Mr. N is in the driver’s seat for the next few weeks and he’s picked for us to cook some meals from Mongolia. I need to go back and look, but I believe that Mr. N has picked an Asian country more than half of the time. He loves Asian foods and if I had to guess, I would say that aside from pizza, it’s probably his favorite type of cuisine (followed by Italian). We laugh about Mr. N’s choice every time because Mike is dying to pick Thailand, but we don’t want to pick two countries from the same continent to follow each other, and Mike always picks after Mr. N. So this time, Mike has asked Mr. N if next pick they can make a deal. We’ll see how that holds up in a month or so.
Mongolia is a land-locked country in East and Central Asia, bordering Russia and China. As such, it is influenced by the foods of these two large neighbors. We usually save the dessert recipes for last, but we’re feeling rebellious this week. Woo! Okay, maybe it’s just that this happens to be a really easy recipe and it fit into our schedule, but rebellious just sounds more fun. So what is this Mongolian dessert recipe that we bring to you today? Boortsog – deep-fried cookies!
Next you pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl with four cups of flour. Using your hands, you begin to form the dough into a ball. This process reminded me a lot of making a pie crust. The dough may need a bit of extra liquid to form into a smooth ball, so if necessary add six to eight tablespoons of water (or milk).
Once the dough is smooth it’s time to roll it out. Most boortsog is rolled rather thick – like to about 1-1/2-inches. We wanted a bit smaller portions so we rolled them to about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thickness.
Next it’s time to shape the cookies. Mr. N chose a dinosaur cookie cutter and Miss A picked the dragon-fly. They couldn’t wait to get to this part of the process. Miss A said it was just like playing with Play-Doh, only better because you could eat it. I did notice quite a few pinches of dough go missing.
When the oil reaches 350F, turn the heat from medium to low and begin to fry the cookies in batches. (After experiencing a grease fire years ago – before I knew how to cook – we make sure to now use a thermometer and keep the baking soda handy.)
After you remove the cookies from the oil, you’ll want to place them on paper towels to drain and cool. Then it’s time to serve them up. Boortsog can be eaten at room temperature, but they are best warm.
I was worried about the shapes holding up in the oil, particularly the dinosaur with the thin neck and tail, but they did great. The cookies, or biscuits if you prefer, were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Mr. N and Miss A were about jumping out of their skin to try one of these. The cooling process was nearly the end of them, that is, until they decided to play with some of the leftover dough. I swear I had more of a mess to clean up after this recipe than I did with the deliberate tossing of peanut shells on the floor.
The warm boortsog were delicious with the preserves. It definitely took these cookies up a notch. Mr. N agreed and came in with his final vote of 3 spoons. Miss A liked the cookies both ways and declared they were a definite 102 spoons. Hmm…looks like the dinosaur has gone extinct.
Perhaps it was a Cookie Monster.
I think a version with the letter B is in order Cookie. So how did Mike and I rank the boortsog? Well, they are a strong 3 spoon for us. Definitely tasty, but definitely unhealthy. They were kind of a cross between a deep-fried cookie and a deep-fried biscuit. Almost doughnut-like, but crunchier. As far as flour-laden cookies go though, these were better than others we’ve tried. And surprisingly they taste pretty good a day or two later too.
This weekend we’re going to embark on a real Mongolian cooking adventure. We’re all pretty excited about it actually. Wish us luck as this one is way out of the comfort zone and we’ll be back early next week to share the results. Cheers!
Print this recipe: Boortsog