On a 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 Tía Amelia shared with me the original family recipe for buñuelos. I was more than thrilled!
Yields up to 25 cutout buñuelos
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
Tips~ The reason they use the tea made from the tomatillo husk is that I was told it gives the dough it’s elasticity. I researched the information online a well it said the same thing. But, I believe that the buñuelos would be ok without it.
Place cutouts on a lined cookie sheet and let them set for 20 minutes before frying.
Instead of the round shape, use some of your favorite holiday cookie cutters to cut out some festive shapes. Fry as directed.
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!