Recipe: Air Fryer Churro Bites with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Have you discovered the magic that is the air fryer yet? Here’s how it works: By circulating both hot air and oil in a small enclosed space, you can get the flavors of fried foods without actually heating a vat of oil.

Enter: air fryer churro bites. Because the classically fried dessert is made with a pâte à choux batter that can either be baked or fried, it’s well-suited for the air-fryer. Here’s how to make them, plus an ingenious sour cream chocolate sauce for dipping.

Handling Pâte à Choux in the Air Fryer

Pâte à choux is a cooked batter that starts with water and butter and involves beating eggs into a boiled flour mixture in order to create a light, airy texture. For pâte à choux desserts like éclairs, this batter is baked until crisp; for churros a similar batter is deep-fried, making for a crunchy outside and soft, creamy interior. Air fryer churros have a texture in between — crisp outside and tender inside.

The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the batter into the air fryer. To get strips like a classic churro stick, you’ll need to pipe the batter directly into the air fryer basket, then snip the batter away from the piping bag. If this maneuver gets tricky, chill the batter between batches or skip the stick shape and do rounds instead.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Dipping Sauce

I can’t remember where I recently discovered this smart sauce, but I love it and make it regularly! You can use any creamy, high-fat dairy from yogurt to sour cream or even crème fraîche.

Air Fryer Churro Bites with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 4 ounces

    finely chopped dark chocolate

  • 1/4 cup

    sour cream or Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Bring the water, butter, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and quickly stir it in with a sturdy wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the flour smells toasted and the mixture is thick, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Using the same wooden spoon, beat the flour mixture until cooled slightly but still warm, about 1 minute of constant stirring. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next.

  3. Transfer the dough to a piping bag or gallon zip-top bag. Let the dough rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce.

  4. Combine the cinnamon and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Microwave the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the sour cream or yogurt and whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.

  5. Preheat the air fryer for 10 minutes at 375°F. Pipe the batter directly into the preheated air fryer, making 6 (3-inch) pieces and piping them at least 1/2-inch apart. Air fry until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer the churros to the bowl of cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Repeat with air frying the remaining batter. Serve the churros warm with the dipping sauce.

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