Monday, January 29, 2007

Sopapillas with a side of honey

Sopapillas are total decadence for me. You’d think after concluding a stomach-swelling multi-course meal of chips and salsa, queso, guacamole, tamales, rice, beans and enchiladas that it would be impossible to find room for just one more dish. But I can never refuse a warm, steamy basket of this sweet, fried bread, dusted with cinnamon sugar and drowning in honey.

When I was little, sopapillas meant special occasions. Because my mom always had amazing cakes and cookies at home, we seldom ordered dessert when dining in restaurants. But if it was my birthday, I would insist on having sopapillas. It was always a huge presentation, with the waiter wielding a sopapilla stuffed with a lit candle while the restaurant’s mariachis sang “Feliz Cumpleanos" at the top of their lungs. Never mind the chocolate cake waiting for me at home, this was the way to celebrate!

This last Thanksgiving, my whole, extended family left the farm and went into town to eat an excellent Tex-Mex meal at San Miguel’s in McKinney, TX. It had been a long time since I’d eaten sopapillas, especially as they aren’t on menus here in New York City. With a farmhouse filled with pies, however, I just sadly assumed sopapillas were not an option on this outing. But as a waiter is inclined to suggestively sell, it was little surprise when ours asked if we'd like to order this delectable treat. After his query, the table was silent. As I’ve said, my family just doesn't order desserts. It killed me to not shout out, "Yes, yes, I need a sopapilla!" but I kept my mouth shut as I didn't want to appear disrespectful towards my grandmother’s baking bounty. Thankfully, my uncle was not so shy and he saved me from my delicious dilemma by saying, “Of course! We’d love some sopapillas!” So my family shared a small order, and after that first sticky bite into the soft, honey-drenched dough, we all agreed: sopapillas are sweet heaven indeed.

If you’ve never had one, sopapillas are a big puff of light, crispy and slightly chewy fried dough, perfect for catching pools of honey. I’d never tried making them before, but after I found a recipe, I realized it was within my range. You make a sweet, yeast dough, let it rise, and then roll it, cut it into triangles and fry them for a couple of minutes. When I threw the first one into the pot, it was like magic watching it puff up and quickly transform from flat dough into an airy, golden delight.

I don’t think I’ll be making these every day, but I’m thrilled I discovered how easy it is. The dough was very pliable and yielding. And I was hesitant about frying them in a big pot of sizzling oil, but they cooked fast with nary a hiss or a splatter. The recipe yields about 18, depending on how large you cut the triangles. And they are a real crowd pleaser, sure to impress anyone with your deep-frying prowess. If you don’t like sweets, you could serve them savory like they do in New Mexico, stuffed with beans and green chili. But I won’t have anything to do with that—I prefer my sopapillas topped with cinnamon, sugar and honey. For me, they’re total Tex-Mex dessert decadence. And I’m just pleased that I no longer have to go to Texas to taste this sticky, soft, sugary treat.

Sopapillas
Ingredients:
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
1 tablespoon of sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil
sugar
cinnamon
honey

Method:
Mix the yeast with the warm water and let it sit for five minutes.
Combine the flour and salt.
Add the butter and sugar to the yeast/water mixture and then slowly add to the flour and salt.
Knead for two minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Rise in a covered, greased bowl for one hour or until dough is doubled in size.
After dough has risen, punch it down, and on a floured surface, roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut out 3 inch squares, and then cut squares on the diagonal into triangles.
Heat up three inches of oil in a big pot to 375 degrees.
Fry two triangles of dough at a time in the oil for one minute on each side. The dough should puff when it hits the oil.
Drain, and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Serve hot with honey.
Makes about 18 sopapillas.

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107 comments:

melissa mcgee said...

i think you may be the only person i know of who has ever made sopapillas at home! even my mexican friends who spend hours on hours making tamales and rolling homemade tortillas... they don't even make sopapillas.

good job! if i were ANY closer to NYC i'd have been banging down your door to get inside just for a taste of a homemade sopapilla... with lots of honey... yum.

Zora said...

Yes, they're so worth the effort! I've made them a couple of times, and should make them more.

In NM, they do eat them with honey at the end of the meal, as well as use them to mop the main-course plate clean--helps cut the chile heat. But none of that cinnamon-sugar business. Maybe I've been severely missing out?

Jerry said...

My wife introduced me to sopapillas within three hours of crossing over the NM/Texas line. (You know, the place where the greeting switches from "Hi" To "How're Y'All Doin?")

They've been a tiny bit of heaven for me ever since, and are going to be sorely missed when we leave the state.

The County Clerk said...

This post and the previous one make me so hungry for the food I grew up on...

