Churros—long, crisp, ridged lengths of deep-fried and sugar-coated dough—are a product of Spain that have traveled far and wide and live as popular expats in ambulatory food carts and stationary brick-and-mortar bakeries in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Actually, prior to my homemade batch, the last churros I had were handed to me in a grease-stained cone off a brightly lit truck in the Trocadéro, Eiffel Tower looming even more illuminated in the background.
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If you're a lover of fried foods, you'll have a deep understanding of the ultimate satisfaction that is eating a doughnut, funnel cake, buñuelo, cheese-stuffed fiore di zucca, or churro as it emerges out of a burnished gold, bubbling pot of scalding oil. Too hot to eat, steam still emanating from the center, you throw caution to the wind and bite in, trying to chew while your tongue wriggles wildly like an eel wrenched of water, futilely attempting to avoid a howling visit to the burn ward. But the urge to eat that crunchy browned thing when your appetite has been expanding after a long day of walking and growing razor-sharp when the smell of fried delights meanders into your nostrils is impossible to squelch.
Food always tastes better when you're starved and worn-out, and to me, add a food cart that appears like an oasis in the wasteland of so-so cafés and chain restaurants, and I'm in heaven. Though these churros were made in the confines of my little kitchen on a Saturday morning, I did inhale them as greedily as I did have after that long day of walking all over Paris.
Some churro recipes are made as simply as mixing flour and water, but I prefer more texture and richness, so these are made with eggs and milk. I also don't like to rely solely on the cinnamon-sugar coating for flavor on the outside, so I've added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to the dough. Churros are often eaten with a cup of chocolate and in some countries, with a dip of dulce de leche; here I make an accompaniment that melds both flavors.