These are a lightened-up version of one of my favorite desserts, made healthier because they’re air fried with minimal oil! They’re crispy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside, and just sweet enough! Served with a chocolate or caramel dipping sauce, these are an absolute home run. I also like to turn these into churro nuggets for bite sized treats, which are perfect for a crowd!
*Commission links below. If you shop through these links, I get a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you!
The dough used to make churros is a special one, called Choux. It’s super popular in Europe, and the same kind of dough used to make cream puffs. Rather than using a rising agent like baking powder, this dough uses a super high moisture content to create steam that puffs pastries up, making them light and airy. Choux dough consists of flour, butter, water, and egg, and they’re gently cooked together to create a thicker consistency mixture that’s suitable for piping.
To make this dough, first you want to melt your butter. Once it’s fully liquid, add water and mix until combined. Then, add in flour and sugar (churros aren’t a completely traditional Choux since there’s a bit of sugar) and stir until you have a thick paste that comes away from the sides. You’ll then want to let it cool for 5-7 minutes, so that when you add the egg, it doesn’t cook the egg. You want the end result to be a smooth, uniform dough that’s easy to pipe.
Piping the churros
I prefer to pipe these with a pastry bag and star tip so that they have that classic churro look. The biggest piece of advice I have for working with a pastry bag is to use a glass to hold it up when you try to fill it.
Put the bag in, tip down, and fold the outer edges of the bag around the rim of the glass. Now, you have a much sturdier base for filling your bag. Then, just pipe your churros onto a lined/greased tray. If air frying, you should be able to pipe right onto a tray that’s been sprayed with cooking oil. You could also put down a piece of foil and spray that and pipe directly onto it. If you’re baking, parchment paper or silicone baking mats work great here.
If you’re looking to make full-size churros, I recommend making them 3-4 inches long, so they’re still just a few tasty bites and crisp up nicely. If you’re opting for nuggets, make them about an inch long so you have little churro bites.
As far as serving goes, I like to serve churros with chocolate. Melt any chocolate you like and use it as a dipping sauce (you can add some milk or cream to keep it liquid). For nuggets, I like to serve them topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!
Let’s make Air Fryer Churros!
Ingredients (makes ~ 15 3 inch churros or ~30 bites):
* 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tbsp + 2 tsp butter
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* Pinch of salt
* 1/3 cup sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon to roll churros in
* Oil spray of choice
* Chocolate to dip (I used @nestletollhouse espresso chocolate chips mixed with milk chocolate 50/50 and melted in the microwave in 30 second increments)
1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat, add water, salt, and sugar and stir until dissolved
2. Reduce heat to low, stir in flour, keep stirring until you have a uniform mixture
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 min
4. Stir in egg and vanilla. Keep stirring until mixture is fully incorporated
5. Put mixture into a piping bag and either refrigerate piping bag for 30 min prior to piping OR pipe churros onto lined/sprayed air fryer sheets and put in fridge for up to 45 min
6. Spray churros with cooking spray. Air fry at 370 for 12 min, until golden. If making nuggets, air fry for 10 minutes at 370.
7. Toss in cinnamon sugar mixture and have yourself the tastiest treat ever!
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and/or tagging me on Instagram at @foodbythegram!