Wow

Shawnda said...

I've been debating for a week about what dessert I should make for a "biggest pro football game of the year" party. I think the debate just fizzled out - and I'd be happy if they taste half as good as that picture looks :)

Homesick Texan said...

Melissa--Really? I can't believe that, especially since they're so easy. But yes, if you're ever in town, I'll definitely share.

Zora--I love the cinnamon sugar, but one person I know says it makes the texture too gritty. To each his own, I reckon.

Jerry--You don't have to miss them when you leave because they're so easy to make at home.

The County Clerk--Thanks! I'm not doing my job unless I make someone hungry!

Shawnda--Thanks! And you'll be the hit of the party if you make these.

Sean said...

Oh, oh, oh. You're killing me. I lived in Northern New Mexico for a couple summers, and fell in love with sopapillas. I haven't had the real deal in about 15 years. All oozing with honey ... mmmmm.

Harlan said...

Nice! I believe that Los Dos Molinos near Union Square, a New Mexican restaurant, has sopapillas, but I've never been there...

Linda said...

so perfectly hollow - you are so photographically talented! I'm lovin' it!

excelsior said...

The worst Mexican meal I ever ate was in 1987 at a place called Casa Bonita in Denver, which was kind of like a Mexican food-and-kids-entertainment place. BUT the meal came with sopapillas on the table and that was the first time I'd ever had them (and sadly, the first of fewer than half a dozen times).

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm so glad I found your blog. I am living in France, and I am so homesick for Texas right now! Reading about the sopapillas made my mouth water! I'm going to have to try to start cooking some of my tex-mex favorites. Thanks so much!
-Deborah

Homesick Texan said...

Sean--It's all about the honey!

Harlan--I'll have to try Los Dos Molinos, I've never been there either. Thanks for the tip!

Linda--Thank you!

Excelsior--I'm glad there was some redemption to your awful meal!

Deborah--You're welcome. I was reading in Robb Walsh's book that there's decent Tex-Mex in Paris, cheese enchiladas made with Gruyere, which sounds delish! Have you had these?

Lizard said...

The last thing I needed to read about this morning (since I'm trying to drop a few lbs) are sopapillas. Its all about technique. You bite a corner off then pour the honey inside!! Yum.

My grandparents lived on a farm outside McKinney. We are probably related by blood. I know we are related by the soul.

Jessica said...

I made my way over here from Elise's site. The sopapillas look absolutely divine. And your site is beautiful. I bookmarked it, so I'll be back.

Julie said...

I've seen those on restaurant menus but never ordered them. I suspect that's because in the sort of places that serve them I've always had too much of everything else to be able to think about dessert. But now I'll have to check them out next time I see them.

Shanan said...

It's funny what one food is in one world, it is something else in another. This exact same dough recipe/method is what I'd call a Scone. Now... in 99% of the country (and in many European countries) a scone is more a biscuit type food (which is probably what most of you are agreeing with) - like a blueberry scone you'd order at Starbucks, but in Utah and in some places of Idaho, this recipe is exactly what they serve up as a scone - probably stollen from Indian Fry-Bread and as we see here, the Mexican Sopapilla... granted when Utahans eat their scones as a dessert, they top it with honey butter and sometimes powdered sugar rather than the Tex-Mex cinnamon, sugar and Honey. They too eat them savory, sometimes using them to sop up the remaining drips from a bowl of chili, or as the base of a "taco salad" style meal, which they would refer to as a Navajo Taco. For visiting Utah and finding good Scone's, an easy reference is The Sconecutter (http://www.sconecutter.com) - a 24-hr drive-thru restaurant where they originally started with just the sweet served scone, and now serve scones in every way imaginable. There is also some history and good-eats references on this website (http://members.aol.com/foodtimeline/statefoods.html) - you'll need to scroll down a bit to the Utah state reference and there you'll find some fun history to the Utah Scone.

Homesick Texan said...

Lizard--Well how about that! Another person that comes from Collin County farmstock!

Jessica--Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to seeing you again.

Julie--You should try them, they're really delish!

Shanan--I never knew that, thanks for the education in Utah food! Great links!

chicklit said...

Sopapillas are absolutely one of my most favorite things in the world. My earliest memories of these go back to my childhood in Dallas/Arlington when my parents would take us kids to eat at El Chico - not the best Tex-Mex to be sure, but I still have fond memories nevertheless. And you're right, no matter how many enchiladas you've stuffed yourself with, there's always room for fried dough and honey!

Cinara said...

