Easter is almost almost here! My mom is visiting from Spain and my sister and nephews are coming tomorrow. Yaaay!
The traditions are different in Spain. For one, we don’t have the Easter Bunny 🙁 Instead, the godparents give a cake to their godchildren on the Monday following Easter. It is a chocolate cake with chocolate eggs on top. We call the cake La Mona. It’s nice, but I also I like the American tradition. I am preparing an Easter basket for my nephew! I can’t wait for Sunday to come, and watch the kids hunt for Easter eggs.
Also in Spain, we eat “buñuelos de viento” every Wednesday and Friday during the 7 weeks of Lent. These buñuelos are like a fried dough or a sweet fritter, filled with whipped cream.
Historically, buñuelos were meant to be a reward for the sacrifices one made during Lent. During the seven weeks of Lent, some people do not eat anything that comes from warm-blooded animals.
I remember when I was in school, I used to eat them as a dessert every Friday during Lent, when I had lunch at my grandma’s house. And so during this time of the year, and with my family here, I had the desire to have the buñuelos again. This Friday is the last friday of Lent, so it is a perfect time to cook and enjoy them. (But I like to eat them whenever!)
– 7 tablespoons of butter
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 4 small eggs
– 1 cup and 1 teaspoon of water
– Pinch of salt
– 1 teaspoon lemon zest
– Powdered sugar
– 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
Heat the water, butter, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter melts. Once it starts boiling, whisk for a few minutes and add all of the flour at once. Whisk constantly until you have a soft dough ball.
Remove from the heat and add 2 eggs and stir with a wooden spoon until the egg is fully mixed in. Then add the other 2 eggs and keep stirring until that is also well mixed.
Heat the oil on medium heat, either in a pan or in a deep fryer. Once the oil is hot, you can start cooking the dough. To do this, fill a spoon with dough and carefully place it vertically in the pan until the dough is in the oil, then let it slide off your spoon. Repeat for the rest of the dough. Cook until golden brown.
The buñuelos will get bigger in the pan as they cook. That’s why it is so important to have the heat on medium and not on high. If the oil was extremely hot, the dough would be brown on the outside and raw on the inside. Once they’re cooked, place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
Sprinkle on some powdered sugar while still warm.
Let them cool down. When the buñuelos are cool, cut lengthwise (like you would a bagel) but don’t cut all the way through.
Fill with your favorite fresh whipped cream recipe (or Crema Catalana.)