Churros: The french fries of the doughnut world



Churros are, in my humble opinion, the world's most overindulge-able doughnuts.  

I mean, when was the last time you ate just one churro?!

They should always come in servings of at least 3!  Think about it.  Wouldn't you be so jazzed if churros were served in those little fast food french fry cup things with a side of chocolate sauce, caramel, or chocolate hazelnut spread!?  It'd be like dessert fries!  





Serves 8

1 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Store bought chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or chocolate hazelnut spread

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, salt, sugar, and butter.  Bring this mixture to a boil, add the vanilla, and dump in the flour all at once.  Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball.  Remove from the heat and continue to stir for about 30 seconds.

Allow the mixture to cool and heat 3 – 4” of vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot to 375F.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

Spoon the slightly cooled churro mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a few churros at a time into the hot oil by piping and snipping with scissors.  Fry the churros until golden and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

While still hot, place the churros in the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.  Allow them to cool slightly and serve warm with store bought chocolate sauce.

Pumpkin Spice Sour Cream Glazed Doughnuts because Autumn

Pumpkin Spice Sour Cream Glazed Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spice Sour Cream Glazed Doughnuts

The days are starting to get a little shorter and, while we here in Toronto are having some lovely less-than-seasonal warm days, there is no denying that autumn is in the air.  

Barrels of apples are popping up at grocery stores everywhere which usually means apple fritters in my house but I have fallen victim to the tantalizing smell of pumpkin spice that just seems to be ubiquitous this time of year.  

Rather than make a latte or something of that sort, I decided to combine the spicy loveliness that is cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove with my all time favourite doughnut: the oh so delicious and impossibly easy to make sour cream glazed.  

Just to up the ante as far as flavour and fall-i-ness, a little hit of brown butter and maple syrup take these little babies over the edge.

If you're like me and have very little self control when it comes to fried dough, make sure you have a plan to share these puppies with people asap!

Pumpkin Spice Sour Cream Glazed Doughnuts

Makes 12 doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ + 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
1 egg
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, browned, and divided
1 + ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 ½ cups icing sugar
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
3 – 4 tablespoons warmed milk

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices and make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk/buttermilk, egg, ¼ cup of the browned butter, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.  Pour this wet mixture into the well and mix just until a soft dough forms.  Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare your glaze by mixing the icing sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons of browned butter, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, maple syrup, and 3 tablespoons of warmed milk in a small bowl.  You want this glaze to be on the thinner side so, if needed, add another tablespoon of warmed milk.  Cover the glaze directly with plastic wrap and set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge and heat about two inches of vegetable oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat until a thermometer registers 350F.  On a generously floured work surface, roll out your chilled dough to a ½ inch thickness and, using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible.  Using a 1-inch round cutter, remove the very centre of each circle, giving you doughnuts and doughnut holes! 

Feel free to bring the remaining dough together to reroll and cut out more doughnuts but only do this once as rerolling the dough a third time might make the doughnuts a bit tough.

Before frying, prepare a draining station for your doughnuts by lining a cookie sheet with paper towel and a cooling rack.

Now, it’s time to fry!  Gently lower four or five doughnuts into the hot oil and cook, flipping once, until all the doughnuts are golden brown and lovely.  Remove the cooked doughnuts to the rack-lined cookie sheet and continue to fry until all of your doughnuts and doughnut holes are done.

When cooled, dunk each doughnut in the glaze and allow them to drain and dry on a rack-lined cookie sheet.

D'ough Canada 150!

Canoe Paddles (aka those flat doughnuts that you know and love but they have a trademarked name so here's my take!)

Canoe Paddles (aka those flat doughnuts that you know and love but they have a trademarked name so here's my take!)

Is there anything more Canadian than eating a Beavertail during Winterlude on the slick icy surface of the Rideau Canal?  Now, if you’re pretty much any other Canadian out there, you’d probably also have a pair of skates on as your turn triple axles on the frozen river but I am a rather blasphemous countryman as I never learned how to skate.

So, for me, Beavertails still call to mind our nation’s capital but instead of slipping around on the Canal, you’ll find me nibbling away on this wonderful confection as I meander through the Byward Market or dancing terribly at one of Ottawa’s many music festivals.

