Buñuelos are fritters (dough rolled out like a tortilla, then deep-fried and covered with sugar and cinnamon) that have been cited in Spain from at least the 1700s. Buñuelos have been served on holidays such as St. John’s Eve (June 23), Christmas and New Year’s.
Mexican cuisine added buñuelos, and today they are frequently served in Tex-Mex restaurants as a dessert, often with ice cream. The Original HemisFair Buñuelos began in San Antonio in 1968. Blue Bell ice cream added a temporary “buñuelos” flavor in 2005.
Buñuelos (alternatively spelled bimuelos, birmuelos, bermuelos, burmuelos, bunyols) are fritters of a mainly Spanish origin. They are a popular snack in many Latin American countries, and in some of them they are traditionally eaten at Christmas. They typically consist of a simple, wheat-based yeast dough, often flavored with anise, that is thinly rolled, cut or shaped into individual pieces, then fried and finished off with a sweet topping. There are different types of buñuelos. Some are made with cheese or with yam or other starchy vegetables, others have different fillings.
In Colombia they are not sweet and are made with a small curd white cheese and formed into doughy balls then fried golden brown. It is a traditional Christmas dish, served along with natilla.
In Cuba they are traditionally twisted in a figure 8 and covered in an anise caramel. The dough contains yuca and malanga.
To make Mexican buñuelos, a yeasted dough with a hint of anise is deep-fried, then drenched in a syrup of brown sugar, cinnamon, and guava. Buñelos are commonly served in Mexico and other Latin American countries with powdered sugar, a cinnamon and sugar topping, or hot sugar cane syrup (piloncillo) and are sold in fairs, carnivals, and Christmas events such as posadas or pastorelas.
In Nicaragua buñuelos are made of yucca. The buñuelos are rolled into balls and deep fried and served with miel. They are eaten year-round, and are a typical side-dish or snack served during holidays.
The Original HemisFair Buñuelos
Since HemisFair, we have used our original recipe to provide the Bunuelos served at Fiesta events and other functions where people are having fun. These sweet and crispy Bunuelos are symbolic of “Good Luck” and have been made from scratch using the finest ingredients. Each Bunuelo is delicious because we make them in small batches using an authentic Mexican recipe. You will know what we mean from your very first bite.
Bunuelos (pronounced boon-WAY-los) are addictive. You won’t be able to stop after the first one. Or the second or third.
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 8-inch flour tortillas
vegetable oil for frying
Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large plastic bag, mixing well. Set aside.
Cut tortillas into 3x2-inch strips. Fry a few at a time in 1 inch of hot oil (375°F) until crisp and golden, turning once. (Or deep-fry in 375°F oil until golden.)
Drain on paper towels. While still warm, place a few at a time in sugar mixture in bag. Shake gently to coat. Store in airtight container. Makes about 5 dozen pieces.
3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar into bowl. Add butter and mix well until the consistency of coarse meal. Beat eggs with milk and pour into flour mixture. Stir together until one mass.
Put dough on board and knead lightly for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Cut dough into balls the size of marbles and let stand for 15 minutes.
Roll each ball into a thin pancake on floured board. Put hole in center and press between waxed paper until ready to fry. Fry in hot fat until puffy and brown. Drain; coat with sugar coating.
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix sugar and cinnamon in paper bag. Reheat Bunuelos in 250 degree oven for 5 minutes, then shake one at a time in bag to coat.
A New Spanish Grammar
by Raymundo del Pueyo, et al.
A Dictionary, Spanish and English and English and Spanish
by Joseph Baretti
London: F. Wingrave
Pg. ? (not paginated)
Buñuelo, f. m. a sort of fritter
Or, Manners in Spain
by Alexander Robert C. Dallas
London: Baldwin, Craddock and Joy
He stopped about the middle of it, and addressed an old woman who was selling buñuelos* at the corner of a turning.
* Buñuelos are light cakes made of batter fried in oil, which the old women who sell them toss into their pans with great dexterity, and allow to remain only a few seconds swimming in the oil. Buñueleras, the women who sell them, generally take their station at the corner of a frequented street, and find a ready custom from the passers by.
