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
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:
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