Buñuelos are a traditional Colombian Christmas treat, but they are also popular year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee.
On December 7th in Colombia, friends get together to celebrate “el dia e las velitas”, a Christmas tradition in honor of the Virgin Mary. They light candles in front of their houses or on their balconies, cook traditional Christmas treats, like Natilla, Buñuelos and Hojuelas and of course, they party :).
Now let’s talk about this Buñuelos recipe. Traditionally they are made with Costeño cheese (Queso Costeño) which is a Colombian white cheese that is a little saltier and harder that Queso Fresco. I used feta cheese for this recipe because to me it’s the most similar cheese to Queso Costeño that I have found. I have to tell you, this recipe gave me a lot of trouble. Now that I’ve made this Buñuelos, I have a lot of respect for buñuelo makers in Colombia :). I know the Buñuelos don’t look very attractive, but they taste wonderful. They are the right consistency inside but it was a bit difficult to get the correct crust consistency because the oil temperature has to be perfect. Feliz dia de las velitas and enjoy!
Vegetable oil for frying
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup yucca flour or tapioca starch
1 cup finely grated feta cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Queso fresco or fresh farmer cheese
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon milk
- Place all the ingredients, except the oil in a medium bowl and mix well using your hands until soft dough is obtained.
- Form small balls using your hands.
- In a deep pot, heat the vegetable oil to 300°F (Warm, not very hot). Carefully drop the balls in the warm oil. Cover the pot and after about 3 to 4 minutes, turn the heat up and fry until golden brown.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve.