I am a sucker for just about anything with cinnamon and sugar. A favorite childhood treat was warm buttered toast with a generous dusting of cinnamon-sugar, what’s not to love? This was a comfort food to me and something I would choose over chocolate any day. Some things never change. I’m still a cinnamon and sugar gal without a doubt.
Buñuelos are an incredibly delicious fried dough treat. Most Latin American countries have a variation of buñuelos (or deep-fried fritter as they are sometimes called) that is popular around Christmas and New Year’s Day. Buñuelos can be round and filled or flat and coated, the latter which is often compared to the well-known French pastry called Palmier or elephant ears that I loved getting as a a kid. Although there are many variations of a buñuelos, I prefer the Mexican version that is typically flat, golden brown, crispy and coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
A treat on any occasion, buñuelos are absolutely delicious. Traditionally served for various festive occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas celebrations, birthdays and baptisms. Many people of Hispanic heritage believe buñuelos bring good luck when had during Christmastime or around the start of the new year.
Buñuelos, often referred to as a Mexican Popover, are typically made with a yeast-based dough, but not always. This is a fantastic non-yeast buñuelos recipe I prefer. This is not my recipe, it is from a great blog called The Cake Chica and I have adapted it only slightly. The original recipe can be seen here.
The trick needed to make these tasty treats, is simply time, not skill. Many buñuelos recipes will call for you to roll the dough out and then allow it to air dry overnight to help remove as much moisture as possible before frying. Call me impatient, but I can’t wait overnight. Seriously, I can’t, and you don’t have to.
I roll my dough and allow it to air dry for about 2 hours, turning them once during the drying period. What I have found is the buñuelos fry up crispy and perfect every time. Ideally served warm (or within a few hours) coated in a thick covering of cinnamon-sugar topping make for an a delicious holiday treat every time.
So no matter what the occasion, buñuelos are a worthy try if you’ve never had one, you’re looking a bit of luck to come your way or if you’re simply looking for something new and different for the start of the new year, trust me, you won’t regret it.
- For the Cinnamon-Suagr Topping:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the Dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- Step 1 For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping: In a pie dish combine the sugar and cinnamon for coating. Reserve the coating for coating the buñuelos.
- Step 2 For the Buñuelos: In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Step 3 In a small saucepan heat the milk, butter and vanilla extract and bring to just a boil. Remove from the heat.
- Step 4 In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs and add them slowly to the warm milk mixture while whisking very quickly.
- Step 5 Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter top for 2 to 4 minutes until smooth.
- Step 6 After kneading, divide the dough into 20 balls. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball to resemble a very thin tortilla. Lay out the dough circles on a tablecloth and let dry for about 3 hours, turning over once to ensure drying on both sides. This helps remove most of the moisture before frying.
- Step 7 Prepare a large baking sheet lined with paper towels to place the buñuelos after frying to drain.
- Step 8 Heat 1 inch of oil in a Dutch-oven to 350 degrees F. Fry the buñuelos one at a time until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Be sure to keep your oil temperature at 350 degrees. You may have to wait a few minutes between frying to adjust the temperature of your oil. (I typically could fry about 2 buñuelos before I had to take a break and bring my oil back to temperature.)
- Step 9 Remove the buñuelos from the Dutch-oven and place on paper towel lined baking sheet to drain most of the oil off. While the buñuelo is still warm, dip the buñuelos in the cinnamon-sugar coating on both sides. Set back on the paper towel lined baking sheet to cool completely. Serve buñuelos with a little honey drizzled on top.
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