Papel Picado (Crunchy Tortilla Snowflakes)

Makes 8 Snowflakes

Papel picado means “perforated paper,” and it’s a popular folk-art craft in Tucson and Mexico. This edible version will brighten any winter holiday table. Use fine-pointed scissors and the softest, freshest tortillas you can find so that they fold easily without cracking. Serve these as a dessert or appetizer, either alone or with crème fraiche for dipping.

8 (6-inch) extra-fluffy flour tortillas
Olive oil spray or 2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs colored sanding sugar, such as turquoise blue
2 Tbs sprinkles, such as white jimmies, snowflake quins, or multicolored nonpareils
1 Tbs coarse salt flakes, such as Maldon
1/2 cup crème fraiche, for serving (optional)

Position your oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone sheet liner.

Fold each tortilla in half, then in half again, and then in half a third time to make a roughly triangular shape. Using fine-pointed scissors, cut away small triangles or semicircles from the tortilla layers. Cut off a small piece from the tip, too, if you want a hole in the very center. Carefully unfold the tortillas — they will resemble large snowflakes — place them flat on the baking sheets, and spray or brush with olive oil.

Decorate the “snowflakes” to your liking with sanding sugar, sprinkles, and coarse salt. Bake until slightly golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Serve with crème fraiche.

Recipe & Photo from Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers / West Margin Press/2020