Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Churros.

Ten Things I Learned This Week:

1. If you make pumpkin spice churros, pipe them into rings, fry them, then roll them in cinnamon and sugar... you've basically just made mini sugar doughnuts. 
And really, what part of that statement is a bad thing?  

2. Oil at 350°F is hot. Anything that touches oil at 350°F is hot. HOT THINGS BURN.

3. If you try to pipe a churro ring directly into hot oil, it will get confused and turn into a ribbon.
And forget about trying to pipe a heart.

(Although if you're lucky/use magic... you might end up with a heart-shaped churro hole.)
4. Homemade churros are best eaten on the day they're made, piping hot and freshly rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Leftover churros are soft and lose their crispiness. :( 

5. Frying things isn't as complicated it sounds. It goes a little like this: Heat oil. Put things in it.
6. People who make perfectly straight churros must use sorcery.

7. Just because a churro looks crispy and golden doesn't mean it's done on the inside. Be patient.
8. The thickness of your churro is directly related to the size of the piping tip you use. They won't puff up or get super thick when fried... hence, using a #1M tip will result in skinny, french fry churros instead of fat sugary deliciousness. 
Note to self: buy a larger open star tip.

9. If it looks like a doughnut and tastes like a doughnut... it's breakfast. 
10. If you get burned by hot oil, the best thing you can do is cry... then eat a churro.
P.S. I totally stole those leaves from my neighbor's yard. 

P.P.S. True Blood finale: Um... WHAT. Discuss.

Pumpkin Spice Churros

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter or shortening
4 eggs
Vegetable oil for frying

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon for tossing the finished churros in. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.

Heat water, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and butter or shortening in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

Quickly stir in flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir over low heat until mixture becomes doughy.

Remove from heat again and quickly stir in eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Mixture should be smooth.

Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star piping tip; be sure to twist the bag closed.

Pour vegetable oil into a large pan fitted with a clip-on thermometer, with the oil coming up two inches on the side. Heat oil to 350°F. When the oil reaches 350°F, carefully pipe dough* into the hot oil with one hand and snip the dough with a pair of kitchen scissors in the other. Turn the heat down to fry the churros at 325°F. Be sure to watch the temperature in order to maintain it.

*You can continuously pipe dough into the oil and use kitchen scissors to cut it into strips, but I found it easier to pipe circles on a big spoon like this...
... and then carefully place/slide/shake dough off spoon into the oil. DO NOT DROP INTO THE OIL. It will splash and burn you. Ask me how I know.

Depending on the size of your churros, fry for about 4-5 minutes, flipping at least once with a fork. Again, be careful. 
When golden brown and done, remove and set on paper towels. Pat dry and immediately toss in cinnamon and sugar.

Serve warm.
Source: Rookie Cookie.