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Churros: A traditional Mexican treat and the perfect Cinco de Mayo dessert

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There are few holidays as festive and lively as Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May"), which proudly celebrates Mexican and Mexican-American heritage, pride, victory, and democracy.

As with most holidays, people come together and celebrate with food. For Cinco de Mayo, you will want to assemble a colorful variety of delicious Mexican culinary fare, from enchiladas and chimichangas, to guacamole and frijole.

But when it comes to dessert, there is one clear choice that would satisfy everyone, both young and old, around your table: churros (or sweet, crispy Mexican crullers dusted with cinnamon and sugar).

This top-rated churro recipe is both quick (under an hour) and delicious. Give it a try--and you'll immediately have your guests shouting "¡Olé!"

MEXICAN CHURROS
Adapted from Daisy Martinez
Serves 12-15

Ingredients:

1 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4-5 eggs
Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. To make the crullers: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water, the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt over medium-high heat until the edges of the liquid start to bubble. Add the flour all at once and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until well mixed and no lumps of flour remain.
  2. Remove from the heat. Add 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each. The dough should look soft and glossy and keep a "hook" shape when the spoon is pulled from the dough. If not, beat in the last egg.
  3. Scrape the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pour enough canola oil into a deep heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) to fill 1-inch. Heat over medium heat until the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon gives off a slow steady stream of tiny bubbles. Carefully pipe the dough into the oil, forming 6-inch crullers. Pipe only as many crullers into the oil as fit comfortably. Overcrowding the pan will result in soggy crullers. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Put the sugar and the cinnamon in a paper bag. Crimp the top and shake well to mix. Drop a few crullers at a time into the bag and shake until coated. Best served as soon as possible.
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