The Saffron Girl » A Paleo-Primal food & travel blog from Spain

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal

As I was frying these churros, my house was engulfed by the smells of the oil and the dough that transported me to the traditional churrerias in Spain. Eating churros in Spain equates to eating pancakes in certain countries… it’s not just about the  food, but the rituals that accompany it.

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For me, it reminds me of the many times my mother, my aunt and I would meet up in Sevilla to go shopping, first stopping to have a “churro con chocolate” breakfast around the corner from my great-aunt’s apartment in San Gonzalo. We still indulge in some churros with our afternoon coffee when we go shopping; but as we all see less of each other, it only happens when we are together in Sevilla.

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However, and this is a big one for me, I always have gotten an upset stomach after eating them. I don’t know if it’s the dough (made with wheat flour) or possibly the oils in which they are fried. But it hardly ever fails. So when I eat them out now, I usually have only one (and yes, I admit dipped in white, refined sugar, or dipped in chocolate as pictured below).

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But as I’m on a quest to Paleolise many of my favourite Spanish indulgences, I finally tackled the churro.

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My first attempt was based on the recipe for buñuelos (a fried-dough pastry, similar to choux) that I found in a book I bought on our last visit, called “Come Sin Gluten y Disfruta” by Begoñia Naveira. Yet, the dough was raw and still quite sticky inside after frying and baking. And honestly, it was a slippery glob when handling.

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As the process is slightly labour-intensive, I thought of giving up and trying it another day. But then my ambition and determination got the better of me, and I tried again. The secret to my success is the addition of coconut flour and altering the amounts of the ingredients a bit.

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These truly taste and feel like the real churros from Spain. I tried two ways: frying and baking. And while frying is the authentic way to make them, especially in olive oil, using a different oil (with a healthier smoke point, such as lard or coconut oil) will make them a healthier treat. If you want the real taste, though, frying them in olive oil is the way to go. And after all, this is a treat, so just don’t over-indulge!

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As for the baking: I like the results, but it’s more of a choux pastry then, instead of a churro. So… this recipe lends itself to more experimentation and to making some “Neapolitans” filled with cream and some delightful choux!

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I also froze some of the fried churros to see how they would “work” the next day. I took them out of the freezer, and stuck a few directly into the oven at 180C (350F) and heated them up for about 5 minutes (probably effectively 3 once the oven reached the temperature). They were delicious! I would say they were even better the next day!

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I left the choux-like mounds (pictured above) at room temperature overnight and they were also very nice the next day. They held their shape and texture, and the inside was still perfect.

And one last word of praise to this recipe: they do not seep in the oil when frying. The inside stays nice and dry, which is a really good thing since the real churros actually sometimes get oily inside.

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So go ahead and give this a try! I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Personally, I’m ecstatic that this worked and I know I can create more things with this basic recipe. 😉

¡que aproveches!

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) butter, measured when slightly softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea/himalayan salt
  • 33g (1/4 cup) coconut flour (scoop and scrape method)
  • 66g (1/2 cup) arrowroot powder (scoop and scrape method)
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Be prepared for some intense stirring and a bit of a workout. But these churros are worth it.
  2. NOTE: You will notice that the amounts are given in both metric and U.S. And although the amounts are not an exact conversion, they both work. I’ve tried it both ways to ensure both are foolproof. Don’t “mix and match”; either stick to metric or U.S. when making this recipe.
  3. I recommend preparing and measuring everything out before starting, as you will have to move rapidly and will not have time to measure once you’ve commenced the process.
  4. Also, crack the eggs in individual bowls before hand. (I always crack eggs separately when cooking/baking to ensure I don’t throw away a batch because of one bad egg.)
  5. Prepare your piping bag and tip as well. I used the Wilton 1M.
  6. Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder and salt together in one small bowl.
  7. Over low heat, in a medium pot, melt the butter in the water and when it starts to bubble, immediately, still over low heat, dump in the flours all at once.
  8. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until a ball is formed, which will be in about 30 seconds or less. (The dough will become a ball as you stir and will be sticky in itself but not stick to the pot. See photos attached.)
  9. Keep stirring for about 1 minute in total.
  10. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. (I actually timed this.)
  11. Add one egg at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
  12. The dough will slightly come apart when you first add each egg, but once you stir long enough, it comes back together, although never as dry as like in the beginning. (The dough starts to get noticeably stickier after egg number two.)
  13. Once all the eggs have been incorporated and the dough is well blended, spoon the dough into a piping bag.
  14. For Spanish looking churros, you’ll want to use a star or round tip. (Churros in Spain are typically either star shaped – pictured- or long round pieces.)
  15. Heat your oil of preference in a deep pot or a deep fryer (for an authentic Spanish taste, use olive oil).
  16. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully pipe the dough into the hot oil. You can use a pair of scissors to help you cut off the dough. (Be careful not to burn yourself or cause splatter.)
  17. Make either long or curled shapes.
  18. Fry turning over with a tong until golden brown on each side.
  19. Note: as the oil gets warmer, the dough will turn darker quicker, but still needs to be cooked through.
  20. Remove the churros from the oil with the tong and place on a plate prepared with paper towel (to absorb the extra oil).
  21. Serve immediately with thick, sweetened hot chocolate or dip in some coconut sugar.
  22. This dough also worked well in the oven, for a “healthier” version:
  23. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  24. Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet.
  25. Pipe out desired shapes. Depending on what shape you choose, the baking time will have to be adjusted.
  26. For churro shaped rounds or “sticks”, bake about 8-10 minutes, turning over half way.
  27. For choux shaped mounds, bake 15 minutes. (These are also good the next day, stored at room temperature.)
  28. You can also freeze the fried/baked dough and reheat in the oven at 180C (350F) for about 5 minutes.

