Buñuelos are little round savory doughnut-style bites made with cheese. Natilla is a delicious desert made with cinnamon and raisins. Both are popular Christmas treats in Colombia, often served together with hot chocolate on Christmas eve.
- Prep: 15 minutes
- Cook: 1 hour
- Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Recipe serves: 24
- 2 cups grated white farmer's cheese or queso fresco
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1.5 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Make sure that the cheese is grated very finely. You can use a food processor for this.
- Mix the cheese, corn starch, sugar, salt, and egg in a large bowl until well blended.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch diameter balls.
- Heat several inches of oil in a heavy pot to 350 degrees.
- Add the buñuelos, a few at a time, and cook. They will sink to the bottom, then rise and expand. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown and very round.
- Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces panela, or 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup frozen fresh shredded coconut (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Pour the mik into a heavy-bottomed pot. Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk over low heat.
- Grate the panela and add to the milk mixture, or add the brown sugar to the milk mixture. Add the baking soda, cinnamon sticks, and salt.
- Heat the milk/sugar mixture over low heat, stirring, until it starts to thicken. Add the coconut (optional).
- Cook at barely a simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened. Stir constantly so that the corn starch doesn't clump, and the mixture doesn't burn.
- The mixture will get very thick and hard to stir, and turn a medium caramel brown. If you scrape a spatula along the bottom of the pot, you should be able to see the bottom for several seconds before the mixture closes in on itself.
- Remove from heat. Take out the cinnamon sticks and stir in the butter and vanilla (and nuts, if desired).
- Pour mixture into a greased 8 inch square pyrex pan, or in any greased mold. Let cool.
- Cut into 1-2 inch square pieces, sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Serve alongside your Buñuelos a nice Hot Chocolate.