Sopapilla is derived from the word suppa, which means bread soaked in liquid (thanks Wikipedia!). These fried quick bread pastries, which resemble little pillows, are traditionally consumed in Hispanic cultures and are served with cinnamon and sugar with a side of honey. This spin on the pastry incorporates cocoa powder (who doesn’t like chocolate?), and if your heart desires, can be served with agave nectar for extra sweetness. Though used as a dessert in this recipe, sopapillas can also be consumed as lunch or dinner accompaniments when served with various condiments such as ketchup or mustard.
Yields 20-25 pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 - 3/4 cup water
3-4 cups peanut oil for frying
For the topping, combine cinnamon and sugar in a wide, shallow bowl; mix and set aside.
For the dough, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add 2/3 cup water and mix, then add an additional 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until dough comes together. Dough should be smooth and not sticky. Form into a ball, cover, and place in the refrigerator, allowing to rest for 30 minutes. If making ahead of time, wrap dough in plastic and store in the refrigerator until ready for use.
Using a medium-size pot with high sides, heat peanut oil to 375º F over high heat.
Meanwhile, roll dough out on a clean, lightly floured work surface, until approximately ¼ inch thick. Cut into 3-inch x 3-inch squares and fry individually in preheated oil for 15-20 seconds, or until golden brown and puffy. Flip over and cook for another 10-15 seconds or until golden brown. Using a heat-resistant, slotted spoon, remove from oil and shake off as much oil as possible. Dredge in cinnamon and sugar mixture, turning to coat both sides. Set on separate plate and allow to cool before eating.