Coming off the heels of a wildly successful WSi potluck complete with tamales, seven-layer dip, green chile, taco salad, Mexican lasagna, fresh pico de gallo, chicken mole, and table-side guacamole, we indulged in some banana/brownie/caramel sundaes. Needless to say, it was a feast and a half. If you happen to be entertaining tonight and want a traditional Mexican dessert, can we suggest the sweet goodness of a fresh batch of sopapillas?

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Sopapillas

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Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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 and put on a lightly floured surface, cut in half. With a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a paring knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into triangles as you would a pizza. You should end up with 6 or 8 triangles per circle.

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.

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