A Dictionary of Spanish Proverbs
by John Collins
London: G. and W. B. Whittaker
Buñolero a tus buñuelos.—“Fritter-man to thy fritters.”—Advising, that every one should attend to his own business which he understands.
The Tourist in Spain
by Thomas Roberts
London: Robert Jennings and Co.
When viewed by night, the effect of the illumination, reflected on the waters, together with the innumerable flickering lights of the gipsies vending their buñuelos, a favourite dish of the Spaniards, considered one of their greatest dainties, has something very peculiar and striking .The preparation of these buñuelos, in the hands of the Gitanos, is quite a monopoly, and they are cooked and eaten on the spot. Kneaded by the fingers of “the brown sybil” into a ring about as large again as a dollar, they are next popped into a frying-pan full of oil, and allowed to simmer over a charcoal fire, and then—you may eat them.
Untrodden Spain, and Her Black Country
by Hugh James Rose
London: S. Tinsley
There is no footfall heard, although thousands are thronging the street, for it is covered deep with chaff and straw; every now and then you see a space cleared, and, by the lurid glare of a fire on the ground, you see a cauldron of hissing hot oil, and three omen and a man are plunging snake-like forms of flour and oil into the oil. These are the makers of the famous oil-cakes, called “bunuelos,” which are in great demand at early morn and late evening. They are eaten hot, and, although rich and oily, are far from being unpalatable. Only look at that eager crowd of poor men and women waiting until the last made hissing batch of bunuelos has sufficiently cooled to allow of its being handled!
Making of America
August 1884, Atlantic Monthly, “A Cook’s Tour in Spain,” pg. 202:
...there is nothing so beautiful and wonderful in Seville as Seville. The fair was more correctly a cattle-show, and its chief local peculiarity was a smell of frying, which quenched the fragrance of the groves and gardens for half a mile around, and which proceeded from the production of millions of fritters like little doughnuts, called bunuelos.
Curiosities of Popular Customs and of Rites, Ceremonies, Observances, and Miscellaneous Antiquities
by William S. Walsh
Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott Company
In Spain, as John Hay tells us, St. John’s Eve is celebrated with noisy festivities by the light of moon and stars and gas. A feature of the occasion are the buñuelos, or fritters, which are cooked and consumed on this night to the number of hundreds of thousands in Madrid alone. All over the Prado may be seen the buñuelo-stands. A great caldron of boiling oil is hung over a fire, beside it is a mighty bowl of dough. “The buñolero with the soft precision of machinery dips his hand into the bowl, and makes a delicate ring of the tough dough, which he throws into the bubbling caldron. It remains but a few seconds, and his grimy acolyte picks it out with a long wire and throws it on the tray for sale. They are eaten warm, the droning cry continually sounding, ‘Buñuelos! Calientitos!’ it is like a vast gitano-camp. The hurrying crowd which is going nowhere, the blazing fires, the cries of the venders, the songs of the majos under the (Pg. 570—ed.) great trees of the Paseo, the purposeless hurly-burly, and, above, the steam of the boiling oil and the dust raised by the myriad feet, form together a striking and vivid picture.” (JOHN HAY, Castilian Days, pp. 107, 108.)
23 June 1922, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. 16:
There, in the centre of the Pardo, the St. John’s fire burns beneath a caldron of oil. The bunuelos, a Spanish version of the doughnut, are to be dispensed. BY the side of a mighty bowl of dough stands the bunolero. With deft fingers he throws in his fritter and it is fished out, done to a turn, with a long wire.
Cooking...South of the Rio Grande
by George Luther Nelson
San Antonio, TX: The Nolan Printing Company
Bunuelos (Fried Puffs)
1/4 pint pasteurized milk
4 tablespoons flour, well sifted
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons shortening
In a pan place the milk, salt and butter and when it reaches the boiling point add the sifted flour. While over a low fire mix in the flour thoroughly with a spatula. Remove from the fire when the flour has been well mixed. Add one egg at a time mixing well until you have mixed in all the eggs. Be sure and mix each egg well before adding another.
