Colombian Buñuelos (Cheesy Doughnuts)

Colombian Buñuelos (savory cheese doughnuts) are often enjoyed around Christmas, but we find any excuse to make them for a special weekend breakfast with (Colombian) coffee and hot chocolate (or a mocha). 

The trusty buñuelo is my favorite adopt-a-food given I am a white half-Jew and Harvey is Chicago-born by way of Colombian parents. For most of my life some considered me a little un-American since I’m not a huge fan of doughnuts, so these cheesy stand-ins are a good compromise. When we visit Harvey’s parents in Florida, I literally look forward to going to bed the night before I can wake up and gorge myself on these things with a bunch of coffee and be happy.

We admit, we use a box mix as the base that we buy from a La Unica, a Latino food market and mini cafe in Edgewater, but I promise to figure out the exact recipe so they can be made from scratch and will post here. They start with a mixture of tapioca starch, baking soda and just a touch of sugar.  You add your own egg, milk and we use queso costeño , a salty Colombian white cheese (that’s less crumbly from Mexican queso blanco), which we also buy from La Unica. We also add more cheese than what’s called for on the box.

So I realize I am not giving you an original recipe here, but again I’ll come back with something more substantial. The only issue is it’s pretty important to use Colombian cheese if you can. If you can’t find it, I don’t recommend using all Mexican queso blanco because it’s definitely drier and saltier than the Colombian version, so maybe cutting it in equal parts with straightforward grated Monterey Jack or even Mozzarella could help introduce that ooey gooeyness you’ll want and need.

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