 

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  • JJ - 84thand3rdAugust 16, 2013 - 17:05

    I love that you did this, the dough sounds simply brilliant, definitely filing away for later!!ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 16, 2013 - 20:22

      Thank JJ! You know, I should’ve waited and included them in the “cookie” SABH. I have to come up with something soon!ReplyCancel

  • Nami | Just One CookbookAugust 17, 2013 - 00:33

    GREAT recipe! Kids and I love churros and I certainly hope to try a real authentic one. A lot of people prefer “baked” so I try baking some food which we (Japanese) deep fry, but usually the result is not the same (if you know authentic, it’s kind of totally different thing to them). I can control my portion but I love to deep fry this for sure and enjoy it fully! Looks so good!!!ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 17, 2013 - 08:24

      Thank you Nami! I’m very glad you like it. I agree for the authentic feel and taste, they really have to be fried (and in olive oil). But the dough works well as a choux in the oven too.ReplyCancel

  • ChristineAugust 17, 2013 - 21:26

    What kind of oil did you use? Would coconut oil work?ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 17, 2013 - 22:16

      Hi Christine, I used olive oil. But of course coconut oil will work.ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for sharing this recipe!ReplyCancel

  • MonniaAugust 18, 2013 - 05:16

    Wow sounds fab! I’m going to try it. They look so authentic. BTW #18 and #19, I think you mean “tongs” and not “thong”. hehehe I’d love to see someone remove it with a thong. Sorry that really made me chuckle! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 18, 2013 - 06:58

      Hahah…thank you for catching that! opps! I can just imagine the “thong” too. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Ffion (Chocolate and Blueberries)August 19, 2013 - 14:16

    My boyfriend absolutely adores churros. I am going to surprise him with the recipe sometime, thank you for the extra girlfriend points! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 19, 2013 - 14:35

      Happy to hear that! Sounds like a fun surprise! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Sereina ChariseAugust 20, 2013 - 21:34

    Awesome! Churros always bring back fond memories of trips to Disneyland for me. I have dairy allergies, but would still love to make these. Do you think I could substitute the butter for something else?ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 21, 2013 - 06:54

      Hi Sereina, Yes, I think they could, although I’ve not tried them with anything but butter. I would suggest coconut or olive oil, or maybe even lard? If you make them, please let me know what the results are. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Elvia RasconAugust 21, 2013 - 07:15

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!! Being Mexicana I grew up with Churros, they are one of my favorite foods that I miss. Can’t wait to try this out!!

    GraciasReplyCancel

  • KaremAugust 24, 2013 - 17:30

    I love churros, but do not eat them because they are not the healthiest choice, but i will definitely try your recipe, i just have one question, how much oil do you use when frying them??? are they completely covered in oil, or just a little bit?????ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 24, 2013 - 19:52

      I completely cover them in oil. You can use a deep fryer, if you have one. And for a healthier choice, fry in coconut oil. Let me know how you like them. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Label FreeAugust 27, 2013 - 21:59

    Hi. Those looks delicious. Can I replace the butter for coconut oil ??? I HOPE SO.ReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlAugust 27, 2013 - 22:54

      I haven’t tried it with coconut oil. If you do, please let me know what the results are like. 😉ReplyCancel