Here’s my take on the classic.  I've dubbed mine Canoe Paddles, a name drawn up by my husband after he had scarfed down about seven. 

If you’re like me, nothing beats fried dough with cinnamon sugar and a squidge of lemon but feel free to slather on chocolate hazelnut spread, ice cream, strawberry jam, or whatever else you can think of!

Canoe Paddles

Makes 16

¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
½ teaspoon + ¼ cup sugar, divided
2 ¼ - 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Topping Options:
Cinnamon Sugar (1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon)
Lemon juice
Chocolate hazelnut spread

In a small bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon of sugar and set aside to bloom.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the 2 1/4 cups flour, salt, and remaining ¼ cup of sugar.  Make a well in the centre and set aside.

In another small bowl, beat the buttermilk with the egg and vanilla.

Pour the yeast and buttermilk mixtures into the well of the dry ingredients and stir until a shaggy dough forms.  If using your hands, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding additional 1/4 cup of flour if needed, for about 8 minutes or until the dough is soft and no longer sticky.  If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for around 6 minutes.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.

Punch the dough down and divide into 16 golf ball sized portions.  Flatten each into an oval that is around ½” thick and place on a baking sheet while you preheat 4” of oil to 385F in the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pot.

When your oil is up to temperature, stretch an oval into a thin canoe paddle shape (the edges will be a bit thicker than the middle) and carefully place into the oil.  If you're looking for a little extra info on shaping these tasty treats, check out my segment on Your Morning for Canada 150!

Stretch and fry about 3 pieces of dough at a time and fry, flipping halfway through, until both sides are golden.  Remove the canoe paddles from the oil onto paper towel then, while still warm, toss in cinnamon sugar if desired.  For my favourite, I add a squidge of lemon to the cinnamon sugar coated canoe paddles just prior to eating.

If you want to top your canoe paddle with chocolate hazelnut spread, feel free to leave them plain and top just before serving.

Frittering the day away: Apple Fritters

Apple Fritters with Maple Glaze

Apple Fritters with Maple Glaze

Every Saturday morning during my undergrad, I would cajole at least one of my roommates out of bed at an unearthly hour to join me on my weekly trek to the St. Jacob's Farmers Market only to wait in a line reaching around the building for freshly made, piping hot apple fritters.

While they were always rewarded with their fair share of the journey's spoils, I've since figured out my own recipe.  This is pretty much a win-win situation for everyone.  I get glorious homemade fritters whenever the whim strikes and my roommate (read: husband) gets a good sleep in on Saturday mornings.

There are few things in life as impressive as fresh, homemade doughnuts and these apple fritters are sure to provide ample praise with minimal effort on your part.  

My only word of advise?  Don't tell anyone how easy they actually are ;)

If you're looking for a demo of this recipe or perhaps a tasty cocktail also inspired by apples, check out my segment on Your Morning!

Apple Fritters

Makes about 18 fritters

Vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 slightly heaped tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg
¼ cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 ½ cups peeled and cored apple, chopped into a ½ cm dice (I like Macintosh or Granny Smith)
Powdered sugar or Maple glaze (recipe follows)

Heat about an inch and a half of vegetable oil  in a large, deep pot over medium/medium-low heat until a thermometer registers between 340-350F

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, add the melted butter after about three stirs, and continue to mix until almost combined.  Add the apples to the fritter batter and fold in.

When the oil is heated, carefully drop five or six heaped tablespoons of batter into the hot oil.  Make sure that each of the fritters has at least 2 inches of space between it and the next so that they brown evenly and the pan does not become overcrowded.  Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove from the oil and place on a cooling rack to drain and cool slightly and enjoy as is, dusted with icing sugar, or snazzed up a bit with a maple glaze (recipe follows)!


Maple Glaze

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch salt
1 - 4 tbsp warm water, if needed

In a small frying pan, melt the butter over low heat then add in the maple syrup.  Remove the pan from the heat and carfully stir in the powdered sugar and salt.  The glaze should be quiet thin but should still be able to coat the back of a spoon.  If the glaze needs thinning, add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.  If the glaze looks a little speckled, no worries.  That's just the butter solidifying again.  Pop the pan back on the heat for 10 seconds or so and that should fix everything!

Dip or dunk the cooled fritters into the warm glaze and allow to set for a few minutes before digging in!