A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 03, 2008

Molletes (Spanish for “cheeks”) were originally soft round white bread served in Spain. In Mexico, however, molletes are bolillos (similar to French bread) made into an open-face sandwich of beans and cheese.
Mexican molletes were almost unknown in the United States before 1980, but are more recently being introduced to restaurants and supermarkets.
“Molletes” can also indicate an item of pan dulce, similar to conchas or pan de huevo. These “cheeks” of sweet bread are shell-like in appearance and are topped with sugar. These “molletes” (often misspelled “moyettes”) have been cited in Texas’ Mexican bakeries by at least 1944.
Glossary - Mexican food recipes, cooking terms
Molletes Bolillo or small French rolls cut in half and buttered and toasted, or covered with refried beans and cheese and heated. A popular breakfast item.
Wikipedia: Mollete
A mollete is a typical food of Mexico and a kind of bread in Spain.
In Spain
A mollete is a kind of bread, traditional from the Andalusian region, in the south of Spain. It is a soft round white bread, usually served with oil or pork lard in an Andalusian breakfast. The most famous are the ones from Antequera, Málaga.
In Mexico
A mollete, made with bolillos cut longitudinally. Over each half of bread, you spread frijoles and a slice of chihuahua cheese. It is then introduced in the oven until the cheese melts.
Molletes in Mexico are usually served with salsa or pico de gallo. Molletes may also be topped with sliced ham, chorizo, bacon or mushrooms. 
Whole Foods Market
Mexican Molletes
It’s hard to beat this Mexican-inspired recipe for out-and-out simplicity. Simply spread refried beans on a baguette and sprinkle with grated cheese before popping in the oven for a quick toasting. Serve with salsa and a simple green salad for a quick, satisfying and inexpensive meal.
Serves 4
1 baguette
1 (12 ounce) can refried beans
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or Mexican quesadilla cheese
8 slices vegetarian bacon
Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice baguette horizontally in half. Scrape out some of the interior crumbs of the bread. Cut each half baguette into 4 equal pieces, about 4 inches long each. Spread each slice with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of refried beans. Sprinkle each slice generously with grated cheese. Place all 8 pieces on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts and refried beans are heated through. The bread will be crisp and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp, following package instructions. When molletes are done, place a slice of bacon on top of each one. Serve immediately. 
Curra’s Grill (Austin, TX)
Bolillos topped with chorizo, black beans & Monterey Jack cheese. 
Bolillos topped with veggie chorizo grilled onions, sliced avocado, black beans & Monterey Jack cheese. 
Harlingen, TX: Harlingen Food
Southwestern desserts typically include custards or flans‚ although fresh fruit and cookies are common. Sweet rolls‚ called moyettes and pandulce‚ usually are topped with butter and a sprinkle of sugared cinnamon.
Moyettes (Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Sweet Bread) Recipe
5 c Sifted all purpose flour
2 c Sugar
Salt 3 tb Butter OR oil
1 Active dry yeast (use 2
Packages if time is short) 1 c Warm water (105 - 115øF)
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c Melted butter
2 ts Ground cinnamon
1 ts Anise extract OR
1/4 c Aniseeds (...)
Live Search Books
Letter from Spain
by Joseph White
London: Henry Colburn and Co.
Pg. 45:
Breakfast, in Spain, is not a regular family meal. It generally consists of chocolate, and buttered toast, or muffins, called molletes.
Live Search Books
Neuman and Baretti’s Dictionary of the Spanish and English Languages
by Henry Neuman and Joseph Baretti
Vol. I
Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray, Little and Wilkins
Pg. 478:
MOLLETE, sm. A small loaf made of the finest flour. Molletes, Plump or round cheeks. 
Google Books
A Guide to Spain
by Henry George O’Shea
... so called from the old conventual custom of distributing loaves (molletes, small loaves made of the finest flour, whence round and plump cheeks are ...
18 May 1897, Idaho Daily Statesman, “Byways of Seville,” pg. 4:
There is a booth near by where a bronze skinned gypsy is cooking molletes calentitos, a sort of greasy flour cake fried in oil, and a wine puesto with its earthen jars, and huge bottles of red and yellow wine, and there vagos loiter to eat and drink. 
Google Books
One Hundred & One Mexican Dishes
compiled by May E. Southworth
San Francisco, CA; Paul Elder and Company
Pg. 80:
BEAT together a cupful of cold boiled squash, one of milk, and two of eggs. Sift together a cupful of corn-meal, one of flour, a half-teaspoonful of salt and two of baking-powder. Mix all together into a smooth batter and bake on both sides in little cakes on a hot griddle. Serve hot with sugar sprinkled on each.
