Success! I Didn’t Burn Down the House!

And so it has come and gone.  Santa Barbara’s Fiesta takes place every year during the first week of August.  Events take place all around town, celebrating the Spanish heritage in our city… Spanish dancing, mariachi concerts, the famous homemade tamales from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, and lots and lots of confetti eggs (I do not exaggerate when I say I have found confetti in my house a good 7-8 months after Fiesta).

In truth, I’m not the biggest fan of Fiesta.  Having grown up in Santa Barbara and experiencing 30 plus Fiestas, I’m just kinda over it.  But the one thing I ADORE from this annual event is the food.  It’s just crazy good!

One of my favorite treats are churros.  These simple yet cinnamon/sugary cylinders of delight make me close my eyes, breathe in deeply, and smile as I take that first delicious bite.  I can smell them from a few blocks away and will hunt them down.

For today’s baking entry I decided to challenge myself by attempting to make churros.  Although this does not involve baking or even turning on the oven, this was a big deal for me.

Now I have never fried anything in my life and to be completely honest with you I was terrified that I would give myself third degree burns, or burn down our house, or both.  I assumed that churros would be extremely difficult to make.  I was completely wrong!

Don’t let these little buggers scare you.  I grabbed my mom’s trusty, cast iron dutch oven, poured a ton of vegetable oil into it, and fried away.  Oh and if you’re like me, completely unprepared, you have no thermometer to test the temperature of the oil.  So after a bit of research (gotta love Google) I learned that you can use a wooden spoon to test if the oil is ready.  Just take the end of the spoon and place it in the oil.  If bubbles form around the tip, then the oil is hot enough to begin frying.  The churros cook up quickly if you only pipe in a few at a time, too many will cool the oil down.

Give these simple yet delicious desserts a go.  You’re friends and family will be incredibly impressed.  Milk that by saying you spent hours preparing the churros for them (that’s right, that’s how I roll).

Churros (care of all recipes.com)

Churros.JPGINGREDIENTS: 1 cup water, 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 quarts oil for frying, 1/2 cup white sugar (or to taste), 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.  Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.  Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

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