  • MelanieNovember 15, 2013 - 10:53

    Going to Seville in one months time! Will try them there! Thanks looks yummyReplyCancel

    • thesaffrongirlNovember 15, 2013 - 14:35

      Oh cool! Enjoy!! However, these in the recipe are grain free.. so it’s a plus, if you do eat grains. 😉ReplyCancel

  • AmberNovember 30, 2013 - 04:40

    Thank you for this recipe!!!! We made these tonight and they were absolutely fantastic. Churros are a family favorite (we’re in Southern California and everywhere) and thought after cutting out gluten it would be something we’d never enjoy again. We substituted coconut oil for the butter and it was perfect. Kids said they were the best churros ever. Take that, Disneyland.ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlNovember 30, 2013 - 06:58

      Thank you Amber! I’m very happy to read your comment and that you and your family enjoyed the churros! Debra xxReplyCancel

  • JasonNovember 30, 2013 - 16:59

    These look fantastic! I’ve never worked with arrowroot powder – would it be anything like tapioca flour? I may try just to see how they come out. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlDecember 2, 2013 - 12:06

      Yes, Jason, they are almost the same and interchangeable. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ PaleofoodiekitchenDecember 13, 2013 - 22:48

    I was browsing online for Paleo churro recipes and I’m glad to have stumbled up on your site! I love Sevilla too and visit some friends there every few years so your post about the churros con chocolate brought back wonderful memories of that delicious treat. I will try your recipe and hopefully it will come out as good as yours 🙂ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlDecember 14, 2013 - 08:28

      Hola Jenny!
      Yes, Sevilla is a wonderful city and los churros con chocolate are delicious! 😉 I actually like mine better since I know how they are made and that they are a “healthier” version. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, when you make them. Un saludo, Debra xxReplyCancel

  • nandoMarch 2, 2014 - 16:08

    awesome recipe! I’m on the keto diet so I was wondering if there was anything I can substitute the arrowroot powder with – that is lower in carbs? thanks in advance!ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlMarch 10, 2014 - 19:19

      Hi Nando,
      I’m not familiar with the keto diet. However, tapioca powder can be substituted for the arrowroot. I’m not sure how they compare on carbs though, but they are both tubers and high in starches. Hope that helps! Debra xx

      PS: I treat sweet things, such as the churros, as a treat. So, I only have them every once in a while and don’t count the carbs in that case. Not sure if you do the same?ReplyCancel

  • maria teresa marbanApril 4, 2014 - 12:33

    saludos, amo los churros y tambien me caen mal aunque creo mas que es la leche del chocolate te dejo esta receta a ver que tal, aunque yo no la he probado http://www.venezuelatuya.com/cocina/churrosbatatasalsachocolate.htmReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlApril 7, 2014 - 12:57

      Hola Maria Teresa,
      Suenan los churros de batata muy buenos. Los tendré que probar. Espero que pruebes tambien los de mi receta y ya me diras si te gustan! Debra xxReplyCancel

  • Stephanie JutrasApril 10, 2014 - 20:01

    OMG!!!!! Churros are my boyfriend and I favourite dessert ! I cooked them just minutes ago, and we already have eaten half of them haha! Thanks for this excellent recipe 🙂ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlApril 11, 2014 - 05:54

      Hi Stephanie!
      I’m happy to hear you both liked them! It’s my pleasure that you enjoyed the churros and the recipe. <3 DebraReplyCancel

  • […] Paleo Churros […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Paleo Churros […]ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah MarionJune 6, 2014 - 02:45

    Can’t wait to try this for our Tapas & Paella game night this weekend!!! Curious, about how many churros does this recipe make?ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlJune 7, 2014 - 15:36

      Hi Rebekah,
      Sorry! I don’t remember how many this makes but it was quite a few. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • Lorrie CartagoJuly 22, 2014 - 21:46

    I just got back from Spain a couple of days ago. I straight up LOVE churros and having authentic Spanish churros from actual churrerias was amazing. I broke paleo a whole lot in Spain I won’t lie, I have my cheat day once a week but I definitely had a few extra cheat days while I was there. As delicious as the food was my stomach definitely didn’t appreciate the amount of wheats and grains I had and I needed to get back on paleo stat. This right here though…makes me very happy. I am overly ecstatic that these paleo churros exist and can’t way to try them!ReplyCancel

  • BiancaOctober 24, 2014 - 15:41

    Delish! Baked or fried! We added diced apples to our baked ones and made a maple glaze to put on afterward. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlOctober 24, 2014 - 17:07

