Popular in New Mexico, this crowd-favorite fried pastry dessert gets an unexpected twist. That's right, these little pillows of crispy dough are served with a drizzle of spicy honey. Remember to be patient when working with dough. If it's proving difficult to roll out after you knead it, give it about five minutes to rest beneath a damp towel. When it’s time to cut the dough into squares, a pizza cutter works wonders, but a knife or even scissors can also do the trick. These sopapillas are the perfect ending to any meal, or a nice treat to start the day (we won’t tell!).
For the Sopapillas:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
¾ cup warm water
vegetable oil, for frying
For the Spicy Honey:
½ cup honey
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
pinch kosher salt
How to Make It
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; add shortening and, using your hands, mix until evenly combined. Make a well in center of the flour mixture and add warm water. Stir until dough is thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature, 20 minutes.
Fill a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot with 3 inches of oil. Fit with a deep-fry thermometer and heat to 375°F.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times. Roll into a ¼-inch-thick square and cut into 12 3-inch squares.
Working with 3 or 4 at a time, fry dough, turning occasionally and adjusting heat so that oil stays at 375°F, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
Combine honey, crushed red pepper, and salt in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH until warm, about 20 seconds. Drizzle sopapillas with warm spicy honey and serve.
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