Churros that Kids Can Make

In my Mexican and Jewish extended family we are always happy to find cross over recipes. Churros are a BIG HIT!

Last year we made Baked Pumpkin Churros with my friend, Laurie, aka baker par excellence. We did it in a Zoom class. Laurie altered your typical deep fried churros to baked.  That meant that kids could get in on the action without risking sever burns.  Laurie isn’t offering a class this fall but for my multicultural family churros are a Hanukkah must!

Here’s Laurie’s recipe with tips about equipment.

Baked Pumpkin Churros
Servings: 12

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet underneath another 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (this just creates insulation so the bottoms don’t burn) and line top baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

1/2 cup (120ml) water
1/2 cup (126g) canned pumpkin
6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
2 Tbsp (29g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

In a medium saucepan combine water, pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Set over medium-high heat, and cook stirring frequently until it reaches a full rolling boil.

1 cup (143g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)

Mix in flour and cook, stirring and turning dough constantly with a rubber spatula, for 1 minute (it should form a smooth dough that has come together well).  Immediately transfer dough into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

With the mixer running on low speed, add one egg and mix until combined while increasing mixer speed and stopping and scraping sides of bowl as needed (dough will seem runny and separated but keep mixing and it will come together!).

Repeat the process, beating for at least 2 minutes after adding the second egg.  Mix in vanilla.  Transfer dough to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  (See note below)

Pipe dough onto the prepared stacked baking sheet, either into 7 inch lengths for longer churros or 2-inch lengths for minis,  cutting with scissors after piping each.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until set and golden brown, crunchy on the outside and a little bit creamy in the center;  28 – 33 minutes.

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted for brushing

Meanwhile in a shallow baking dish (such as an 8 by 8) whisk together granulated sugar with remaining 1 tsp cinnamon.

While churros are still warm, work with about 3 large or 6 minis at a time, brush lightly with melted butter and immediately transfer to cinnamon sugar mixture and roll to coat being careful not to break especially if you made the longer ones.

Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with remaining churros. Serve warm, with dipping sauce if desired.  (Baked churros can be reheated briefly in a 350 degree oven.)

Note:  A large pastry bag and open star tip is necessary for the distinctive deeply grooved churro shape.  (I use an Ateca 827 open star tip and a 18″ reusable pastry bag.)

Reusable Pastry bag
Open Star Piping tip

While it is possible to shape churros by snipping off the corner of a large zip lock bag, it is not easy and it will not make pretty churros.  I know, I tried.