Bunuelos – Baking Chipotle’s First-Ever Dessert At Home
Over the years, more and more Mexican desserts have entered the mainstream, including tres leches cake and churros. Chipotle is taking a page out of this book and putting its own spin on another cultural favorite: bunuelos.
The fast-food chain began serving the fried dough treat in certain stores across the country in May 2017, according to Today.
Bunuelos are a light, but flavorful dessert pastry arts students can perfect in their own kitchen.
“Bunuelos are popular in various locations around the world.”
What is a bunuelo?
While Chipotle is focusing on the Mexican version of the dessert, bunuelos are actually popular in various locations around the world. The second most-well known iteration of the pastry is from Colombia and is round instead of flat. Other places with their own adaptation of the dessert include Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Greece, Turkey and Morocco – among others.
Originated by Spain’s Morisco population, Mexican bunuelos are made from yeasted dough that is deep fried and served to resemble a thin tortilla. As in other cultures, these treats are usually accompanied by some kind of filling or topping and eaten with a syrup called piloncillo. Brown or powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar or guava are all popular accessories to this dessert.
The perfect occasion
Bunuelos can be served for any number of reasons, but they are most often seen during fairs and carnivals in Mexico as well as the Christmas event known as Las Posadas.
Observed from December 16 through December 24, the holiday celebrates the journey Mary and Joseph took to reach the inn in the nativity story of Jesus. Las Posadas translates to lodging. A reenactment of Mary and Joseph searching for shelter accompanies this event, according to Herdez Traditions. Upon entering a house designated as an inn, those celebrating will pray and have a feast where bunuelos may be served.
How do you make bunuelos?
Got a craving for these Mexican pastries after hearing a little about their backstory? Luckily, they’re not super challenging to make in your own kitchen.
The key is to make sure you don’t overwork the dough, according to Bon Appetit. It should be soft, a little sticky and not too stretchy. Be mindful of how long it is in the deep fryer or cast-iron skillet, as bunuelos tend to cook quickly and can puff up if you’re not careful.
To make the dough, you’ll need all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, vegetable shortening and water. These ingredients can be blended most easily using a food processor, although a mixer will also work. Make sure to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before you begin frying it. To avoid puffs in the mixture, use a fork to release the steam from these bubbles. Fry on both sides until they’re golden brown and drizzle your favorite topping to serve!