Tuesday, May 1, 2012

churro cupcakes (the perfect cinco de mayo treat!)

Cinco de Mayo, or "Fifth of May", is right around the corner! Ay Dios Mio! Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday we celebrate here in the United States. What better way to celebrate than with my favorite Mexican treat: churros.
Churros are deep fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar. What's not to love? I have never met anyone who doesn't like churros.
When I was little and we lived in San Diego, my dad and I would go to Sea World almost every weekend to walk around and see the animals. One of my favorite memories of these trips was getting a big, fresh cinnamon churro at one of the little snack stands around the park. As you can imagine, I was obsessed with cinnamon even back then!  They were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. What made these churros super delicious though, was the fresh, warm dulce de leche that the churro man would pipe into to fried doughnut. Perfection.
Alas, the thing about real churros is they are only good fresh, right out of the fryer, when they still have that irresistible crunch to them.
These cupcakes are the perfect solution -- as they have that delicious, churro taste, and are portable and keep well.
My dad loved these cupcakes and said that they were even better than our much loved Sea World treat, can't get much better than that!
Feliz Cinco de Mayo to you all!
With love, Erica
Being filled with luscious dulce de leche


To Assemble:
Make my favorite, fluffy vanilla cupcake recipe (and add a teaspoon or two of cinnamon to the batter). (recipe follows)
Core each of the cooled cupcakes and fill with store bought dulce de leche. 
Make the cinnamon buttercream frosting (recipe follows)
Top with fried cinnamon sugar tortilla chips (recipe follows)

For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk
(or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)

Directions-
* Preheat oven to 350*F.
* In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
* In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat.
* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.  Beat until just combined.  Scrap down the side of the bowl.  
* The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners.  Fill liners about 2/3 full. 
* Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes. 
* Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.  

 For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
8 tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the margarine and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the vanilla and cinnamon until well combined.
Reduce the mixer to low speed, and gradually add the powdered sugar until mixed.  Add the milk or heavy cream until you get your desired consistency.

For the fried tortillas:
Two or three 8-inch flour tortillas, cut into desired shape (I used a star shaped cookie cutter)
Oil, for frying
1 cup mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar, mixed to your liking of desired sweetness (I do 1/2 cup of each.)

In a deep frying pan, heat the oil (about 3/4-inch in depth) on medium heat until very hot. I tested this by putting in a small piece of tortilla to make sure it would fry.  I did not try to aim for a specific temperature.
Fry a few of the tortilla strips at a time, turning them with tongs until lightly browned on both sides (about 5-10 seconds on each side).
Place the strips on paper towel, and, while they are still warm, sprinkle both sides generously with the cinnamon-sugar combination.
Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips.



8 comments:

  1. I've never seen a cupcake like this, they look absolutely amazing! And yours pics turned out so gorgeous! Love the little star on top :) Such a perfect cinco de mayo treat!

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  2. These look amazing! love you blog and would love if you followed me!
    http://cakestoclosets.blogspot.com/

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  3. Thank you for the story, the photo's and the recipe.

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  4. Oooooh they look so good but I won't be able to make them look as good as that!

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  5. OMG! You're on your way to becoming a "Cooking Diva"
    Cathy

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