Hello! This is my first time here, and I loved your recipes and pictures! When I lived in the US as an exchange student almost two decades ago, there were not many tex-mex restaurants in Brazil. Over the years I've learned to make my own favorites at home, together with other typical american dishes. Now we do have plenty of places to eat tex-mex here, but I still like cooking it! I have my own blog, dedicated to american recipes, and I'll sure be coming back to get inspiration from your great tips!
It was great finding you! ;o)

Susan said...

Wonderful story. Fabulous photography. Delicious topic. Once again you make us all homesick for Texas.

Draconian Clown said...

These remind me of Pancho's Mexi-teria that had the little flags on table you raise for refills. Their sopas were hot & fluffy and came with a squirter jug of honey.

Mass Ave Eats said...

I just tuned into your blog a few weeks ago, and it's like all the things I love rolled into one site -- I feel like every entry is written just for me!

"Sopapilla" was one of my first words in Spanish, and I too remember Pancho's sopapillas. I live in Boston now, and when I go back to Texas, the three things I want more than anything else are cheese enchiladas, churros, and sopapillas!

Texas Chef said...

When I lived in Dallas I had sopapillas often and then in Houston and now in South Texas I rarely see them. I have always associated sopapillas with New Mexico food where I notice they were in every restaurant I visited.

Homesick Texan said...

Cinara--Welcome! I look forward to seeing you again.

Susan--Thank you! What a lovely compliment.

Draconian Clown--Yes! We ate at Panchos when I was when I was way young, and I remember that little flag.

Mass Ave Eats--I think tamale was my first Spanish word with sopapilla a close second.

Texas Chef--Yes, I didn't even know they were a New Mexican thing until recently.

scribbit said...

My husband craves these--they remind me of beignets from New Orleans.

Homesick Texan said...

Scribbit--They are like beignets. Especially if you cover them in powdered sugar.

Yvo said...

MMM, I'm in your town, share share!!! I love donuts, beignets (from Cafe du Monde especially), zeppoles, nearly any fried dough and I'm there! :)

I was skimming the other comments and I saw someone mention Casa Bonita in Colorado. I'm not sure how much of a dork this makes me, but Cartman (from South Park) LOVES that place! There's a whole episode how one of the other boys is having a birthday party there and won't invite Cartman because he's mad at him and instead invites someone else... so I think Cartman kidnaps that kid so he can go in his place....

Yvo said...

My friend, when I pointed this out to her, sent me this link. http://menupages.com/restaurantdetails.asp?areaid=7&restaurantid=4345&neighborhoodid=0&cuisineid=0

*sniff* Hmph. Whatever, I'll take your homemade anyday ;)

Homesick Texan said...

Yvo--I should have a Taste of Texas party where I serve chili, tamales, sopapillas and anything else people want to try! This restaurant is in my neighborhood, and every time I've been there I've found the food to be blah. I did not, however, try their desserts.

Freya said...

I've made sopapillas just once for my husband and they were so good drizzled with honey! Such a simple dessert but they really hit the spot. I must make some more!
Freya

Lydia said...

Totally decadent. For me, this would be the perfect 3 PM snack when my energy is sagging.

Anonymous said...

I am a Texan who will probably never leave the state because of the food alone. I don't have to long for the food like you do, but I love watching others discover the tates and flavors that belong exclusively to Texas. In a few weeks, I get to introduce a friend from the great white north (Michigan) to the beauty that is Tex-Mex, Whataburger, and bbq brisket. I am passionate about food, about food from home, and I commend you for sharing your passion with the masses. The thing about Texas is that if you've never been here, you just don't get it.

Eager Eater said...

Got to love those sopapillas. However, really...can you ever really go wrong with fried dough? With honey? Not really. Great post. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I'll have to start checking out some tex-mex restaurants in Paris. I looked up some Tex-Mex restaurants and it looks like there's a lot, and I know Paris usually does things better because of the high tourism. I went to a Tex-Mex restaurant in the town where I live (Chartres) and found the food very disapointing. They brought us a handfull of tortilla chips, enough salsa for one chip, and the Margaritas didn't even have salt on the rim. Perhaps I'll have better luck in Paris. Last night my friends and I ate tacos and found that substituting plain yogurt for sour cream (which you can't find anywhere here) actually works!
-Deborah

Angelle said...

So nice to read in the comments that other folks know about Pancho's! We lost ours here in the New Orleans area and I dearly miss it. And of course the free sopapillas with your meal was one of the major reasons to go there!

I am definitely going to have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

Cute tidbit: When we were little my brother and I called them "sofa pillows." Not only does it sound similar, but they even kind of resemble little pillows.

Anonymous said...

I have been drooling over this recipe ever since I saw it featured on tastespotting.com. These look like beignets, except with honey instead of sugar - sounds divine to me! Must try and could your photo look any more edible?


