My favorite New Year’s Eve memories include one spent with my in-laws in a small country town in South Texas. We went to the Knights of Columbus hall, where we joined couples of all ages dancing in a big circle to Mexican polkas and boleros. The men wore cowboy hats and the women danced in high heels. Most of the songs were about love, but I remember a few about chickens.
When we came back to the house, my mother-in-law, Conchita, fried up delicious buñuelos; orange and cinnamon scented flour tortillas rolled in cinnamon sugar. We’ve made them every New Year’s morning since.
This year I added orange zest to the dough to amp up the flavor and fried them in coconut oil instead of canola oil. They were the best ever!
Makes 15 buñuelos
Cinnamon powder, divided. 1 tsp for dough and 1 Tb for coating
Sugar, divided. 1 tsp for dough and ½ cup for coating
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tb butter at room temperature
½ cup orange juice from one large orange
Finely grated zest from one large orange – approximately 1/2 tsp
1 cup coconut oil for frying
Mix 1 Tb cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish for coating the buñuelos and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp sugar in a large bowl and whisk well. Mix in butter and orange zest. Mix in orange juice and knead until it forms a ball. Place on a floured board and knead for 5 minutes.
Heat oil in heavy skillet until hot. Place several layers of paper towels on a plate.
Carefully fry buñuelos, one at a time. Fry the first side until it puffs up, or about 8-10 seconds. Turn it over and briefly fry the other side until it stops puffing up. Using tongs, hold the buñuelo at an angle above the pan for a few seconds to drain excess oil. Place on the paper towels to soak up oil for a few minutes,
then roll in cinnamon sugar. Excellent with coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Happy New Year!