Growing up my family would go out to dinner about once a week. If we went to a Mexican restaurant, it was a given I was ordering sopapillas for dessert. When I left home for college, I had a kitchen of my own and I was intent on learning everything I could about the various foods I loved when eating out. This included a warm, puffy, golden brown sopapilla sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and drizzled with honey.
This sopapilla recipe is authentic, simple and fast. You can buy a pre packed mix or you can easily create this incredible treat from scratch, it just needs needs a bit of crafting. Attention to rolling the dough to the correct thickness, frying at the proper temperature and pulling out of the pan at the perfect moment are the key to a perfect batch. It’s easy! If I can do it, you can do it. At the end, all you have to do sprinkle immediately with cinnamon sugar and have a bottle of honey and a handful of napkins nearby. Anyone who really loves a sopapilla will give this a try, and will realize how simple and insanely delicious it is right in your own kitchen. I’ll bet you have the ingredients in your pantry right now!
I combined and rested the dough in the refrigerator. Here we have rolling to the correct thickness. A trick to creating a really puffy sopapilla is to roll the dough in separate balls or servings, rather than as a large sheet.
Next comes the frying….
Credit to Ingrid Hoffman
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup warm water, plus more as needed
Peanut oil, for frying
Honey or cinnamon sugar, for serving
Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and water, work them in with your hands to make a soft, pliable dough. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough feels too dry. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Put the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour so it will firm up a bit and be easier to roll and cut. (Dough can be prepared 1 day ahead, refrigerated.)
Unwrap the ball of dough pull off golf ball sized pieces. With a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 1/4-inch thickness.
Heat 2-inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy skillet or deep pot over medium-high heat.
Fry a few of the sopapillas at a time, keeping an eye on maintaining the oil temperature. As the sopapillas puff up and rise to the surface, flip them over with a slotted spoon, skimmer, or chopsticks; about 2 minutes on each side. Carefully remove the sopapillas from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towels or a brown paper bag. Cool slightly. Serve hot with honey or cinnamon sugar.