Parmesan Churros are a savory version of a traditionally sweet snack, and marinara sauce is perfect for dipping. LIGAYA FIGUERAS / LFIGUERAS@AJC.COM

Kitchen Curious: Parmesan Churros are savory take on sweet snack

It’s not that difficult to give a recipe a twist. Just change an ingredient or two, perhaps the cooking method, too, and — presto! — something old is new again. But is the riff remarkable? In the case of Parmesan Churros, the answer is yes.

Churros, a snack of deep-fried pastry dough, are traditionally a sweet treat. They can be sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, piped with a sweet filling or dipped into melted chocolate. Yet in her new cookbook “Baking at République,” pastry chef and co-owner of popular Los Angeles bakery République Margarita Manzke shows home cooks how to steer the fried sticks in a savory direction with the simple, but masterful addition of Parmesan cheese.

I’ve adapted Manzke’s recipe in a few minor ways.

She calls for transferring the dough to a pastry bag, then chilling it. However, I found refrigeration time makes the dough quite difficult to work with. An easier route is to pipe the dough into sticks directly onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, then chill the uncooked churros until you’re ready to fry them.

In addition, most of us aren’t pros with a pastry bag, like Manzke. So, rather than fill the entire bag with all of the dough, work in batches; this makes it easier to wield the bag when piping.

Manzke divulges that the recipe takes inspiration from French cheese puffs known as gougéres. I’ve taken it one step further, into Italian territory, by serving them with marinara sauce for dipping. Mangia!

Adapted from “Baking at République” by Margarita Manzke, copyright © 2019. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House Inc.

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