      Dear Bianca, I’m so happy to hear you liked the recipe. I love the addition of apples and the syrup! Debra xxReplyCancel

  • JaniceNovember 2, 2014 - 21:34

    I made these this weekend for dessert for our ladies bridge night. It was a Spanish themed dinner. They turned out great! Since we had a few people not eating dairy, I took out the butter and used Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening instead. It worked fine. There were none left! I also added cinnamon, coconut sugar and maple syrup. The batch was enough for 4 people for dessert plus my eating some along the way, you know for quality control! Thanks so much for the detailed instructions.ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlNovember 3, 2014 - 00:06

      Hi Janice,
      I’m very happy to hear that you and your friends enjoyed this recipe and the Paleo churros! I’m glad to hear that you tried it with an alternative to butter and that it worked. Plus the additions of cinnamon, the coconut sugar and syrup must have made them scrumptious! Thank you for sharing your experience. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • LauraNovember 16, 2014 - 10:26

    No me lo puedo creer! Ummm! Si hasta parece que los estoy oliendo. Llevo con antojo de churros desde hace un mes que montaron la churrería en el parque de los niños (¿te puedes imaginar que tortura de tardes?). Ahora ya puedo darme el capricho. Bieeeen!!! Muchas gracias por la receta. Y besines desde EspañaReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlNovember 16, 2014 - 16:49

      Hola Laura!
      jajaja… gracias a ti por leer el blog e interesarte la receta. Espero que te guste, es super versátil y sirve para mas cosas que los churros. Y si, soy de España, vamos andaluza. 😉 Besos, DebraReplyCancel

  • annaNovember 20, 2014 - 15:31

    will try making a vegan version of this (using flax eggs) today! thank you :))ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlNovember 20, 2014 - 19:03

      I’d love to hear how it turns out! Please let me know. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • LeahJanuary 12, 2015 - 10:46

    I can’t wait to try these! My hubby and I love churros but I too am no good with wheat flour! I just thought to google ‘paleo churros’. Ding ding ding!
    If you haven’t tried it yet, check out Quirky Cooking’s ‘dulce de leche’- dairy, refined sugar and gluten free! ¡Dios mío! Amazing!ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlJanuary 12, 2015 - 13:02

      I hope you like them! Debra xxReplyCancel

  • JessJanuary 13, 2015 - 19:50

    Helloo!!! I’ve just moved to Spain from New Zealand and I’m still working out where to get all my usual cooking ingredients for my paleo and LCHF antics 🙂 I was wondering where you get your coconut flour from or if there are any cheap websites you’d recommend? I’m just down in Marbella but have been to Sevilla, such a great spot 🙂 TIA!!ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlJanuary 15, 2015 - 13:02

      Hi Jess,
      I got coconut flour from Eva Muerde la Manzana. I’m still searching for more vendors myself. 😉 Debra xxReplyCancel

  • VeronicaFebruary 2, 2015 - 15:44

    is there a substitute for the coconut flour? I am really allergic to coconut but I would love to make these for my dadReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlFebruary 5, 2015 - 12:58

      Hi Veronica,
      There really isn’t a substitute for coconut flour for this recipe, but if you maybe you could try experimenting and see if a nut flour works? Please let me know! I’d love to hear. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • SaraFebruary 5, 2015 - 11:42

    Hello!

    I was looking for a churros recipe for a long time ago and this is perfect. But for complete the dish I need hot chocolate :P. So, do you know any good hot chocolate recipe for these delicious churros?
    Saludos desde España!ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlFebruary 5, 2015 - 12:57

      Hi Sara,
      Yes, I make hot chocolate with my recipe for homemade Paleo chocolate and just add coconut milk to my liking (more or less how thick I prefer it). It’s delicious and healthy. Here’s the recipe (just omit the chili):http://thesaffrongirl.com/chili-chocolate/
      Debra xxReplyCancel

  • LOUISE WHITEQFebruary 23, 2015 - 04:02

    I DID SOMETHING WRONG. MY DOUGH WAS TO RUNNY TO PIPE OUT.
    I DON’T KNOW WHAT I DID WRONG. HOW THICK SHOULD THE DOUGH BE.
    ANY SUGGESTIONS. THE FLAVOR WAS GREAT I JUS SPOONED THEM IN THE
    OIL AND FRIED THEM. THEY CAME OUT LIKE A PANCAKE.ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlFebruary 23, 2015 - 12:10

