Two of the most popular Christmastime treats in Colombia are buñuelos [boon-yoo-EL-ohs], fried cheesy bites, and natilla [nah-TEE-yuh], a pudding dessert. They’re normally served on the same plate. Some sponsored kids get to eat them at Christmas celebrations at their Compassion centers!

 

Natilla

Yields14 Servings

Adult help needed.

 4 ½ 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
1

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.

2

Meanwhile mix the cornstarch with the remaining cup of milk in a bowl until the cornstarch dissolves completely.

3

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.

4

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!

Ingredients

 4 ½ 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

Directions

1

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.

2

Meanwhile mix the cornstarch with the remaining cup of milk in a bowl until the cornstarch dissolves completely.

3

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.

4

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!

Natilla

 

Here’s how to make buñuelos [boon-yoo-EL-ohs] 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.

Buñuelos

Yields14 Servings

Adult help needed.

 1 ½ 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
  tsp baking powder
 vegetable oil for frying
1

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.

2

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.

3

Add enough oil to a large pot to fully cover the buñuelos. Heat the oil to 350-375 degrees.

4

Add some of the buñuelos, giving them enough room to move around while they fry. After frying them for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, remove to paper towels to drain. Serve hot — along with natilla if you’d like!

Ingredients

 1 ½ 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
  tsp baking powder
 vegetable oil for frying

Directions

1

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.

2

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.

3

Add enough oil to a large pot to fully cover the buñuelos. Heat the oil to 350-375 degrees.

4

Add some of the buñuelos, giving them enough room to move around while they fry. After frying them for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, remove to paper towels to drain. Serve hot — along with natilla if you’d like!

Buñuelos

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