Ari (Baking and Books)

Anonymous said...

OMG, thank goodness in Albuquerque, sopapillas are considered part of the meal (I never use honey) - get two free with dinner, as a bread.

The desert version at that Dos Molinos is 6.25 - when I get takeout - I pay $1.00 at most for a couple of extra ones.

Those New Mexicans learned how to work the NYC system, I guess, lol.

R. Hall said...

I'm from NM, and cannot find good NM/Mexican food in western Massachusetts. I've been trying for 8 years...so the _only_ way for me to get what I crave is to make it at home. Sopapillas are my main craving, and I eat them savory (stuffed w/ refried beans & smothered in green chile), or sweet. Either way -- I love them. I'm trying your recipe tomorrow! Your photos made my mouth water...

Also, loved your post about Luby's. A friend of mine in MA and I recently recreated a typical Luby's dinner at home after reading your post. Our husbands don't get it, but they're from New England. She's from TX and I'm from NM, so for us, we were in heaven. The only thing that would have made it better was to have the trays. :) Thanks for your blog.

Anonymous said...

Traditional sopapillas are really a flatbread with baking powder instead of yeast. I'm going to try this recipe though because at very high altitude (10,000 ft.) I'm having trouble geting a good rise from the dough.

Transplanted Texan said...

I am a Texan that has been living in Wisconsin for around 15 years. Some of my fondess memories are also of Panchos, and Sopapillas.
Love to cook, love to eat, and still love anything Texas.
This post brought tears to my eyes, fond memories.

Melissa Sáenz said...

I live in NW Louisiana and my whole family loves Mexican & TexMex food! I grew up eating Pancho's but my husband is from El Paso and he thinks that Pancho's tastes like tv dinners. Either way, they have AWESOME sopapilla's. The bottom is full of substance and when it puffs up the top is thin and crispy. When I make indian fry bread that's more the consistency of beignet's. My mom and I always say we have to be rolled out of Pancho's after all the food and the sopapilla's (2-3 sopapillas). Put butter down in the middle and fill it up and honey then chomp down!

42 said...

I love sopapillas, we make them all the time- as much as I love honey on them, when I want to be a glutton I pour rum sauce on them- talk about hitting the spot!

chelsea said...

i went to a place name casa bonita and had theese really great desserts! thanks for postin them on here!!

chelsea

anarkh said...

Yummy. The Sopapilla. Last night I came home, after 4 years of seeking sopapilla's in new york myself, and found a nice menu on my door step printed on a brown paper bag for a place called buffalo cantina. They specialize in wings and burittos. While paging through there menu I quickly glanced at the dessert section. Guess what I saw sopapilla. I yelled out in delight and began dancing around my living room.

We got through the rigamarole of ordering, and there delivery guys was gone already. I wanted the sopapillas so badly I made the 10 minute bike ride to pick them up.

I got home and opened the bags....

To my dismay they were torilla fritas coated with cinnamon and butter.

gini said...

I just found your page and I hope I can make these. We couldnt get them to puff? I hope this one works!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Melissa Sáenz' husband. Pancho's does taste like TV dinners. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I want the taste of a TV dinner, but Pancho's is to TexMex and Southwestern food (not the same thing, though there is some overlap) what Chef Boyardee is to Italian food. The real deal is worlds better.

In the epicenter of Southwestern food, NM, sopaipillas (preferred spelling) are bread and used pretty much any way you'd use a slice of bread. It's not wrong to put honey on them, it's just that limiting them to that means missing out on all the wonderful taste sensations that can be conjured up. Don't know if they're still around, but in Albuquerque there was a chain of restaurants called Stufy's with a whole menu designed around stuffed sopaipillas.

The sad part is that the further a cuisine gets from its point of origin - take the Philly Cheeseteak for example - the more it morphs into something else. I've had sopaipillas in Denver that were barely recognizeable and ones in Los Angeles that could have been used as hockey pucks.

I think tonight I'm going to make up a batch of NM red chile sauce (no tomato!) and some sopaipillas and have that and nothing else for dinner.

- JC

free ps3 said...

Thanks for the nice post!

Amreena Hussain said...

I love you! I was so missing home today... finding this page was like finding a peice of home. Its my favorite dessert on the planet.

David said...

I, too, am a Texan in NY, but central NY. My ex-mother-in-law still lives in McKinney.

Your food posts are driving me crazy. I'm going to have to make some of them.

No one here can stand the heat of my Texas Red, they won't eat pintos, refried or otherwise, and they don't know what to make of guacamole or chicken-fried steak.

They do love my candied yams. I'll have to try the sopapillas on them.

Regards,
David

CottageGiftGuides said...

