Food editor, host and cookbook author Rick Martinez helped kick off the 12 Days of Christmas cookies with “Good Morning America. ”
He shared a sweet recipe from Northern Mexico that his grandmother made every New Year’s Eve, a dough fritter along with cinnamon sugar, plus his hot chocolate with an added kick.
3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground canela or cinnamon
1 teaspoons (4g) sea salt
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (80g) vegetable shortening, plus more for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar plus canela until completely combined. Set aside until ready to use.
In a measuring cup, whisk salt into 3/4 cup warm water until dissolved and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and whisk to combine. Toss shortening into flour and smash together. Squeeze the shortening into the flour in between your fingers and palms until it’s completely incorporated; no clumps of shortening should remain and the flour should resemble damp sand.
Pour in almost all of the warm salted water, leaving about a tablespoon in the measuring cup and mix with your hands until a shaggy dough forms. If dough seems dry, add remaining tablespoons of drinking water, or more, until dough comes together and is soft and pliable but not sticky. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface plus knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Wrap the dough within plastic or reusable food wrap of your choice plus let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to relax the dough.
Divide dough into 12 balls (about 50g each). Roll out each of the balls to an 8-inch round on a clean, flat work surface, working with one ball one at a time. As you roll out the dough rounds, keep the remaining balls covered with a kitchen towel.
Inside a medium heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat, heat 3 cups (600g) of vegetable shortening (the melted shortening should be about 1-inch deep) until an instant read thermometer reads 375°F. When the oil is hot, carefully lay the money rounds into the hot oil and fry, gently pushing the edges down into the oil to coat the top surface of the buñuelos. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Flip and fry the second side until golden brown and crispy, about one – 2 minutes more. Drain well and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. While the buñuelos are still very hot, sprinkle them generously with the reserved cinnamon sugar.
Repeat the frying process with remaining dough rounds until you’ve fried all 12 buñuelos; add additional shortening to pan for frying if necessary. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar on the buñuelos as they finish frying.
Serve immediately with a mug of spicy hot chocolates (recipe below).
Spicy Hot Chocolate
4 mugs whole milk
1 three-inch stick canela or Cassia bark
1 chile cascabel or 2 chiles de árbol; or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground cayenne pepper
8 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate (preferably 70% or higher), chopped
1/4 mug piloncillo or dark brown sugars
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, bring milk, cinnamon, and chile(s) to a simmer. Cover and stir the mixture occasionally, making sure milk doesn’t boil, until cinnamon is very floral and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
Whisk in chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and salt and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.