Sorullitos are Puerto Rican corn fritters that are enjoyed as an appetizer or snack and are very similar to hush puppies. You can eat them with or without a cheese filling. They are traditionally made by creating a thick batter out of cornmeal, sugar, butter and water then shaping small amounts of the batter into finger shapes. The corn sticks are then fried in oil resulting in a crispy fritter. I wanted to take these traditionally fried fritters and bake them to make them healthier and to see if they will still come out crispy without the need for frying.
Developing this recipe took some time since I had to retest it a few times before it was just right. For my first attempt, I used gluten-free cornmeal and did not put any sugar or vegan butter. That test resulted in a bland fritter that had a bitter aftertaste. I thought that the sugar and vegan butter was not needed for this recipe but after tasting that first batch of fritters I figured out that those ingredients did give it a nice flavor. I decided to add them in but not go crazy with adding too much of each.
I retested the recipe again and added the sugar and vegan butter. The second batch tasted much better but I was still getting a bitter aftertaste. It was driving me crazy because the first bite tasted great but as you kept chewing it, it just went bitter. I knew something was wrong with one of the ingredients and had to fix it. I reviewed all of the ingredients and the only one that was not modified in anyway was the cornmeal. I was using organic gluten-free corn meal so I decided to change to another brand of cornmeal to see if it made a difference, and it did. I tested the recipe again for a third time and the fritters came out tasting sweet and there was no bitterness. The only thing was that they came out too soft after cooking them for 45 minutes at 350oF. They didn’t look like they were fully cooked and could hold their shape when I picked them up but this was any easy fix, I added some unbleached flour.
For the fourth and final round of testing I sprayed all of the uncooked fritters with some coconut oil cooking spray. This helps with getting the outside crispy while baking in the oven. Then I increased the temperature of the oven from 350oF to 400oF, and cooked them for 30 minutes. After making this adjustment the fritters came out sweet and crispy. My grandmother even liked them and she prefers frying everything she eats.
These fritters are usually served with a dip made by mixing some mayonnaise and ketchup. You can also dip these in a vegan garlic aioli dip which you can get the recipe for here or your favorite dipping sauce. Try making these corn fritters if you are looking for a sweet and crispy appetizer without the extra oil.
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