It may be cliché, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make churros in time for Cince de Mayo.  Over the past year or so, I’ve become slightly enamored with them thanks to the fantastic churros at XOCO, one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants in Chicago.  Really, fantastic isn’t an adequate word to describe them.  They deserve their own superlative.  A simple piece of fried dough coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture and dipped in ice cream or chocolate sauce.  Holy moly, they are deserving of the hype.  When we are in Chicago, we always make time for XOCO, even if we’re only there for less than 24 hours.  I was excited at the prospect of making these at home, and I was also curious to know whether they would be difficult.

As it turns out, these are actually easier than most other doughnut-like things.  The batter is mixed and since it isn’t yeasted, it’s pretty much ready to be used right away.  Piping the dough into the hot oil was a bit of a guessing game as to how the shapes would turn out, but I was able to make pretty consistent U shapes without too much trouble.  I almost never make fried things at home but these were worth it.

Have you ever made churros?  Or if you have at least eaten them, what do you like to dip them in?  I think the vanilla ice cream is totally the way to go, but Ben likes the chocolate sauce.  I know some people dip them in hot chocolate, which also sounds pretty great.  I hope you all enjoy some amazing Mexican food this weekend.  I know I will!

  • Yield about 8-10 (depending on size)


For the churros:

  • 4½ tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Canola oil, for frying

To coat: 

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the chocolate dipping sauce: 

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature


  • 01

    In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, sugar and salt over medium-high heat.  Stir frequently.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor (a stand mixer would also work.)  Add in the flour.  With the feed tube open to vent steam, pulse (or mix) briefly to incorporate the flour.  While continuing to mix, gradually pour in the eggs in a slow, steady stream until fully incorporated and the mixture is just smooth.

  • 02

    Heat a large pot of canola oil (at least 2-3 inches deep) to 375˚ F.  While the oil is heating, transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with decorative tip.  When the oil has reached the desired temperature, pipe lengths of the batter into the oil, using scissors to snip each length off into the pot.  Keep the churros only in a single layer and avoid crowding them.  Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from the oil with a slotted skimmer and transfer to a rack lined with paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  Be sure the oil returns to 375˚ F before adding a new batch.

  • 03

    In a shallow bowl or plate, combine the sugar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean pod.  Massage together until the vanilla bean is evenly distributed in the sugar.  Stir in the cinnamon.  Dredge the cooked churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, shaking off the excess.

  • 04

    To make the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand 2 minutes.  Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms.  Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.  Reheat as necessary to keep liquid for dipping.