Cookie Cutters Make Homemade Tortilla Chips More Fun

Existing in the age of social media has made many of us more mindful about food presentation. We've learned that with just a little creative thinking, everything we snack on can have the opportunity to become a work of art — even something as simple as chips and dip. While there aren't many unique ways to pile guacamole into a bowl, you can gussy up your snack table by swapping out regular tortilla chips for the fun-shaped, homemade variety.

Making custom-shaped tortilla chips at home couldn't be easier when you enlist the help of cookie cutters. Whether you'd like to make leaf and acorn-shaped chips for Thanksgiving, gingerbread people for Christmas, or tiny, heart-shaped tortillas for Valentine's Day, there is no shortage of options. It's as easy as pressing your chosen cookie cutter into a corn tortilla, removing the excess scraps, and putting them to the side. You can use them to make tortilla strips for salads and soups later! 

For even more visual interest, you might try finding different colors of corn tortillas or dye them yourself by painting food coloring on them with a brush before frying.

Tips for making shaped tortilla chips

Because corn tortillas tend to be dense and tough before being warmed or fried, it's easier to use metal cookie cutters instead of plastic ones. While not necessary, if you're struggling to press the cookie cutter all the way through, try softening the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds.

Once your shapes are cut out, it's time to get crispy! If you'd like to go the traditional (and the tastiest) route, try frying them in a couple of inches of oil. Choosing an oil with a high smoke point, like soybean or canola, is critical for the best results. If you're looking for a nutritious option, avocado oil can also work well for frying. 

Speaking of nutritious, if you'd like to skip the frying altogether, the chips can be baked in the oven or air fryer. While it's best to season fried tortilla chips after removing them from your frying oil, baked or air-fried chips can be seasoned beforehand. Olive oil and salt make for a more classic-tasting tortilla chip, while a spritz of lime and chili powder can boost them to spicy new heights.