Growing up in a Mexican Puertorican family we ate Sopes but I didn't discover Gorditas til later in life. Gorditas literally means "fatty". They are thick tortillas made from a corn flour. They taste nothing like a tortilla if I had to compare them to something they closest comparison would be corn cakes with a doughy texture. Sopes were a treat at my house for some reason my mother thought they were too time consuming so we didn't get them very often.
I did some research online trying to figure out the difference between Gorditas (1st picture above) and Sopes (2nd picture above). I wasn't very successful until I got some help from Mexican friends and family. So apparently, Sopes and Gorditas only really differ in their shape. They both use the same dough, they can be fried or baked and they can be topped. You always top Sopes but Gorditas can be topped or filled. You can use any of these: beans, cheese, meat, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream etc... you can use a couple of those toppings or all of them. With sopes you pinch the end of the dough almost like you would with crust. Gorditas you don't do that they are either flat or filled. Frying or baking is up to you in Mexico when you buy them off street vendors they are fried most of the time. My mother fried ours, yummy!
All of the recipes I found used flour called Masa Harina a type of cornmeal flour that already has other ingredients mixed in and you just add water some recipes were more of a pita bread type and that is not what real Gorditas are like. After many attempts trying to make them using a Masa Harina recipe substituting this for just cornmeal (majorly messed up they kind of just fell apart) I decided to come up with my own version of Gorditas recipe since I can't get Masa Harina here.
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening, melted
1 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk, beaten
3tbls Corn meal
* Optional: Vegetable oil for deep frying
COMBINE flour, baking powder, corn meal and salt in large bowl. Add shortening, milk, egg and egg yolk. Stir with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll each ball on floured surface to 6-inch circle. Keep dough balls covered as you work. Place balls between a plastic bag to roll out and flatten.
Bake at 350 for 10-15mins (or fry) and then top with beans and cheese while they are hot so the cheese can melt. You can stop there with topping or go for the full toppings: meat, cheese, sourcream, lettuce and tomato with salsa.
I tried both ways frying and baking and my preference is baking.
I love to have fun with paper, food, paint, music and events and just being creative in all of it. However, I don't feel the need to be a perfectionist nor a professional in any of my creations. I wish I could have a blog JUST about the art of cooking, photography, sewing, art, mothering, jewelry making, card making, dancing, gardening, deep spiritual thoughts, decorating, poetry, party planning, baking.... and the list goes on but I can't. I don't think I was created with the ability to focus on one task. I like all of these hobbies layed out before me and the freedom to pick whatever I choose depending on the mood or time I have.