Did you know the sopapilla, or sopaipilla, and the strudel were the official State Pastries of Texas from 2003 to 2005? Well, It’s true! You can even check out the official document here, which describes sopapillas as having “historic origins and universal appeal; embraced today by Texans of every ethnic background . . . .” It’s pretty clear that sopapillas (and strudels, too) are beloved by many people in the Lone Star State.
Sopapillas, often enjoyed as a dessert, can be described as a deep-fried, usually puffed pastry topped with powdered sugar (or cinnamon sugar) and a drizzle of honey. They’re little slices of perfection that, immediately after devouring them, will leave you wanting more. Pero, ay, that diet, right?!
Sopapillas are a staple among Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States and abroad, and you can easily find them in many Tex-Mex restaurants in San Antonio. It’s basically standard here in South Texas, as I’m sure it is in other parts of the Southwest, too. (New Mexicans, I’m lookin’ at you.) It seems only fitting then that this sweet, delectable pastry would join the likes of the rodeo, guitar, and chili as an important cultural symbol of Texas ― even if only briefly "official" by the state for two years. That was over 10 years ago, and sadly we've been without a state pastry ever since. Are we going to leave Texas pastry-less like that? Tortilla chips and salsa ― the state snack ― didn't come with an expiration date (THANKFULLY), but I'm just sayin'! Also, please don't hurt the chips and salsa.
If you've never tried sopapillas, or if you're like me and want to be able to enjoy all the fresh sopapillas at home, then give this recipe a try. Plus ― bonus! ― they’re incredibly easy to make. My only regret is that I wish I had made more. *honey teardrop*
What do you think about sopapillas? Do you have a favorite place for sopapillas in San Antonio?! Let’s chat about it in the comments below!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½-cups warm water
- Vegetable oil
- Cinnamon sugar
- Combine flour, baking powder, shortening, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
- Slowly stir in warm water and mix until dough becomes smooth.
- Cover dough and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in deep fryer to 375 °F.
(Tip: If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can heat about 3 in. of oil in a skillet or pot.)
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a ¼-inch-thick rectangle.
- Cut out 4-inch squares from the dough, then cut squares diagonally for triangular pieces, or keep them as squares (or do a mix of both).
- Carefully place dough pieces in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds on each side. Dough will puff up as it cooks.
- Serve on a plate and top with cinnamon sugar and honey.