Even if you are reluctant to deep-fry, spicy honey and a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar make these crispy sopapillas extra special and absolutely worth the effort. Slideshow: More Fried Food Recipes
In a small saucepan, whisk the honey with 1/2 cup of water, the cinnamon stick and cayenne. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 cups of flour with the brown sugar, salt, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, breaking up any lumps of sugar. Rub the cream cheese into the flour until only very small bits of the cheese are visible. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk and 3 tablespoons of water. Using a rubber spatula, stir until a shaggy dough forms.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until it’s evenly moist and no longer sticky, about 2 minutes. Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Return them to the prepared baking sheet and re-cover. Let rest for 45 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 of the dough balls into a 6-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the round into 6 wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
Line a wire rack with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with the granulated sugar. In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of the oil to 375°. Working in batches, fry the dough, turning it once, until puffed and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sopapillas as they’re done to the prepared rack. Dust with the cinnamon sugar and serve warm with the spicy honey.
The spicy honey can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.