I haven't had these in YEARS - my mom used to make them. I made some tonight and we stuffed them with Alden's vanilla ice cream fresh sliced strawberries and honey. I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter when I mixed in the flour too.

Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Jennifer

labellehollar said...

I love sopapillas! In Palo Alto you must try them at Casa Isabel. No matter how much we eat, we always order them. Your recipe looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Sopapilla is just an Indian Frybread cut in quarters.

shweetpotato said...

Ohhh Yummy, these look just like the scones we have here in Utah :D Carm

Kari said...

My goodness, I am just shocked that no one posting knows this, but the easier way to make sopapillas is with the same thing Pancho's actually uses (though I imagine not as individual packets). Morrison Milling (I believe out of Denton, Tx. ) sells sopapilla mix in packets that make a dozen. We buy them (and also their Pan-Kits. You have NEVER tasted pancakes like this! They. Are. Wonderful!) by the case.
I found them by googling when HEB grocery quit carrying Pan-Kits.

:-) Now, if only someone could come across with the recipe (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) for those "sour cream" enchiladas with cloves & tomato sauce....

Anonymous said...

R they rele tht easy 2 make?
i have 2 make something for my class nd i fell in love w/ sopapillas wen i tired them @ my brothers graduation. Now im looking 2 make em 4 my History class 2 try...
its a reilf tht u say theyre easy 2 amke.

MJ Bond said...

The first time I experienced sopapillas was in a small restaurant in Raton NM when I was living in Trinidad CO. The meal was a stuffed sopapilla (with a meat/bean mix) & smothered with Green Chili. I fell in love. I've since moved back to my roots in Atchison KS; I've made Green Chili on occasion & folks here really like it. Now my daughter & I have opened a restaurant of our own & I am going to try my hand at this wonderful entree. Wish us luck & if any of you who might read this & have cause to be coming through NE KS look us up & stop in!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone made a mexican pizza with a sopapilla crust? I had it at a restaurant in AZ and would love to make it. It had beans and beef green chili and then cheese on top?

twpisel@cox.net said...

Anyone ever try them with apple butter?

There was a mexican cafe in Salida, CO when I was growing up called Chris's Taco House and he served them that way.

Oh the memories...........

OriginalCourtney said...

OMG, i was just describing to my roommate the wonderfulness that is a Sopapilla/beignet (cuz really theyre the same thing). in reading this i am so reminded of home(houston) and soooo missing the food. this blog adn the comments are like a walk down memory lane:

Sopapilla's
Luby's
Robb Walsh(one of my favorite Press writers)
Pancho's
Cheese Enchilladas

i went home last xmas, got off the plane adn drove strait to Taco Cabana for 2 chicken tacos/queso and a Shiner.

mmmm thats love right there

c.

jwu said...

Awesome. I'm from New Mexico but live in Boston now and previously San Diego. I have sopapillas every time I go back.

I've never encountered the savory kind though. Always had them at the end of meals with honey squirted inside. I mean...I guess you could stuff them with whatever, but god...it's just so awesome sweet.

Yazzie said...

Oh my goodness!! Im from Texas living in Oregon, and good Mexican food is nowhere to be found up here. I was craving sopapillas so bad. Im glad I found your recipe. I will make them tomorrow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Christopher said...

Thanks so much for your blog! Thanks to you I've just been able to introduce my mid-western girl to sopapillas!

The only problem I had in trying to make them was they didn't 'puff' quite like they're supposed to. I suppose it's because I didn't make the triangles thin enough?? I also have no way to judge how hot my oil is because I don't have a thermometer

~ Chris Bearkat

Ms. Tejas said...

I've been feeling exactly how you felt for so long and it just popped into my head to look for a way to make them myself on the internet. I'm from Tyler, Tx. and now live in Virginia and the Mexican restaurants around here have know idea how to make them the same way as home. Theirs are usually fried crunchy strips of flour tortillas with cinnamon and sugar, and when it gets to me I ask "What the heck is this?", but thank you for this recipe. Now I too won't have to go home just to get another one of my very faves!!! Ms. Tejas

Anonymous said...

I might have been the only Irish kid growing up in LA who even knew what sopapillas were. My mom used to make them (they were delicious) and they are simply tiny bits of heaven. Just bite the corner off and pour in the honey!

I haven't yet found a SF Bay area restaurant that has them, but thanks to the posts on this blog I now know of one in Palo Alto!

And I LOVE that you had them on your birthday with candles. I never had cake and always opted for cheesecake, pie or stewberry shortcake for my birthday candles.

Dennis in San Jose

Kristin said...

