When looking for something both new and versatile to add to our meal repertoire, I came upon the concept of sopes. These little cups are made with masa flour and are often fried to create a flavor not unlike a tortilla chip. After that, they are stuffed with a variety of Mexican-inspired flavors and served as an appetizer or as part of the main dish.
But I wanted something a little simpler and so I opted for a cooking method that didn’t involve standing over a pot of hot fat but also maintained the fat + masa = yum factor. Cooking non-muffins in muffin tins is nothing new in our house but somehow this little variation of the corn tortilla (also made with masa) created much excitement.
Not only that, it provided us with two meals’ worth of these little corn cups. Being incredibly versatile means you can stuff them with eggs + chorizo for breakfast one day and then serve them with beans and salsa for lunch the following day. Heating the leftovers on a baking sheet crisps them up once again and suddenly lunch goes from a pot of beans to something infinitely more exciting.
I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I think you could stuff these guys with your family’s favorite foods. Maybe pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings for a gluten-free pizza cup. Perhaps chili with onions and cheese? How about filling them with a freshly cracked egg and returning them to the oven for a few minutes to create drippy baked eggs-in-a-cup?
I’m pretty sure you’ll come up with something brilliant and no one will know how simple they were to make.
Yield: 12 cups
- 3 cups masa harina (preferably non-gmo)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups room temperature water
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 cup melted coconut oil or lard, plus an additional 1/2 cup solid coconut oil or lard for greasing the pans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease two 12 cup muffin pans with 1/4 cup coconut oil or lard per pan.
- Combine the masa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well and pour in the 1 1/2 cups water, egg, and melted fat. Whisk the wet ingredients with a fork inside the well and then bring the dry ingredients in and continue to mix until the dough becomes cohesive. If it is still dry add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it forms a soft, but not overly sticky, dough. Knead this dough for a couple of minutes just to pull it all together.
- Divide this dough in half and then divide each half into 12 evenly-sized balls. Place each ball into a prepared muffin cup and push the down down and up the sides to create a cup shape that is as even in thickness as you can manage. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and muffin cups.
- Place pans in preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown around the edges and are dry at the bottom of the cup (minus any residual coconut oil).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin pans for about 10 minutes before serving or moving to cooling rack. Stuff with eggs and meat, beans and cheese, or vegetables and guacamole as an appetizer or main dish.