In a sauce pan placed over the fire place the shortening and when it is hot drop a small portion of the mixture from a tablespoon and let it fry well. Remove and put on a strainer or brown paper in order to remove the excess grease.
23 November 1941, New York (NY) Times, “Christmas in Mexico,” pg. XX4:
The hilarious posadas start about Dec. 15 and continue to Christmas Day, when hostesses spread their tables with bunuelos, sweet tamales, and rompope, the latter a glorified eggnog.
13 April 1960, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 3, pg. 5:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 cup water
7/8 cup sifted flour
Fat for deep fat frying
Combine the butter, sugar, lemon rind and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the flour all at once, beating hard. Cook until the dough leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat. Add 1 egg at a time, beating hard after each addition and until the dough is smooth and shiny.
Heat the fat to 375 F. in a very deep saucepan. Drop the batter by the teaspoon into the fat, fry until light brown, approximately five minutes, drain.
Serve with the following sauce: 1 cup dark brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Combine the sugar and flour in a saucepan. Add the water, stirring to a smooth paste. Cook over medium heat until the mixture becomes thick, stirring occasionally.
Add the cream, butter and vanilla, mixing well. Pour over the fritters and serve either hot or cold.
22 October 1964, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Bunuelos Fritters In Latin Accent,” section 5, pg. 13:
Bunuelos de queso are cheese fritters with a Latin flavor. Mix well together 1 1/2 cups of unseasoned mashed potatoes, 1 beaten egg, 1/4 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, 1/8 teaspoon each of ground black pepper and garlic powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika and 1/4 cup of fine dry bread crumbs.
Drop from a teaspoon into 365 F. deep fat. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot. Makes 32 fritters, or eight servings.
20 March 1966, New York (NY) Times, “Setting A Mexican Table” by Craig Claiborne, pg. 112:
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Deep fat or oil for frying. (...)
23 August 1970, New York (NY) Times, “San Antonio’s River Walk: Fiestas With a Tex-Mex Touch” by Ora Dodd, pg. XX23:
Here you can order ham with hot biscuits, barbecue sandwiches, corn on the cob, or choose from items all San Antoinians take for granted: tamales, tacos, nachos (melted cheese snacks) and bunuelos (paper-thin pastry fried and dusted with sugar and cinnamon).
24 November 1977, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Mexican Christmas dinner stars multi-colored tamales” by Shirley Gallina, seciton F, pg. 3:
And the special dessert is called Sweet Bunuelos, a crisp, cinnamon-flavored pancake served with a syrup.
Christmas in Texas
by Elizabeth Silverthorne
College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press
The aroma and taste of fresh buñuelos are part of the Christmas memories of Mexican Texans of all ages. Sometimes called Mexican doughnuts, buñuelos may be either puffy or flattened depending on how the dough is handled and on how much baking powder is used.
3/4 cup milk
4 T. butter
1 T. aniseed, slightly crushed
1 t. salt
2 beaten eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
cooking oil for deep-fat frying
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon (...)
29 March 1991, New York (NY) Times, Mesa Grill restaurant review by Bryan Miller, pg. A12:
Desserts are better than anything I have had within 100 miles of the Rio Grande: bittersweet chocolate cake, a ripe raspberry custard, gingerbread ice cream sandwich and buñuelos (deep-fried dough) implanted in vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.
Cooking Texas Style: Tenth Anniversary Edition
by Candy Wagner and Sandra Marquez
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
Buñuelos are a crisp fried pastry covered with cinnamon and sugar. Traditionally they are made fro ma sweet dough which is formed into small balls, rolled wafer-thin, and deep-fried. A variation of these are Buñuelos Rosettes, which are similar to timbales, made with a sweet, thin batter and a rosette iron. Whichever recipe you use, be sure to make a big batch, for they are light and airy and melt in your mouth like cotton candy. Store them in an air-tight container and they will keep for several weeks.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
oil for frying
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (...)
