I made these a shamefully long time ago. Six weeks. Six weeks during which you were deprived of the recipe for one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever made. In my defense… actually, there is no defense. I can say that it didn’t fit into my theme weeks, and I had a packed schedule of blog posts, and it’s not like you’ve been deprived, but nothing can dull my shame.

I first had the idea for these right around New Year’s Eve. I was looking at a churro recipe, and it occurred to me that the dough was basically the same as the dough for an eclair, only instead of being baked and allowed to puff, it was fried. I don’t fry things all that often, because I hate having to deal with all of the leftover oil. (f you thought the reason had anything to do with health, you obviously don’t know me well enough.) And I adore eclairs and cream puffs. So the idea for this churro-eclair hybrid was born: it would be treated like an eclair, but with a spicy chocolate filling, and coated with cinnamon sugar instead of any kind of ganache or frosting. I toyed with the idea of a cinnamon sugar glaze, but decided that simplest was best.

People, I cannot even begin to describe how good these are. I never expected for a fairly experimental recipe to come out so outstandingly well, but I immediately called or texted almost everyone I knew in a ten-mile radius to inform them that there were churro eclairs on my dining room table, and that they were best when eaten within 24 hours. (After that, the shells get stale, and the pastry cream keeps getting spicier. Nobody cared.)

If you’ve ever wanted to try making eclairs, I urge you to make these. I guarantee that you will consider it one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.