Hispanic Kitchen

Spice It Up!

On a recent month-long trip I took to Monterrey, Mexico, I had the great opportunity to visit with my family and learn lots of longtime family recipes. When we were kids in California, I remember that one of our family traditions was to make buñuelos on New Year's Eve. Because my Mom was busy raising eight kids, she took a little help from the store and would use premade flour tortillas to make buñuelos for us, and they were delicious! While I was in Mexico, my Tia Amelia shared with me the original family recipe for buñuelos. I was more than thrilled!

Yields up to 25 cutout buñuelos


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup tea made from tomatillo husk (5 tomatillos) *if you don't have tomatillos, you could make a tea with a few cinnamon sticks or anise seeds. Just strain before adding to recipe.
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, set aside
Canola oil

Another variation for the buñuelos is to roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use your favorite cookie cutter to create festive shapes. Fry as directed.

Place cutouts on a lined cookie sheet and let them set for 20 minutes before frying.

1. Start by melting the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl, add the tea, sugar, salt and baking powder, stir gently. Gradually add the flour about 1/2 a cup at a time until the dough starts to form. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Take the dough and make 1 1/2 inch balls and keep them covered. In the next step, I used a tortilla press lined with a heavy storage bag. You can also roll out dough on a lightly floured flat surface and use your favorite cookie cutter to make fun shapes. Heat 2 cups of canola oil in a heavy fry pan to medium heat. After about 10 minutes of heating the oil, press one dough ball at a time and fry in the oil, flipping over to brown each side. Drain onto a plate lined with paper towels.

3. When you are done frying, gently take each buñuelo and dip it into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Yields up to 25 cutout buñuelos.

I like to serve the buñuelos as they are or top with some fresh berries or pineapple.... Yummy!

Other recipes by Sonia:

Beef Chili
Cheesy Chorizo Bread
Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Chip Chimichangas
Pork Chile Colorado
Polvorones (Mexican Shortbread Cookies)
Shrimp-Stuffed Little Chiles
Pork Chile Verde
Lemon Pepper Chicken Fajitas
Simply Seasoned Shrimp

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Tags: Dessert, bunuelos, buñuelos, flour, sonia


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Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on December 8, 2013 at 9:04pm

I just wanted to add a note to this recipe for buñuelos. I am told that the reason my tia makes a tea made from tomatillo husk is the it gives the buñuelos a spongy consistency.

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on September 15, 2013 at 9:05am

Myrthala, I am so happy to be able to share this recipe with you. The fact that it reminds you of your childhood, makes it so worth while for me. This was one of the reasons I started blogging and researching all og my family's recipes. I did not get the drying out part, but I can understand why they do it. When I fry my chips, I always leave my tortillas out overnight, so they dry out. They fry faster and are very crispy...I am going to try this next time. Thank you for your feedback and for sharing your story with me! It's a great start to my day.

Comment by Myrthala on September 14, 2013 at 10:34pm
Thank you for this recipe and so many others I have found! My mother makes them with the "tea" from tomatillo husk, also, and I have been searching for this recipe to make for my kids at new years to keep some of my childhood traditions alive. She also woud set them out to "dry" after rolling them all out. I noticed this recipe doesn't mention that step. I don't know why or for how long she did it, though. I also don't know the purpose of the tea either. I do think they are better than just frying a flour tortilla, though.
Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on January 24, 2013 at 1:06pm

You are welcome!!

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on January 24, 2013 at 12:48pm

Cathy, if you have cinnamon sticks, i would just make a tea with that...or simply add the lukewarm water. I am sure it will work just fine. I was so curious why my Tia Amelia uses the tomatillo husk tea, I really must ask her why, hahaha...i just figured she is the most awesome baker, so how could it be wrong?? LOl!! Let me know how they turn out...:)

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on November 20, 2012 at 7:23am

Christine, you will love this bunuelo recipe!!! Next time I make them, I would like to try to add a filling....:)

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on November 20, 2012 at 7:22am

Christine, I too grew up in Southern California...My parents moved there from Monterrey, Mexico in 1963. And, yes, some of the best Mexican food to be had, besides my Mom's cooking...:) My Mom use to make sweet tamales with raisins, pineapple, and coconut. I myself have not made them, but will attempt her recipe in the next couple of weeks. My Mom never wrote anything down either, but I am blessed to be able to ask her sister's, my aunts that live in Mexico for family recipes. I have a sweet corn tamale recipe that was given to me, but I have to figure out the quantities, lol! They cook Big in Mexico!!

Comment by Christine Gallagher on November 20, 2012 at 3:20am

Hi Sonia, My name is Christine. I am impressed with your amazingly authentic and uncomplicated recipes. Growing up in Southern California I was spoiled with some of the best Mexican Food. An incredible woman named Genevieve Flores cared for my son while I worked. Does your family make sweet or fruit tamales for the holidays? Mama Flores made pineapple tamales tamales pinas, (is that correct?)for Christmas. She never put her recipes on paper. They all went to heaven with her. Thank you

Comment by Christine Gallagher on November 20, 2012 at 3:10am

I can hardly wait to try this recipe.

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on October 14, 2012 at 12:17pm

Thanks Blanca!! I cannot wait to make these for the Holidays this year!!

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