Classic Sopapillas

Homemade sopapillasIf you have never had a Sopapilla before, friend, you are in for a treat today. Sopapillas are basically quick donuts. My family used to always stop at Casa Bonita in Tulsa, OK, after visiting my great grandmother, Lula, every summer before she passed away. The trip was always made memorable by Lula. She was a real firecracker. But, being a kid who loved to eat sweets, I also always looked forward to filling my plate with warm, sugary Sopapillas!Homemade cinnamon sopapillasCinnamon sopapillasThese are made from a yeasted dough, usually cut into squares or triangles and then fried so that they puff in the center. My dad taught us to tear off a corner and drizzle in a little honey into the puffed out pocket. I've also heard that some restaurants will serve them with sweet or savory fillings. If never had Sopapillas this way before, but it sounds awesome! I decided to try using a cookie cutter to create a slightly less traditional shape (stars), and I was delighted to find that they puffed up perfectly as well. Sopapilla recipeClassic Sopapillas, makes 24-28 (depending on the size and shape you choose). Slightly adapted from here.

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
oil for frying
honey for serving

In a small bowl stir together the warm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the yeast and allow this to sit for 6-8 minutes (it should activate and will look foamy). In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the yeast mixture and melted butter until a loose dough ball forms. Turn out on to a lightly floured counter and knead for 4-6 minutes, until the dough begins to become elastic. Place in a lighlty oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for an hour. Bread dough before it risesBread dough after it risesThe dough should just about double in size. Punch down and roll out on a lightly floured surface so that it's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into triangles, squares or other fun shapes. In a large, heavy pot heat enough oil, so the Sopapillas can float to around 375°F. Fry the Sopapillas until browned, about 2 minutes. Then flip so that each side cooks. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil, sprinkle with sugar.The best homemade sopapillasThese are best served warm, within an hour of when they are made. I've found that you can rewarm them in the oven or microwave. But they are best when "fresh." Serve alongside honey or other sweet dipping sauces (a little hot fudge never hurt anyone). Enjoy! xo. Emma

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