Wheat flour, a bit of shortening, Mexican brown sugar, and milk. “It’s simple and tasty and good year-round,” says Mariana Barran de Goodall of this recipe for gorditas de azúcar, or sugar tortillas, in Garden & Gun’s December/January 2021 issue. Goodall, the founder of Hibiscus Linens in Houston; Amparo Fine Living in Birmingham, and Hotel Amparo in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—where these sugar tortillas are a staple—also shared her recipes for shortbread-like hojarascas and cuernitos de azúcar, or Mexican wedding cookies. Making sugar tortillas formed “one of my funniest childhood memories,” Goodall says, “playing with flour, while making a long row of little dough balls before we pressed them. My brother and I would race each other to make the prettiest ones while we waited for the pan to get hot and for my mom to bring the cookie press out.” And if you don’t immediately wolf them down, Goodall says you can warm them back up in the oven, or by placing one over a cup of hot coffee.
Mariana Barran de Goodall’s gorditas de azúcar
Photo: Julie Soefer
Gorditas de Azúcar (Yield: About 40 cookies)
4 cups whole wheat flour
1¼ cups shortening
1 cup wheat bran
½ cup piloncillo or brown sugar (piloncillo, a raw form of pure cane sugar, may also be referred to as Mexican brown sugar)
1 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. milk
Vanilla, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients except for the vanilla in a bowl and stir well, then mix in the vanilla. Pinch a small amount of dough out, and then roll it in your hand until round (you may need to cover your hands in flour so the dough does not stick to your skin). Once you have a handful of balls, place them one by one in a tortilla press, and push just hard enough to create a round disc about one-eighth of an inch thick—you don’t want it to be paper thin or it will burn when placed in the pan.
Warm a pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the flat disc or tortilla into the pan, and keep an eye on it until it becomes a gold color. Once the tortilla turns golden, turn it so the other side can cook. The lighter in color they are, the softer they will be; the darker in color, the crunchier. Once cooked to your preferred level of doneness, place them on a kitchen towel to cool.