Monday, March 5, 2012

Brownie Bow Ties

I have no idea how an entire year went by during which I watched so few current films. As of Oscar night, I had seen exactly two of the movies nominated for Best Picture. As usual, we attended an Oscar party and bet on the outcome of the awards. I was sure the Academy would pick George Clooney as Best Actor, and in my typical Oscar-betting fashion, I was wrong. At least I had these cookies to enjoy during the ceremony. They’re little squares of pastry that get folded over a filling of brownie dough and end up looking a little like bow ties. I thought bow tie cookies seemed appropriate for Oscar night. The recipe is from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, and I have a couple of things to tell you about making these cookies. First, Alice Medrich is always very precise with her instructions, so rolling the pastry dough and cutting it to the size she suggests works well. She then instructs you to fill each pastry square with one rounded teaspoon of brownie dough and fold two corners of the square in and seal at the top with water. Maybe I rounded my teaspoons of brownie dough too much because the first batch I placed in the oven came out looking like they sort of exploded and not much like bow ties. So, less than you think of the brownie filling per cookie is better. The other thing I wanted to mention is that Medrich suggests optionally grating some cinnamon stick or nutmeg over the cookies before serving. I suggest definitely doing so. I used both cinnamon and nutmeg. When I tasted a cookie that hadn’t been dusted with the spices, it was of course delicious, but it seemed lacking or naked compared to the ones with spices.

You begin by making a cream cheese rugelach dough which needs to be refrigerated for at least a couple of hours before being rolled out. Next, you make the brownie dough by melting butter and chocolate in a double-boiler. Some sugar is added to the butter and chocolate followed by vanilla, salt, and eggs. A little flour is whisked in, and then this chocolate dough is also refrigerated for at least an hour or overnight. I made both doughs a day in advance of rolling, cutting, and filling. Working with one quarter of the rugelach dough at a time, it is rolled out and trimmed into a nine inch by eleven inch rectangle which is then cut into twelve squares. A barely rounded teaspoon of the chilled brownie dough should be placed in the center of each pastry square. Then, two opposite corners are pulled up and over the brownie dough, and the pastry corners are pinched with water to secure. Just before going into the oven, the cookies are brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar, and they are baked for about 20 minutes. After cooling, I highly recommend grating cinnamon and nutmeg over the cookies.

These aren’t the quickest cookies to bake, but all of the steps involved are simple enough. The cream cheese pastry is delightfully flaky, rich, and tender for a cookie, and it makes a very nice wrapper for a bite of dark chocolate brownie. They’re dressy, little cookies suited for a black tie kind of night.



29 comments:

  1. You and me both... we haven't watched any of the movies, maybe one only... shame!

    these cookies are simply perfect for Oscar night, cannot think of any other treat more appropriate!

    Now for some reason I am craving Nutella.... ;-)

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  2. Perfect cookies for Oscar night! I thought George would take it home, too. We used to do Oscar parties all the time in So CA but on the east coast it gets so late for a Sunday night with kids. Now I just watch them in my jammies which isn't so bad either ;-)

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  3. This caught my eye and would love to try them. A very elegant way to serve up brownies.

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  4. Those look so pretty! An irresistible treat.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. Lisa, they are adorable perfect for the occasion.

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  6. Oh, these were just the thing for an Oscar party! Alice Medrich does not disappoint! If I have seen one of the nominated movies, I'm proud of myself...such an exciting life I lead :/

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  7. Brownies are my favorite dessert!

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  8. For someone who loves his bowties, this is a must try. And the grating of fresh cinnamon & nutmeg sounds amazing - the best way to enjoy both spices. :)

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  9. Don't feel bad about not seeing any of the movies. I work in the business and still haven't seen any of them :). Love these brownie cookies as a treat during the show though.

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  10. They look very very addictive!

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  11. I have flipped through this cookbook at least a gazillion times and somehow have missed these! How cute and delicious!

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  12. Fun cookies! Leave it to Alice. My Oscar predicitons were wrong as well and I've threatened to stop watching the awards. I sick of Harvey Weinstein badgering the Academy for awards and winning. I haven't seen The Artist, maybe it's terrific and will redeem my opinion, but I'm still mad that last years' silly The King's Speach beat out The Fighter. I'm upset this year that Beginners didn't win more awards.

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  13. These were perfect for Oscar night! Adorable and elegant! I found myself in the same predictament - I'm way behind on movie watching. And I was rooting for Clooney too.

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  14. They look very good. Beautiful presentation Lisa. I'm behind with my movies too. I have soooooo many to catch up on.

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  15. Well aren't those just the cutest thing! So perfect!

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  16. Wow! These may not be the quickest cookies to make but must be by far one of the best I've seen yet! A cream cheese rugelach dough and brownies? I must get this book! Fabulous! And yours are perfect!

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  17. Adorable! (and how convenient a recipe!) I just love when cooks use cream cheese creatively. Well done!

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  18. These look delightful and I am gonna maker them today, Thanks Lisa for the tips

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  19. i think that, as a rule, i'm just not interested in seeing any of the movies deemed worthy of a best picture oscar. BORING. :)
    the nifty twist you made on brownies is anything but boring, lisa--bravo!

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  20. I think all the Oscar Best Actor nominees can put on this bow tie to make Oscar much more exciting :)

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  21. they are so adorable and I love cream cheese.

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  22. These look like lovely little parcels. I would love to make these as part of a dessert platter of little dessert finger foods.

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  23. Very cute Lisa :) Almost too cute to eat!

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  24. These are so cute and I want some. I shy away from really fiddly things but I might have to make an exception on these.

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  25. Couldn't wait to see your Brownie Bow Ties, and I am wowed! These cookies are so elegant, perfect for the Oscar's party.

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  26. I don't think one can go wrong with any cookie in that book. I've tried baking a few and they've all been winners.

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  27. These are just so adorable, Lisa!! I'd love to enter a contest to win dinner at your house! When can we arrange this!? I'll bring the vino, the camera, and the appetite!

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  28. This is the cutest thing I have seen all day!

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