Buñuelos (Fritters), 1983
by Anne Peters, Communications Coordinator, UTSA Libraries
Happy New Year! Buñuelos are a common treat around the holidays here in South Texas, so I thought it would be fun to try making them myself to bring to a New Year’s Eve party. Here’s the original recipe:
Mexican Family Favorites Cookbook by María Teresa Bernúdez (English), 1983. P. 122
Buñuelos are quick-fried fitters topped by a brown sugar syrup. They are round, thin and crispy!
2 c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. shortening
2/3 c. water
Combine flour and salt. Mix in shortening. Add water a little at a time to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes and form 9 dough balls. On s lightly-floured cutting board, with a rolling pin, roll out round, thin sheets of dough as you would for tortillas. Quick-fry in hot oil, drain, then top with syrup (makes 9 buñuelos).
Miel (syrup) for Buñuelos
2 c. light brown sugar
2 c. water
1-2 cinnamon sticks
In a saucepan, dissolve sugar in water evenly. Bring to a fast boil, then reduce heat. Stir frequently. Remove cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes more until thickened. Pour into serving container with cinnamon sticks. Leave sticks in syrup for 10-15 minutes, remove sticks before serving. ———————————————————————————————-
My husband’s office happens to be located next to “The Original HemisFair Buenelos” bakery in downtown San Antonio, so we’ve had these tasty treats a number of times. This recipe differs in a significant way, however, in that rather than dusting the fried dough in cinnamon sugar, a brown sugar syrup is made in which to dip them. My first mistake was not realizing I didn’t own a rolling pin until after I had made the dough. One not-so-quick trip to HEB later (New Years Eve crowds!), I had a rolling pin in hand and began to flatten my dough. Since I was taking these to a party, I decided to make small buenelos rather than the 9 large ones the recipe calls for. I got 20 small ones out of the dough, and used the top rim of a plastic cup to cut out the circles. I’m a neophyte when it comes to frying, so I wasn’t sure how hot to make my oil. My first batch cooked up very quickly … perhaps too quickly … so I turned the heat down to medium-high for the rest. My second mistake was not letting the syrup continue to boil for the 15 minutes. I think I turned the heat down too low, as my syrup was still rather thin after the allotted time. I turned it back up to boil and let it go for another 10 minutes or so, and it reduced down nicely. My daughter Sophie served as my official taste tester, and she deemed the final product “yum town.” I also thought they tasted good, but they weren’t nearly as crispy as the originals from the HemisFair bakery – probably a result of not rolling them out thin enough and/or frying them at the right temp. That said, even being a bit chewy, they were still delicious. Now if I could just get that smell of fry oil out of my house ….