Ah, the churro. The fancy Spanish counterpart to carnival funnel cakes. Does anyone else have fond memories of begging your mom to buy you a churro from Costco at the checkout lane? If so, then you understand why this new product from Trader Joe’s is so exciting.
Trader Joe’s Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros have the potential to help me complete my “winter body”, which basically just means gain 7 more pounds and only wear bathrobes until April. On their website, Trader Joe’s explains that they’ve always wanted to sell churros but had to wait until they found a vendor who made them without a bunch of preservatives and chemicals. This seems pretty silly to me, because the kind of people that eat churros from a bag are probably not concerned with the quality of ingredients. The last thing I care about when I’m stuffing fried dough down my gullet is whether or not the sugar was treated humanely.
Cooking these churros seems simple enough: 6-7 minutes in a hot oven, and as you’ll notice, I took the readers’ advice and finally invested in some parchment paper. (You fancy jerks owe me $3.75.) A serving size is a few sticks, so naturally I poured myself half the bag. Most churros look like your typical European (long and slender), but these churros look like your typical American (short and wide). Once done cooking, you are instructed to “sprinkle” the cinnamon sugar “on top”. I took a more liberal approach and “dumped” the cinnamon sugar “everywhere”.
So what’s the verdict? Trader Joe’s Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros are damn tasty. They have everything you want in a churro, which is to say they are made of fried dough and have a mountain of sugar on top. The outside is crispy and the inside is delightfully soft and chewy, which gives them an authentic taste. (Note: if you’re looking for a more non-traditional route, Oreo has you covered.) The cinnamon sugar topping sticks pretty well inside the churro grooves, though it’s not quite the explosion of sugary yumminess that Costco churros give you. To remedy this, I ended up pouring the cinnamon sugar packet in my mouth and then jamming some churros in at the same time. It worked well, other than the whole shame thing. I also tried drizzling some chocolate syrup on them, and that was a huge success. Arguably the best thing about churros is how amenable they are to dipping sauces: chocolate, caramel, honey, pecan pie filling, oatmeal, salad, the list is endless. Anything you can think of will probably taste great with a churro sticking out of it.
The only real downside to these fun treats is the same flaw that faces traditional churros: they taste like garbage once they’ve cooled. The oil flavor becomes grossly prominent, and suddenly you’re forced to face the truth about what a trash monster you’ve become. You can approach this as a fun challenge instead of a problem, though. And that is the story of how I ate 12 mini churros in under 4 minutes.
If you can’t make it to a Costco or if your mom refuses to buy you candy at the checkout counter anymore, Trader Joe’s Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros are a great alternative. They are a unique enough snack that they’ll impress the Spanish ladies at your local quincenera, but the flavors are familiar enough to appeal to even the whitest of white people. You really can’t go wrong here unless you let them get cold, in which case you’ve gone terribly, terribly wrong. Winter body, here I come!
Costco’s Churro Rating: 9 out of 10
How Much I Feel Like A Trash Monster Rating: 6 out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10