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~Fun with Flour Tortillas: Sugar 'n Cinnamon Snacks~

IMG_7010When I first tasted these easy-to-make sweet snacks, my heart skipped a beat.  It was back in the 1970's and leftover, made-from-scratch flour tortillas were cut into strips and deep-fried.  When they emerged from the hot oil, all curled up and crunchy and resemblant of Fritos, they were immediately tossed in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  My girlfriend Toni, a Mexican-American, served them with cinnamon ice-cream.  "Totopos de azucar con canela" ("sugar and cinnamon chips") are, what I suppose to be the Mexican-American version of what us American grandmothers do with leftover scraps of pie pastry -- we make snacks for our grandkids!

Minor rant from Mel:  Do not confuse these graham-cracker-esque snacks with Mexican bunuelos (fried yeast dough drizzled with syrup or honey), or, sopaipillas (fried pastry dough that puffs up like hollow-centered pillows and sprinkled with powdered sugar).  Buneulos and sopaipillas, either of which can be anise- or cinnamon-flavored are considerably different and much more sophisticated.  Recipes that refer to, or equate, these snacks to either:  are wrong. 

IMG_6929For years, I deep-fried these snacks exclusively, then, baked versions started appearing.  These were so good the way they were, I would never have thought to bake them, but, it's an alternative with no compromise in result, plus, because they don't curl up when baked, if you've got a fun selection of cookie cutters, the tortillas can be cut into shapes to suit any occasion!

Today's fun and kid-friendly Tex-Mex theme is:  

IMG_6991Cowboys and Cacti -- How cute is that! 

IMG_6931The number of snacks you'll get depends upon the size of the cookie cutters you use.  No matter what their size, for each standard-sized 1/2 sheet pan (1 batch) figure on needing:

3  soft 8" round flour tortillas

3  tablespoons salted butter

2  tablespoons Sugar 'n Cinnamon (Note:  This recipe is kid-friendly -- I allow them the pleasure of using the fun, store-bought, well-known: Sugar 'n Cinnamon.  In the case of this recipe, it's a lot more convenient too.  But, if you feel the need to mix your own, the ratio is  3:1 (3 tablespoons granulated sugar to 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.  If you mix your own, transfer it to a small salt-shaker type container.)

IMG_6935Step 1.  Line a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan with foil, then a sheet of parchment paper.

~ Step 2.  Using cookie cutters of choice, cut the tortillas into desired shapes and sizes.  

IMG_6937~ Step 3. Melt butter in microwave. Using a pastry brush, paint the parchment paper with a thin, but even coating of butter.

IMG_6946 IMG_6949~ Step 4. Arrange the tortillas on top of the buttered parchment.  Using the pastry brush, IMG_6953paint their tops, then sprinkle Cinnamon 'n Sugar generously over all.  

IMG_6966 IMG_6957~ Step 5. Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven, 12-14 minutes until nicely-browned, slightly-shrunken and crispy.  To test for doneness,  slide a thin spatula underneath one, if cracker-like, remove pan from oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Dunk 'em in real-deal Mexican hot chocolate for breakfast...

IMG_7011... or, a giant scoop of salted-caramel ice cream for dessert!

IMG_7052Fun with Flour Tortillas:  Sugar 'n Cinnamon Snacks:  Recipe yields approximately 1-3 dozen snacks, per batch, depending upon the size of the cookie cutters.

Special Equipment List:  17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; aluminum foil; parchment paper; pastry brush; small spatula; cooling rack

PICT0019Cook's Note:  These addictive little snacks go well with another one of my favorite homemade ice creams:  ~ Sweet Heat:  Strawberry & Guajillo Chile Ice Cream + Strawberry & Guajillo Chile Sauce ~.  This easy-to-make concoction of fresh strawberries, real-deal cream, buttermilk, lime juice, plus, just the right amount of subtle guajillo chile powder and spicy cayenne pepper is not one you are likely to forget.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015) 


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