First, let’s make natilla, a pudding dessert. Many abuelas — Spanish for “grandmothers” — make it using whole cane sugar. But this recipe uses brown sugar instead, which is easier to find in the U.S.
Yield: 14 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 60 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 4½ cups milk, divided
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- ¾ cup shredded coconut, optional
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon powder for sprinkling
- Pour 3½ c. milk into a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Quickly remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile mix the cornstarch with the remaining cup of milk in a bowl until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
- Put the pot of milk back on the stove over medium-low heat. Remove the cinnamon sticks and add the coconut if using. Pour in the cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly until it all thickens and you can see the bottom of the pot.
- Immediately pour into a serving dish or casserole and let cool at least 1 hour. Then top it with cinnamon powder and serve — with buñuelos if you’d like!
Here’s how to make buñuelos with your family. They are usually made with a special cheese called queso costeño, but it’s difficult to find outside Colombia. So this recipe combines queso fresco and feta cheese, which can be found at most supermarkets. The two cheeses come together to taste a lot like queso costeño.
Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 1½ cups queso fresco, grated
- ½ cup feta cheese, grated
- ½ cup tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour)
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp baking powder
- vegetable oil for frying
- Mix together all the ingredients except the oil until they form a smooth dough. If it feels dry, you can add warm milk, 1 tbsp. at a time, until it softens up.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
- Add enough oil to a large pot to fully cover the buñuelos. Heat the oil to 350-375 degrees.
- Add some of the buñuelos, giving them enough room to move around while they fry. After frying them for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, remove to paper towels to drain. Serve hot — along with natilla if you’d like.