When I entertain during the holidays, I like to make desserts that are shareable to enjoy with my friends and family. To me, a “shareable” dessert includes an element of interactivity that you don’t get from a plate of cookies or cupcakes. While you certainly can’t go wrong with a batch of freshly baked holiday cookies, you get a complete different experience when you and your guests are all eating my homemade Cinnamon Churros, served with a trip of organic chocolate dipping sauces. Churros are finger foods that are intended to be eaten while still warm, with each bite dipped into one of three decadent sauces. Not only are they delicious, they are fun to eat and are sure to provide a great foundation for some fun new holiday memories!
The churros start with a simple choux pastry, which can be prepared several hours in advance of when you plan to make and serve your churros. Churros should be fried within an hour or so before serving and they can easily be reheated in the oven if you don’t want to fry them at the last minute. While it may sound intimidating to fry up dessert during the holidays, you shouldn’t be concerned because it is easier than you might think! Each batch of churros takes only a couple of minutes and there is no wrong shape or size that you can make them. They will turn out to be golden brown and delicious every single time.
I used Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate for my trio of dipping sauces. The chocolate bars are produced with organic, fair trade certified ingredients with the intention of making chocolate that is not only decadently delicious, but that you can feel good about eating. The bars come in a variety of flavors and each one is the perfect size for making one of my three dipping sauces. I chose to use their 70% Dark Chocolate, which has some wonderful berry notes to it, and their rich 34% Milk Chocolate as my two primary sauces. My third sauce was made using their Mint Dark Chocolate, which is made using fresh organic mint and has a smooth, crisp flavor. The mint pairs surprisingly well with the cinnamon on the churros and is just refreshing enough to help clear your palate for the next bite.
The dipping sauces are so delicious on their own that you might be tempted to skip the churros altogether. While I highly recommend the churros alongside the sauces, you can also use the sauces in other ways. For instance, you can serve them with fresh cut fruits, cubes of pound cake or marshmallows as a kind of fondue sauce. You can also drizzle them over the top of your favorite ice cream flavors. As long as you have friends and family around to enjoy them with you, you can’t go wrong.
Cinnamon Churros with a Trio of Chocolate Dipping Sauces
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour (4.25 oz), sifted
2 large eggs oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar and salt and bring mixture to a boil.
When the mixture is boiling, add in flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, about 1-2 minutes. Continue to stir and cook the dough for about 1 minute. The dough will become somewhat elastic and will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly. Turn off the heat.
Transfer the hot dough to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Turn the mixer on medium and beat the dough for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is no longer hot to the touch. This can be done by hand, using a spoon or spatula.
When the dough is no longer hot, beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been well-incorporated before adding the next. Batter may look wet before it comes together, but keep mixing and a smooth dough will form.
Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and set aside while you heat up the oil.
Pour about 2-inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Bring the oil to about 365°F.
Pipe the churro dough directly over the hot oil, forming 6-8-inch circles of dough. Use a paring knife to cut off the flow of the dough and don’t worry if the shapes aren’t perfect. Pipe 2-3 churros into the oil at a time, depending on the size of your pan.
Fry churros for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden on the second side.
Remove churros from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined pan for 2-3 minutes.
Roll generously in the cinnamon sugar mixture (recipe below) and serve when still slightly warm.
To Make Cinnamon Sugar: In a large, shallow pan, combine sugar and cinnamon. Stir together until well-combined and set aside for dipping churros.
Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Dipping Sauce Trio
70% Dark Chocolate Ganache
3.5 oz Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate
3.5 oz heavy cream
Milk Chocolate Ganache
3.5 oz Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate
3 oz heavy cream
Mint Chocolate Ganache
3.5 oz Green & Black’s Organic Mint Dark Chocolate
3.5 oz heavy cream
Get out three medium-sized, heatproof bowls. Break up each chocolate bar into small pieces and place the dark chocolate in one bowl, the milk chocolate in another and the mink chocolate in the third bowl.
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 10-oz of heavy cream to a simmer.
When the cream begins to bubble around the edges of the pan, remove from heat and divide into the bowls containing the chopped chocolate. Add 3.5 oz of heavy cream to each of the dark chocolate bowls and only 3 oz of heavy cream to the bowl containing the milk chocolate. Allow the cream to sit for about 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then stir each mixture gently (be careful not to combine the chocolates) until the ganache comes together into a smooth, uniform sauce.
If necessary, reheat each sauce for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
Want to win a $100 cash equivalent gift card plus a GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC Chocolate prize pack? Tell me how you like to incorporate chocolate into your holidays. Do you dip it, chop it, melt it? Or do you just eat it straight? Leave a comment with your ideas for a chance to win.
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