I cannot WAIT to make these! My family moved to Florida when I was still in school and we still talk about sopapillas to this day and how we crave them so much. I can't wait to surprise them with our family favorite! Thanks!

Amanda said...

As a fellow misplaced Texan (in Connecticut though, bleh,) I've been sorely missing good Mexican food in general and Sopapillas in paricular. I just found out today that the mexican restaurants up here don't have them because they're almost exclusive to NM and TX.
We went to a family run mexican restaurant here and I was over the moon when I saw sopapillas on the menu, but when they brought them out, I was crushed, their 'sopapillas' were just flat triangles of pie crust with cinnamon and sugar on them... they didn't even have any honey.
And I don't even like pie crust. =(

Anonymous said...

My mom use to make them all the time when I was younger. We would eat them as dessert, breakfast, use them for tacos... anything. My grandpa's wife is Mexican and she said that they were perfect, so....
I don't know how my mom made them so I am thinking I am going to try your way.
Thanks, Ashlea

txsunsurf@yahoo.com said...

I just stumbled upon your site. Whew! It's so refreshing! I'm a Dallasite, now in Rochester NY (but I do like it here!). SO miss the Tex Mex and BBQ.
I'm so relieved someone else in NY knows about soapapillas. Like the CT poster stated, up here they are on the menu, but they bring you a FRIED FLOUR TORTILLA drenched with cinnamon, maybe honey, and sometimes Hersheys syrup. WT_?!?!?!?!
Texans unite!! I think all the Texans in the NE should plan a hoe down and show 'em how it's done!
Thanks for your website! Laura

Laurie said...

I love the site! I am a Texan in England and REALLY miss the Texan food... Ponchos sopapillas were always a fav from when I was a kid...raising the table flag to request more...brings back fond memories. So as you can imagine I was super excited when I saw this recipe and with you saying it is so easy and not being a stranger to the kitchen I decided to make this for my in laws. The dough turned out very sticky and then I finally figured out if I slid a buttered knife through it, it would cut it and keep it's shape. Then came the frying, I heated the oil as stated and droped them in two at a time and nothing happened apart from the expected browning,...I got FLAT sopapillas!!!!! very disappointing so then I start adjusting things,... I dropped them in verrrrrry slowwwwly, still flat. After dusting with powdered sugar and cinnamon and dipping honey over them the In-Laws said they were great (Being English they don't know what they are supposed to look like) Just felt all wrong and very disappointing.

If there is something you can advise me on to make them work out a bit better next time that would be great!

Laurie.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Laurie--I'm sorry the recipe didn't work for you. If you try it again, the dough shouldn't be sticky so you'll want to add a bit more flour when you're kneading. And I have no idea why they didn't puff up unless maybe the oil wasn't hot enough.

Kansas.cowgirl@yahoo.com said...

I used to live in east Texas,30 miles from Lousiana and we use to go to this restraunt every weekend and we fell in love with sopapillas and I finally learned to make them.I always make them to take to family gatherings.

Jilly said...

When I was 10 years old I visited NM and quickly became obsessed with sopapillas. I dream about them every now and then and can't help when I am in a Mexican restaurant to check if they are on the menu (they Never! are..i live in NY). I found this recipe yesterday and became Very excited. I made a batch today (I got 23) and all i can saw is Wow! They came out perfect!! and the dough was beautiful! The best dough I have ever worked with. I just ate one and then got up for another (which I swore I wouldn't do but whatever, I am snowed in here). Thank you thank you THANK YOU! I will never try another sopapilla recipe and will be making these for years to come. Would not change a thing..Simply Delicious!

Synful said...

This is an awesome recipe! I live in San Antonio Texas and just LOVE sopapillas. It was my 23rd birthday the other day and we went to a mexican restaurant and you can sure bet that we had sopapillas for desert! I'm glad I found your recipe; my husband is military and we're moving to Washington so I've been stocking up on my Tex-Mex recipes! lol I think I even used your migas one hahah Thanks for these great recipes, from a fellow texan, I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Wow,I will definately try this out. This is one of my favorites and this does not seem too difficult. Oh, and by the way, I live in McKinney and love San Miguels also... Small world!
Amanda Navarro

Kathie said...

Just stumbled upon your site. We're Texans in PA, and found a great Mexican restaurant in State College. Except for the sopapillas...we were telling our daughter how great they were, then we got served this flat fried flour tortilla with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. So now in my quest for the definition of sopapillas (I thought maybe it was different regions of Mexico) I discover that sopapillas as we Texans know them were invented in New Mexico 200+ years ago...so it's a NM/Tex-Mex thing. Guess we'll just have to invest in a deep fryer and and make them at home... Now I'm really wanting the "real" thing!

