Some say you’re not making them right if the house doesn’t get a little smoky while cooking sopaipillas. Others say you’re not supposed to make them in the house and many cooks who are lucky enough to have a summer kitchen near the backdoor of the house indeed, cook them outside because to get the oil hot enough to fry them right means there’s going to be a little smoke.

That means it has to be 500 degrees. And that means you’re going to have smoke. You will get an airy sopaipilla no other way.

1 tablespoon lard or solid shortening
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ buttermilk
¼ water

Mix the flour, other dry ingredients and shortening together until the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients and roll out onto a lightly floured surface until about ⅛ of an inch thick. Turn and roll out again. Try not to over handle the dough. Cut into 3-inch triangles or squares and drop, one at a time, into the deep hot fat. Baste with a spatula until brown on both sides. Makes about one dozen. Serve with honey butter.

Another recipe that doesn’t use lard or buttermilk and is probably more in use than the more traditional one above, the following recipe can also be doubled if you are having a large gathering.

2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon baking powder
about ¾ cup water
1 tablespoon salad oil (olive or vegetable or even coconut oil)

Honey Butter

½ pound butter (8 ounces)
½ cup honey
dash of ground cinnamon (optional)

Soften the butter to room temperature. Using a large wooden spoon, gradually add the honey. If you have a small-volume food processor, you can do this very easily using that piece of equipment. You can also use a hand mixer. If not, take your time adding and stirring and before you know it will be all whipped together.