These deep fried pastries are a classic treat in New Mexican households. Delicious served with tea or coffee, their light sweetness perfectly balances out a spicy meal. The dough comes together quickly, so be sure to warm up your oil for deep frying before you start. Once you drop the sopaipillas in the fryer, flip them immediately so that they form that signature pillow puff. They are great to serve to a crowd - but they sure won’t last long!
by Marigrace Angelo and Amanda Berrill
for 12 sopaipillas
2 cups all purpose flour (250 g), plus more for dusting
Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk and warm water and stir with a rubber spatula until a sticky dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, until no longer sticky.
Place the dough on a plate or baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 3 equal balls, cover again with damp cloth, and let rest for 30-60 minutes.
Make the chocolate dipping sauce: Add the dark and milk chocolate and coconut oil to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the ancho chile powder and cinnamon. Whisk in the warm cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thin dipping sauce consistency is reached. Stir in the vanilla. Set aside.
Fill a Dutch oven or large pot fitted with a deep fry thermometer with about 3 inches (7 cm) of vegetable oil. Heat the oil until it reaches 400°F (200°C).
While the oil is heating, shape the sopaipillas: On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 of the 3 dough balls to a 8-inch (20 cm) square. Cut into 4 4-inch (10 cm) squares, discarding any extra trimmed dough. Place the squares on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near the pot of oil.
Gently transfer one square of dough into the hot oil as a tester--it should float to the surface within a few seconds. As soon as the dough floats, flip it over immediately. Keep turning the dough every 5 seconds or so, until it puffs up like a pillow and turns light golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough squares, frying 2-4 at a time, or however many will fit without crowding the pot.
Drizzle half of the sopaipillas with the honey and dust with the powdered sugar. Serve the other half with chocolate dipping sauce. Serve immediately.