Sunday, December 17, 2006

an old world hanukkah treat

in certain homes, plates of these always seem to be around throughout the holiday. they are just that good. these deep fried pieces of dough are treats which have ties to the old ashkenazi world of eastern europe — poland, hungary, lithuania and russia, in particular. they are known by several names. i simply call them fried bowties.

the way i make them has changed over the years. with the holidays being very busy, i completely appreciate a modernized way of making these tasty bowties instead of slaving away mixing, rolling and cutting. so, i have taken to a short cut. a chinese one, to be exact.

huh, you say?

using wonton wrappers to make these, in my opinion, is brilliant. they are kosher and they are already rolled and cut. i always keep a package of this frozen for who knows what. i do admit, with the original recipe the dough is a little thicker and not as crisp after frying, which i prefer, and it can be flavoured. while these cannot, they are just as good — especially in a pinch.

the following bowties take no time to make. having a little hanukkah helper does speed things up, as long as s/he knows what the correct procedure is. the forming of the bows is fun for kids but keep them away from the oil, obviously.

so without further ado, here is how you do it.

it's really a no-brainer and besides the wrappers, it requires nothing but a cutter of some sort, the oil, a cookie sheet and the icing sugar & cinnamon, if you use it.

fried hanukkah bowties


1 pkg wonton wrappers
oil for frying
icing sugar
cinnamon and/or ground ginger [optional]


first of all, i use one of these to cut the dough. it makes the job fast and simple. you can also use a knife.

defrost the dough if it is frozen. take out a few sheets and cover the rest. keep the sheets together for faster and more convenient cutting. you may also just cut one sheet at a time. no point to it, really as it takes forever that way.

now, if you didn't listen and are still cutting one by one, make a slit in the upper 1/3 of the dough as you can see in the picture. if you are using the stacked way cut through to the bottom. don't do more than say, a stack of 4 at a time. it becomes difficult to cut through nicely with more than that.

place the stacks near you, and take one by one and and pull the bottom half through the slit.

carefully pull one end through almost all the way. you will end up with a nice bow. place these aside on a cookie sheet. it's okay if they dry. you don't need to cover them. make sure you have a batch before you start frying as you don't want to stop in between to make more. the fry quickly and chances are you will burn them.

after you have done the fun part, now comes the less pleasant part of frying. make sure that the oil is not too hot. you WILL burn them if it is. i fry them at a bit lower temperature than normal. they will take 3 to 4 minutes in total, most likely.

once they are browned on one side, flip them over with chopsticks or a fork. remove them and place them on paper towels and keep frying your brains out. deep fried heaven!

now you will make your decision as to how you want to finish the job. these can be taken as they are right below and stored away until you want to serve them. they can be put in a tin for a week or two without and noticeable difference.

take your icing sugar and either add some cinnamon and/or ginger or just leave it plain and sift it into a bowl. you don't want lumps.

once that is done, take a strainer and sift the icing over your bowties and then turn them and repeat.

an alternative is to put the icing sugar in a ziploc and then add the bowties and shake. they will be covered more heavily.

depending on how much sugar you want on them, choose your method. ice them just before serving.

most of all, enjoy!! happy holidays.

p.s. these sound like the bomb! definitely in the plans for another day.


annie said...

These are the cutest little tidbits! And they sound super easy. YUMmmm. Do you use a 'fry daddy' or just stove top? I would imagine a thermometer of some sort would take much of the guess work out of it.

I haven't deep fried anything in ages. I can't remember the last time. I miss it :-)

burekaboy — said...

hey annie :) nope, i do it the old fashioned way. if it's too hot i turn down the heat. i do it also in a fry pan with high sides so i have extra surface space to fry more at one time and use less oil (more shallow frying than deep frying).

they are indeed easy and cute. using the wrappers saves enormous time and you can keep them for quite a while; they stay crisp and crunchy.

Karina said...

Look at those crispy little gems! You're killin' me. They are fabulous [and cannot be duplicated in my gluten-free world]. I'll just have to live vicariously. And with your gorgeous photography, that's not hard to do. Happy Hanukkah!

beenzzz said...

These look so yummy and simple to make. I might have to make them for my little (not so little) one. She loves anything that involves fried wonton skins. :)

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Now YOU have some info on
latkes! LOL So many interesting recipes here :)


Heather said...

Fried then add sugar? Any combination of the two and I'm totally in. Looks scrumptious! (and thanks for stopping by my blog!)

burekaboy — said...

beenzzz - oh, i'm sure she'd love em and enjoy making the bows. they're fun to do :P

hey tea - lol, yeah, i may have gone a little latke crazy with that one. lots to say, i guess :)

hi heather - i know, sugar and deepfried. no comment, right? just shove them in your mouth fast! :)) no questions asked.

chanit said...

איזה הפתעות יש לך גם בחנוכה

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's a very good idea! Those bowties certainly look yummy!...

Happy Hanukkah!!!

aja said...

Hey BB,
What a great idea! Are these related to kishke?

burekaboy — said...

chanit - לא להגיד לי שאף פעם לא ראית אותם! לא יכול להיות

rosa - thanks! if you like crunchy snacks, you'll love these!

aja - aren't all my ideas great?? LOL LOL LOL i'd be a millionaire by now had that been true!

unless they were stuffing their derma with deepfried sugared wonton wrappers in the pale of settlement, i doubt there was a kishke relationship. LOL. funny girl.

then again ... eggrolls are stuffed and so is kishke (and china is next to russia) may be onto something! ;-P

Pammie said...

I am not hanging around the right homes I think, because I haven't had these, they look very yummy! Once you get over your fear of frying stuff though, you are doomed (but in a good way!)...

burekaboy — said...

pam - will have to hook you up with the right crowd! you're going have to start hanging out around oak street more often. these are really good and a quick deepfried lovers snack. i don't like frying, to be honest. hot oil is a very precarious medium to be fooling around with and a not so pleasant smelling one .... how could something so bad taste so good?? lol. :)

Nafeesah said...

Oh how cute!! Malaysia has loads of these types of little snacks, It never even occured to me to use the wonton skins though...

I do Something similar that I usually fry up in big batches for my brothers. I make a regular dough with white flour salt and water, make sure it's quite firm.
Then I roll it out thinly into a rectangle shape and make a paste out of cornflour and oil, (quite thick) then I brush it all over the dough.
Then I roll up the dough tightly, and then cut it up into 1" circles, after which I roll them out (more like stretch them out) into long thin ovals. Fry. Then sprinkle with generously with sugar.

Malays call it "Kuih Lidah Buaya" Which means Crocodile tongue Kuih (kuih is just a name for any small snack). They name it that because after you've rolled them out long and then fry them, the layers of the dough separate and became very flaky and .... though I've never seen a crocodiles tongue before, according to the name, it must look like one!! LOL :))

burekaboy — said...

nafeesah - lol, yeah, this is really the cheater's version. i didn't have time to make it the real way which is more labour intensive.

those crocodile tongues sound AMAZING. i may even give them a try! i'm sure i could eat tons of them, too!! oops, on second thought, maybe i shouldn't ;P i love the name of them.

i've seen the word kuih often before but didn't know what it meant. now i do! from all my perusals and reading cookbooks, i've seen there are TONS of snack items in that area of the world. thanks for the great explanation of how to make them. you may just even see them at some point with a big thank you to YOU :D