Colombian Bunuelos – Christmas Cheese Fritters

Colombian Bunuelos

It’s December 24th and I’m posting a recipe for traditional Colombian Christmas cheese fritters, called buñuelos. Untimely? A little behind the eight ball? Scrooge-like? Nope, nope and nope. Folks will be ’tis-ing the season for the next week and these yummy puff balls will make an especially nummy nosh for New Year’s. These cheese fritters are a delightful aperitif and believe me when I say they pair deliciously with my new-found favorite blended wine, called “Mixed Up.”  And besides, my fellow Orthodox Christians and I have another 13 days until Christmas so in that regard this post is actually early.

The month of December is busy, busy, busy — primarily in a good way.  However, the timing of my family discovering these delicious cheese fritters was just plain awful. Hunky Hubby and I played role reversal last week and while I was off to work he used some extra vacation days to stay home and do the final preparations before our slava. Trying new recipes and making old favorites, cleaning and tidying and erranding and…making Colombian cheese fritters. That last to-do was sprung on him when eldest Beauty announced that she needed to bring in a traditional Colombian Christmas food to AP Spanish the day after slava.  Gotta love it. There should be a ban on such teacher directives as parents almost always get sucked in.

Though the timing was terrible, our family is happy to add Colombian cheese fritters to our foodie experiences. These cheese fritters are actually easy to make (according to my Love), are not greasy, and can be made in advanced and heated for a few seconds in the microwave. We prefer them as a savoy treat sans the traditional Nutella topping or dipping into hot chocolate.

As I’m nestled on the sofa while writing this post I am thankful for this quiet night and hope all of you who are celebrating are doing so with reverent and joyful hearts!

Colombian Bunuelos - Christmas Cheese Fritters
Serves: 35
  • 1 pound cotija cheese, finely grated (you could substitute feta cheese or for a melty texture try mozzarella or fontina)
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons 1% milk
  • 4 cups canola oil
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine grated cheese, cornstarch, sugar and baking soda.
  2. Stir in the whole egg and egg yolk and mix well. If the dough seems dry, add a bit of milk one tablespoon at a time until you get a smooth dough.
  3. Measure 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into individual balls.
  4. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375F.
  5. Working in batches, fry the fritters a few at a time -- no more than 5 or 6-- until golden (about 5 minutes). The fritters will sink to the bottom at first and then rise to the surface after a minute or so.
  6. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

(Recipe based on

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