      Hi Louise,

      Did you follow the directions exactly and knead the dough as instructed (it cannot be done quickly and none of the steps can be eliminated)? Also did you use only one of the measuring systems, not mix and match? All these factors are important for the dough to come out perfect. I’d love to hear back from you, when you make them again. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • Michelle P.March 7, 2015 - 15:39

    WOW!!!! This is all I can say about these churros. We use to live in Rota, Spain and we do miss them a lot but my daughter became diagnosed about a year after living overseas. I used gluten free flour from Jules and they were so light and fluffy from the pan. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • BettyApril 7, 2015 - 14:52

    I substituted coconut oil for the butter, added aTbs or 2 of honey and cooked them as waffles, fluffier than many other paleo recipes I’ve tried! They were a hit with fresh maple syrup.ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlApril 7, 2015 - 14:57

      Wow, Betty, what a cool idea, as waffles! Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • MarkJuly 5, 2015 - 06:46

    Paleo is a stupid concept in the first place, but calling this recipe “paleo” is simply ridiculous. Nothing about this is “paleo.”ReplyCancel

  • Katheryn TanDecember 26, 2015 - 12:18

    I had just used the exact recipe , but substituted the 2 flours with just 1 single flour ~ GF low GI ladang lima all-purpose cassava flour. Needless to say, everyone was loving it! Thank you for your recipe!ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlDecember 26, 2015 - 21:41

      Hi Katheryn,

      I’m happy to hear that it works with cassava flour! I’ve yet to try it and am eager to do so. I guess I may start off with the churros. Thank you for trying it. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • Hannah BridgeMarch 2, 2016 - 21:08

    Hi, sorry to disturb. Thanks for the brilliant recipe. I was wondering if you have ever tried shaping the raw dough into say, doughnuts, and then freezing so that 1 or 2 could be whipped out and fried at a later time?
    many thanks, Hannah xReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlMarch 2, 2016 - 22:43

      Hi Hannah,

      No, I didn’t freeze the dough. I did however make éclairs in the oven and it worked great. I am very eager to revisit this recipe and make more things with it! If you try freezing, please let me know. I think it would work well as it holds up well…
      Debra xxReplyCancel

  • boApril 12, 2016 - 22:54

    Can arrowroot be subbed for patato starch or zantham gum or tapioca powder?ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlApril 12, 2016 - 22:59

      Hi Bo,

      I’ve never used potato starch or xanthan gum. However, tapioca powder is generally interchangeable with arrowroot powder. I’d give it a try.

      Debra xxReplyCancel

    • Angie SmithMay 27, 2016 - 09:40

      I did some research and tapioca flour and arrowroot flour are just different names for the same thing. I used a bag labelled as tapioca and they were perfect xReplyCancel

      • The Saffron GirlMay 31, 2016 - 12:22

        Hi Angie,

        They are interchangeable but they come from different plants. Tapioca is made from mandioca/cassava/yuca plant (all the same) and arrowroot is made from the Arrowroot plant. This may help: http://www.foodsubs.com/Tubers.htmlReplyCancel

        • Angela SmithMay 31, 2016 - 18:12

          Ooh thank you 🙂 I should have researched a little more xReplyCancel

  • Angie SmithMay 27, 2016 - 09:37

    I just made my first batch and I don’t think I had the dough constancy perfect this time but they were amazing! Living in England, I’ve never tasted a churro before but these paleo ones have set the bar high 🙂 I fried them in coconut oil and dusted them in cinnamon sugar. I’ll definitely be doing them again and perfecting my dough. Thank you, Angie xReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlMay 31, 2016 - 12:17

      I’m happy to hear that! Debra xxReplyCancel

  • salma elkettaniJune 28, 2016 - 21:02

    I ĺooooovveee chhuuurrrooos but where i live nobody sells arrow root flour. What can i do to substitute.ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlJune 29, 2016 - 15:42

      Hello Salma,

      Depending on where you live, you could always try ordering arrowroot online or swapping for tapioca powder. Debra xxReplyCancel

  • Josh DusickJuly 20, 2016 - 04:58

    I have to say, we’ve made this at least once a year for three years now and I’m so thankful you took the time to test it to perfection and then shared it. My son is so happy to have churros back in his life! Okay, we all are.ReplyCancel

    • The Saffron GirlJuly 20, 2016 - 15:44

      Thank you John for your lovely comment and taking the time to let me know. I’m ecstatic that you and your family are enjoying the recipe and the churros so much! This makes my day! Debra xxReplyCancel

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