Sunday Churros in Jersey City

We’re two months into winter at this point, which means the Borzoi Cooks have been reduced to heat-seeking animals, considering only those recipes that can warm us from the inside-out. We pored over the winter menus in Suzanne Goin’s excellent cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, and found a dessert to do the trick…and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s the perfect last-minute treat for your sweetheart (you know, if you’re into that kind of thing):

Churros and hot dipping chocolate.

Book picture

But just because you can fry up a batch of churros at the last minute doesn’t mean you can be sloppy about it. Your dough must be pristine. And that’s why Mary fresh-ground the salt for the dough. (Not having a canister of kosher salt was also a contributing factor.)

Grinding salt

Don’t be alarmed by how much butter you need to melt into milk. Roll with it. Embrace your inner Julia Child.

Melting butter

Pam stirring

When it came time to combine our wet and dry ingredients, a few of us were nonplussed by the consistency of dough, which started off akin to cottage cheese. But don’t worry: keep stirring over heat, and everything will turn out fine.

Churro dough

Eventually our dough dried out a bit and become sticky, which meant it was time to bust out the stand mixer. Having a stand mixer in New York City is like having a car: you might not have one, but you probably know someone who does.

Stand mixer

Meanwhile, Amy and Amanda, two other Borzoi Cooks, set about melting the delicious chocolate and mixing it with heavy cream. This hot chocolate ain’t foolin’ around.

Melting chocolate

Wetting cocoa

Here is where the faint of heart stand back (including yours truly): we had to heat up an entire canister of oil to 350?. In this photo, the oil is barely at 225?, but I was already cowering in the next room, remembering painful oil splatters from fries past.

Heating oil

When the oil is hot enough, it’s frying time. Here are the first few churros (as squeezed out of a plastic bag, as we lacked a pastry bag and tip), sizzling away.

Frying churros

More churro frying

If we had had a real pastry bag with a #4 star tip, these churros would have turned out much like the ones you find in Washington Heights. Or on the L platform at Union Square. Instead, our churros looked like…er, let’s not go there.

Fried product

The important thing is these churros tasted great, especially when dredged through a sugar-and-cinnamon mixture.

Dusted churros

And lest you think we forgot about all that melted chocolate:

Hot chocolate

The mixture of the cinnamon-y dough and rich, semi-bitter chocolate was irresistible. The churros would barely emerge from the hot oil before someone’s hand would come in and snatch a bite.

Disappearing churros

Your Borzoi Cooks could not think of a better way to spend a winter’s day. What a decadent, warm treat to share with friends or loved ones. Just be sure to dispose of all that hot oil in a responsible manner. Or strain the oil and make a second batch of churros!

Comparison shot