Chosen Bites: Dust off your frying pans

While latkes and doughnuts are obvious choices for Hanukka, chef Laura Frankel offers a more exotic alternative.

Churros 311 (photo credit: Laura Frankel )
Churros 311
(photo credit: Laura Frankel )
I love latkes and am head over heels over doughnits. But churros (Spanish fritters) are a tasty alternative during Hanukka. Made from the classic Pate a Choux paste, these airy and delicate pastries are a snap to whip up.
My son loves these light and crispy Mexican crullers. They are delicious and addictive. We serve them for desserts, breakfast and during Hanukka. The dough is easy and can be made a couple of hours ahead of using. I serve the churros with chocolate dipping sauce or fruit preserves.
Light and crispy churrosMakes 24
1 cup water2 Tablespoons brown sugar1/2 teaspoon salt1/3 cup butter or canola oil for pareve1 cup all-purpose flour2 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 cup sugar1 teaspoon ground cinnamonOil to fry the churros in-I use canola oil
1. Bring the water, brown sugar, salt, and butter (or oil) to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stir the mixture until it forms a tight ball of dough.
2. Place the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well blended.
3. Add the eggs one at a time with the machine running, being sure to incorporate each addition before adding the next. Add the vanilla.
4. Fill your pastry  bag with the churro recipe dough and attach the largest star tip you have.
5. Heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a 10 to 12 inch frying pan to 375 degrees F. In a separate dish mix the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
6. Test your oil by placing a small amount of dough in it. The dough should bubble up right away and start to brown.
7. Once the oil is hot enough, squeeze some dough into the oil about four inches long. I use my finger to release the dough from the star tip. Careful not to burn yourself.
8. Cook four or five churros at a time. Cook them for about one minute and turn them over with a slotted spoon. Cook an additional minute or two until they are a golden brown color.
9. Remove the churros with the slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-covered plate to absorb excess grease. While still warm, roll each churro into the dish with the sugar and cinnamon until coated.
Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.