You don’t have to wait until Cinco de Mayo to make a batch of churros.
But this lesser-guilt recipe for baked churros (instead of fried), from The Baker Chick, is reason enough to serve them anytime.
The recipe is below, but first:
THE HISTORY OF CHURROS
According to Fox News Latino, churros evolved from a Chinese cruller* (youtiao). Portuguese sailors discovered them them on their Far East voyages, which reached China in the early 16th century.
They brought the recipe home with them. The recipe spread to Spain, and the Spanish improved on the concept by passing the dough through a star-shaped tip prior to frying.
In addition to the eye appeal, the signature ridges created by the tip turned out to be superior for holding dipping sauces: an improvement over the original.
The name may have derived from the Spanish word for coarse or rough, churro. Certainly, these fried, ridged pastries were rougher than the finer works of pastry chefs.
The churros were dusted in cinnamon and sugar, and dipped in chocolate sauce, and enjoyed at breakfast with café con leche or hot chocolate, the latter also developed in Spain in the 16th century.
Churros arrived in what is now Mexico in the 16th century, via the Spanish conquistadors.
While traveling from country to country, the churro was enhanced, from guava-filled churros in Cuba, the dulce de leche-filled churros in Mexico and cheese-filled churros in Uruguay.
Dulce de leche, a popular sauce for churros, was invented in Argentina in the 19th century. The first historical reference to the Argentinian dessert comes from a peace meeting between military leaders in 1829.
According to legend, dulce de leche was produced by accident when the maid was cooking some milk and sugar and was unexpectedly called away. Upon her return, the mixture had transformed into a thick, brown consistency (not very different from caramel sauce, which is made with sugar, cream and butter).
The “new dessert” was called dulce de leche, a milk sweet [confection]. Today it is usually made with sweetened condensed milk (which did not exist at the time).
*The Chinese cruller, youtiao, also popular in, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
†There is also a story about nomadic Spanish shepherds developing churros while tending their flocks in the mountains. There are breeds of Spanish sheep called the navajo-churro and the churra, the horns of which are said to look similar to the fried pastry. If the shepherds did mak4e churros, it was more likely after they spread through Spain.
RECIPE: BAKED CHURROS
Ingredients For 18-20 Churros
½ cup unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs‡
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup cinnamon sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter (or cooking spray)
Optional dipping sauce(s): chocolate sauce or fondue, dulce de leche, caramel sauce
Piping bag with large star tip
 Churros, shown here with fruit dippers and spicy chocolate fondue (here’s the recipe from McCormick). Two ways to serve churros: nicely arranged in a doily at Soccarat Paella Bar in New York City, and  in a basket, at King Arthur Flour.