Romancisor said...

Hello,
First off, let me say, I love your blog and all the great food you've introduced me to through it. I live in Texas and have most of my life, but it wasn't until I stumbled onto your site that I realized how many glorious things I was missing in my own state (not to mention the Mexican food -- Like tinga! Nigh incredible.) So thanks a lot for keeping this site running; you've got some top quality stuff.

That said, though, for the first time in all the recipes I've followed from you, I had a hitch over your sopapillas today. They puffed up, sure, but they were unusually small. Like, smaller than a Long John Silver's hush puppy small. I don't understand what went wrong, as I thought I rolled out the dough to the proper thickness and cut the three inch squares into triangles. Do you have any idea what might have happened? I remember ~five inch sopapillas from Pancho's when I was young, and even from the start here it didn't seem like three inch long triangles would be up to the task of recreating that.

Thank you for the time!
Bob

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Hi Bob, Thank you for the kind words. I am sorry you found the sopapoillas too small--perhaps you should just cut them larger next time!

anarchitek said...

I don't know where anyone got the idea these were a "Texas" treat--the restaurants in New Mexico serve them, usually one or two days each week. In fact, in three years in Houston, I never even heard the word "sopapilla" ONCE! The writer who said "Even the Mexicans don't make their own sopapillas..." didn't realize that it was because it's so much easier to roll down to the favorite spot and order a basket full of these little dollops of heaven, pouring honey all over them, while they are still blistering hot, than to suffer over a pan of hot oil, waiting for them to get done! While one is waiting, at one's favorite bistro, one can indulge in conversation, knowing all thought of speech will evaporate like a rainbow on a hot day, while faces are being stuffed with bites of sticky hot dough drenched in honey. It is flat amazing the places honey can get into, don't you know? Until the last one is on its way down the gullet, nothing else will matter.
Let me tell you, from first hand experience, don't just show up at the restaurant at the last moment, expecting to be eating sopapillas, if they weren't expecting you! Most places are booked--well in advance!

Anonymous said...

I am having an extreme craving for sopapillas right now, after reading your blog. I am a native New Mexican and can't for the life of me find ANY restaurant in NYC that serves them! Or any authentic New Mexican cuisine for that matter.
I have visited Los dos Molinos....that sopapilla they list on their menu is NOT authentic at all. It was a tasty dessert indeed- fried to a crisp and topped with ice cream and honey, but nothing at all like the real thing- a floury puff of decadence filled with honey. I was hoping to get a taste of home at their restaurant, but I must say, not even their chile was authentic...the food was good but just not the real thing.
If you are ever in NM, you can actually eat sopapillas at any NEW Mexican restaurant (there is a difference- between Mexican and New Mexican restaurants)- they serve them just as bread is served with any meal at any American or Italian restaurant. We eat them with honey or without, with our meals and sometimes also at the end as dessert- never with cinnamon and sugar- that is a Mexican thing, which I am sure is tasty as well.
Your sopapillas definitely look authentic which makes my mouth water even more! I may just give your recipe a try. For anyone who happens to visit New Mexico, you can actually buy a package of "Sopapilla Mix" that only requires you add water to make the dough, it is available in most grocery stores.
Just my thoughts on the subject...thanks for sharing your recipe and photos!

Selkie said...

mmmmmmm these look sooo good, and while I'm not a displaced Texan, I did need a good recipe! My husband & his brothers grew up calling these "sofa pillows"... which describes so well the shape and COMFORT you get from these lovelies. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

mmm,... sopapillas. I make these all the time because up north everyone thought of them as yummy ethnic food. And when I'm in Texas my family and friends convince me to make them so they don't have to go to Rosa's for a fix. I don't mind because I LOVE sopapillas. However, one thing that I noticed is different between our recipes is that mine calls for the butter and sugar to be added in the beginning. However, they are yummy either way. Yummmmmmm,....

Wiseman Family said...

You captured exactly my feelings and cravings for sopapillas. I grew up in a rural New Mexico town. The absolute BEST sopapillas I've ever had are served at "Jalisco's" in Silver City. They are the fluffiest ones I've ever had and they are HUGE. I'm always trying to find a way to recreate them but most recipes I try don't turn out nearly as good. I'm going to give yours a try. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I made these last night - AWESOME. The yeast makes a big difference, I think. A very good recipe. After the dough had doubled in size, I put it in the refrigerator for about an hour with no ill-effects.

stephanie keasling said...

This was great. My 11 year old made these. Very easy. Thank you.

Ali said...

Yum! I love sopapillas!! Thanks for the recipe. I am making the dough now!!

RoyKelly said...

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!.

