Sopaipillas are fried pockets of dough, a specialty in New Mexico that's rarely seen in restaurants outside of the state. The dough, leavened and enriched with shortening or lard, is rolled out and cut into squares or rounded shapes.
Deep-fried, the dough pieces puff up dramatically, crisping on the surface while remaining soft and tender inside. The perfect sopaipilla? The outermost layer, fried in the oil, should be paper-thin and crisp on the corners. When properly fried, the interior will separate into two layers: the chewy yet soft layer of dough directly underneath the browned shell, followed by the innermost layer—soft, a little stretchy, and just cooked through.
While each New Mexico restaurant has their own rendition, all tables are stocked with a bottle of honey, the traditional condiment for slathering. After the jump, check out a roundup of our favorites.