreciated by the irregular shapes of the cooked waffles, but I kept my sangfroid since I was planning to cut them into strips and bits anyway, to resemble traditional churros, and churro bites, more closely.
Transfer to a cutting board; trim edges if not straight, and slice into strips or short sections. While hot, sprinkle with sugar (and cinnamon, optional) and serve immediately. In the photo below, my unfried churros, and churro bites, with a side of maple syrup:
These unfried churros were, as it could be expected, somewhat drier and with more tenderness than the fried version, but they were still crispy, with a flavour very close to the original, and equally satisfying, especially after dipping in a cup of foamy Mexican style hot chocolate:
The grid from the waffle iron creates perfect pockets for the sugar and cinnamon to stick, and the dipping sauce or hot chocolate to pool.
* I have owned a George Foreman™ grill with removable waffle plates for a few years now, and I like it a lot; it is a good indoor grill, and the extra waffle plates save the need for another appliance. There are other table-top grills with this feature, as well as dedicated electric waffle irons. For your convenience, click on the images below for products available on Amazon™. DISCLAIMER: Any reviews included in this post are my own, for items I have purchased, not provided by any company; as an Amazon Associates Program affiliate, I might receive a commission for any purchases originated from the links below, at no extra cost to you (thank you to all the readers who have bought other products starting with a click from my links!):
I am sharing my unfried churros and hot chocolate at Su’s Virtual Afternoon Tea:
I am sharing my recipe at Thursday Favourite Things #472, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode. Special thanks to Bev for featuring my Smoked Pork Chops in Apple Cider Reduction at her party here.