The Food of Texas: Authentic Recipes from the Lone Star State
by Caroline Stuart
North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing
Buñuelos and Mexican Hot Chocolate
A Mexican specialty, buñuelos are thin, crisp, slightly sweet pastries sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Served with Mexican hot chocolate, they are a San Antonio tradition at Christmas and New Years. If you yearn for them at other times of the year and don’t want to make them yourself, Buñuelos, Inc. is a San Antonio factory where you can buy them year-round. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons oil, plus vegetable oil for frying
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (...)
Junk Food Blog
Bunuelos Ice Cream
11/08/2005 09:20:00 PM
The all new Southwest Flavor from Blue Bell Ice Cream is in the unique flavor of Buñuelos. Buñuelos are traditional Mexican desserts that are like a crispy pastry covered in cinnamon and sugar (and sometimes honey). Blue Bell Ice Cream combined little pieces of this traditional Mexican dessert with cinnamon flavored ice cream and a praline cinnamon sauce swirl.
This flavor is only around for the holidays, so visit your local Blue Bell Ice Cream retailer and try some before it’s gone.
Texas Monthly: Recipe Swap
Deep Fried Ice Cream Buñuelos
Date: 06-03-07 07:20
3 c. Ice Cream ...your choice of flavor
3 oz. Nuts..crushed -roll rolling pin over nuts between wax paper
1/4 c. Brown Sugar
2 - 12” Flour Tortillas
6 - 6” Flour Tortillas
4 large Eggs
2 T. Sugar
2 T. Cinnamon
Honey to drizzle over about 1/2 c. or more
1 T. Powdered Sugar for dusting or little more if needed
Line shallow baking pan with wax paper-put in freezer 5 minutes. Using number 12 ice cream scoop- dip out 6 ice cream balls-3 oz. each. Transfer to pan. Freeze ice cream balls- covered until very hard 3 hrs. Combine nuts - brown sugar in shallow pan. Roll ice cream balls in mixture while pressing lightly to coat. Cover-freeze until very hard-1 hour. Food processor crumble two 12 in. tortillas -mix together with cinnamon- white sugar. Set aside.
In another bowl-beat eggs lightly - set aside. Remove ice cream balls from freezer - dip each ice cream ball in egg- letting excess drip off - roll balls in tortilla mixture. Save extra egg-n-tortilla mix in refrigerator till after next step. Freeze balls again for at least 1 hour or more. Repeat dipping - coating procedure with reserved egg -n- tortilla mixture. Drizzle honey over each ball. Freeze 3 hours - up to 8 hours. Making bu�uelos deep fry the 6 inch tortillas in vegetable oil heated at 375� F for 20-30 seconds or until golden brown -drain. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon n sugar while still hot. Fry coated ice cream balls for 1 1/2 minutes -in batches of 2. Dust with powdered sugar. Place on top of bu�uelos - serve immediately. Serves 6
Holidays in South Texas
Web Posted: 12/20/2007 12:41 PM CST
San Antonio Express-News
From some vantage points, it’s hard to tell a posada from a pastor, or how Elf Louise and Pancho Claus fit in the yuletide family.
South Texas has its own set of traditions that may be unfamiliar to those new to this part of the world.
Some may wonder what’s in the orangey object wrapped in cornhusks, or why you’ve been offered 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve. Here are some explanations.
Buñuelos — Buñuelos aren’t as well-known as tamales but are another holiday food tradition with links to Spain and many other cultures. The thin, fried pastry is made of yeast dough rolled out like a tortilla and deep-fried. While still hot, it’s coated with sugar and cinnamon. The Original HemisFair Buñuelos at 108 Auditorium Circle has been cranking out buñuelos since 1968. A manager describes business as brisk this time of year, selling 150 to 200 bags — each bag has 22 buñuelos — a day. Mini-buñuelos and buñuelo cups in which ice cream can be served are also available.!,!
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, January 25, 2008 • Permalink