The secret's out – you don't have to eat store-bought tortilla chips. Making your own tortilla chips is a simple, quick process that delivers a chip that tastes fresher and better than any chip in a bag. Tossed with a little cinnamon sugar, homemade tortilla chips are a sinfully delicious treat. Actually, they don't have to be so very sinful; you can choose to bake your chips instead of frying them. Toss together a fruit salsa for dip and you have the perfect treat – both sweet and full of vitamin C.
Things You'll Need
1/2 cup White sugar
2 to 3 tsp. Ground cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
Medium saucepan or cookie sheets
Cooking oil or 3 to 4 tbsp. butter
Deep frying thermometer (optional)
Knife, pasta cutter or pizza cutter
Flour or corn tortillas
Slotted metal spoon
Large serving bowl
Deep-Fried Cinnamon-Sugar-Coated Tortilla Chips
Pour 1/2 cup white sugar into a medium-sized bowl. Add 2 or 3 tsp. ground cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (if desired).
Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg thoroughly to prevent clumps. Set aside momentarily.
Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with cooking oil. Clip a deep-frying thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat the pan over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer, use a deep fryer set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a stack of 6 or 8 tortillas – either corn or flour – in front of you. Use either a knife, pizza cutter or pasta cutter to cut through the tortillas as if you're cutting pizza. This will create the familiar triangle shape of traditional tortilla chips.
Check the temperature of your cooking oil. If you don't have a thermometer, test the oil temperature by dropping one chip in the oil. The oil will immediately sizzle if it's hot enough, and the chip should brown nicely in 2 to 3 minutes.
Drop the tortilla chips gently into the oil, several at a time. Watch while they turn golden brown and rise to the surface.
Gather fried chips from the oil with a slotted metal spoon. Place them on a plate, covered with a clean paper towel, to drain momentarily while you place a fresh batch of chips in the oil.
Drop still-warm tortilla chips into the bowl containing the cinnamon sugar. Use a spoon to toss the chips slightly and pour sugar over them as needed.
Remove the chips from the cinnamon-sugar coating and put them in a large serving bowl. Get the chips being fried out of the oil and repeat until all chips are done.
Baked Cinnamon-Sugar-Coated Tortilla Chips
Adjust your oven rack to the center of the oven, if necessary. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt 3 or 4 tbsp. butter in a small bowl. In another bowl – or shaker if you have one – mix 1/2 cup sugar, 2 or 3 teaspoons cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (if desired). Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring until well blended.
Cut a stack of 6 or 8 flour or corn tortillas into wedges, as you would a pizza, using a pizza cutter, pasta cutter or knife. Drop the chips into the butter as you cut them up.
Dunk the chips in the sugar and cinnamon mixture, and then lay them out on a cookie sheet, arranging them so they don't touch. Or, for a lighter seasoning, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake the chips for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan gently after about 4 minutes to prevent sticking. Watch the chips carefully to avoid burning; the chips will turn a light, golden brown when finished.
Remove the chips from the pan and place them in a serving bowl. Continue baking chips until done. Serve warm or cool.
Cut your tortillas into squares or use cookie cutters for fun, party-style chips. Flour tortillas will have a different texture and a different flavor than corn ones will. Colored or whole-wheat tortillas may also be used. To create a scoop-shaped tortilla chip, bake tortilla chips in cupcake pans, fitting the chip in the shape you want before baking. Frying is a more difficult and more time-consuming because, using the slotted metal spoon, you must do them one at a time. Cut up your favorite fruits and add a dash of lemon juice and mint for an original fruit salsa. You can also add cucumber, finely ground nuts or whatever else appeals to you. Consult fruit-salsa recipes for more ideas.