I grew up on a ranch in central Colorado, and the old woman who lived in the railroad line shack and babysat us used to make the tastiest white flour tortillas on our wood and coal cook stove and for dessert we would have sopapillas drizzled with honey. This was in the early to mid 1960s. She has long since passed away and I had no idea how to make these tasty treats.

I also spent many years in the east, courtesy of the US Army and found very little good Tex-Mex in Virginia. since coming back home to Colorado, I have found decent tortillas and sopapillas, but they were lacking when compared to my memory. I tried your recipes and they are so close to my memories that it is amazing! The only lacking is the woodsmoke.

- Roy Kelly

Sarah said...

Now that I've lived in Northern Idaho for four years, I find it astounding that the residents think sopapillas are fried flour tortillas doused with cinnamon and sugar. Thanks for the recipe!

Joan said...

I was on a trip to New Mexico and had the best sopapillas ever, we put beans in ours. I have been looking for a good recipe and I think I just found it!
From- Joan in Mt. Ida Arkansas

wanda said...

We all love sopapillas. I've learned a few tricks along the way to make them puffy. After rolling the dough and cutting them in-to triangles, stretch slighty and place into oil rolled side down. Hold down sopapilla with wooden spoon until you feel it trying to bob to the surface. Flip and brown other side.

Julia said...

Is this recipe the same even in high altitudes like Colorado? Or would you need to modify it?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Julia--It's fried not baked, so it's probably the same.

Ruth said...

I have to say, I never made sopapillas before but reading the ingredients and seeing the picture you took inspired me to get up and make them. It is absolutely the best dough! The sopapillas were delectable. I had so much dough left over that I made calzones. Amazing again! The dough I can't get over! Thank you so much. Tonight I'll be making your recipe of flour tortillas!

marysnest said...

I was just researching sopapillas and found your recipe. :-) love your blog...and your cookbook too. But are you sure sopapillas are a yeast bread? I thought they were traditionally a quick bread made with baking powder. Or is that just when they are made in NM? Are the Texas style made with yeast? If you make them with baking powder, it's a lot easier...and quicker too. More like a biscuit dough, just rolled thin and fried. They puff up beautifully.

All the best,
Mary

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

marysnest--Thank you for the kind words! Yes, they're traditionally made with yeast but your way sounds good, too.

lking833 said...

ever since I found your tortilla recipe, you are my go to for recipes now. with that said I made these tonight( my kids are devouring them as I type) and they were sooo good! I didn't use the cinnamon and sugar because the honey was going to be enough of a sticky mess for my 4 and 2 year old haha! thank you for all your wonderful recipes :)

Stephanie T said...

Kari I am looking for the recipe for Pancho's Sour cream Enchilada's as well. I have found a few sauces that have cloves in it. I will try it and post here to let you know if it works. Here is one of them. http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mexican_red_chili_sauce/

Kay said...

Ah, sopapillas, made the right way! So many restaurants outside of Texas claim to have Sopapillas, but bring a flat fried tortilla to the table. No puff, no softness, no taste. Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with the traditional kind made with baking powder. They are fabulous eaten with a homemade pot of beans. And IF you have any left over a sprinking of powdered sugar on them is great too!

Anonymous said...

Can you store the Sopapilla dough, after it has risen in the fridge for a couple of days?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--Yes, you can store the dough for a couple of days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for a month.

Anonymous said...

I am aching now as I decide if there is a reasonable way to cut this recipe in half… now I need to invite people over and make them!

Anonymous said...

Since moving to Alberta I've learned how to make my own enchiladas and tamales. This is only because in Canada they think good Mexican food comes from a recently mopped Taco Bell, they also have the bizarre belief that poutine is a food. I'll have to try this recipe 'cause I have to fly 1750 miles otherwise and I do so love a good sopapilla.

Anonymous said...

Is there a restaurant in NYC that serves Sopapillas, and where is it? My Fiance' is from NM and craves her native cuisine here in NY.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--I don't know of one.

Hannah said...

I made this dough about 3 days ago and only fried up half the batch for myself, my husband and my son ... I had lofty ideas to use the remaining dough for something like cinnamon rolls, but it never happened ... so I took the dough out of the fridge and let it set on the counter for about 40 minutes before frying up the triangles - they were HUGE - like 2-3" high ... and delicious. Slightly stronger yeast flavor, but perfect w/the cinnamon and sugar + raw natural texas honey ;-) thank you!

Ainat M. said...

Made these tonight. Perfect. We filled ours with ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Remember to drop them into the oil UPSIDE DOWN. This helps them puff up when frying. So whichever side was on the counter when rolling out-becomes the first upside in the oil! Enjoy! Lori ~ Allen, TX

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