Live Search Books
The Car of Destiny
by Charles Norris Williamson
New York, NY: The McClure Company
Pg. 141:
There was a snow-cured ham from Trevelez, the most famed in Andalaucia. There was delicious home-made bread, Cuernos, Molletes, and Panecillos: and olives large as grapes.
14 May 1944, Brownsville (TX) Herald, “Another Border Blessing - Pan De Dulce!” by Clarence LaRoche, pg. 9, col. 5:
MOHIETES (sic)—a bun-like sweet bread, coated with a sweet paste made from flour, sugar, and milk. The moheite (sic)  does not contain as much shortening as other types. 
23 August 1977, Corpus Christi (TX) Times, pg. 1B, col. 4:
The names alone, to a connoisseur of pan dulce, conjure up fond memories of the past: Molletes, campechanas, pan de polvo, huesitos, cuernitos, semitas, empanadas.
(Pg. 2B, col. 2—ed.)
Most of the pan, except for the specialty items such as pan de polvo or campechanas, are made from two basic doughs: Mollete dough and pan fino.       
21 January 1982, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Border Line: Molletes Magic” by Barbara Hansen, pg. K2:
Molletes are a popular snack in Mexico, but they seldom, if ever, appear on menus in the United States.
30 May 1986, New York (NY) Times, pg. A21:
MEXICO CITY (...) While ordering their breakfast of molletes—chili and cheese on French toast—the Brazilians talked of futbol... 
Houston (TX) Chronicle
5 May 1991, Houston (TX) Chronicle, “The Blend at Elvia’s Cantina” by Ann Criswell, Texas Magazine, pg. 20:
Chilaquiles (tortilla chips with mole sauce, green or red sauce, chicken, cream and cheese), Molletes (sourdough rolls covered with refried beans, chorizo and Monterey cheese and served warm), Pan de Cazon (two corn tortillas with refried beans, mahi-mahi and epazote covered with spicy red sauce).
Google Books
Fielding’s Mexico 1994
by Lynn V. Foster
Pg. 21:
Molletes, grilled open-face Mexican rolls topped with melted cheese and refried beans (or various meats, if you wish), are particularly economical, ...
Google Books
The Border Cookbook:
Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico
by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Boston, MA: Harvard Common Press
by Pg. 99:
A homey on-the-run Mexican breakfast, particularly popular in the northern states, a mollete is a toasted open-faced sandwich filled with refried beans and cheese. It’s a brawny border combo, simple and robust.
Serves 4
4 bolillos or other crusty rolls, split
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Guajillo Mild Sauce (page 50) or other tomato-based salsa
1 cup Refried Beans (page 378) or other mashed leftover beans, warmed
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno (optional)
3 ounces asadero or Monterey jack cheese, sliced thin (...)
Frommer’s Mexico
by Marita Adair
Menu Glossary
Molletes A bolillo cut in half and topped with refried beans and cheese, then broiled; popular at breakfast.
Google Books
Mexico ‘97
by Fodor’s Travel Publications
Pg. 246:
...molletes (toasted rolls spread with refried beans and cheese),...
Houston (TX) Chronicle
29 January 1999, Houston (TX) Chronicle, “The food is all good at 100 Percent Taquito” by Alan Truex, Dining Guide, pg. 6:
The tortas ($3.45) are sandwiches with toasted French bread, meat, onions, lettuce and tomato. A variation of the torta is the mollete ($2.95), French bread supporting a spread of black beans and melted Monterey Jack cheese.
Google Groups: alt.bread.recipes
Newsgroups: alt.bread.recipes
From: Housewolf
Date: 1999/04/21
Subject: Re: Mexican Sweet Breads
Moyettes (cinnamon Sugar Crusted Sweet Bread)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
5 c Sifted all purpose flour
2 c Sugar
3 tb Butter OR oil
1   Active dry yeast (use 2 Packages if time is short)
1 c Warm water (105 - 115øF)
1   Egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c Melted butter
2 ts Ground cinnamon
1 ts Anise extract OR
1/4 c Aniseeds (...)
Google Groups: rec.arts.mystery
Newsgroups: rec.arts.mystery
From: Mark Luebker & Kathleen Fairfax
Date: 2000/03/11
They also love molletes, which are basically big, hard rolls split open, topped with refried beans and a thick slice of mozzarella (or Mexican farmer cheese, if you can get it) and grilled face down until the cheese is browned and crusty. Top that with homemade pico de gallo (tomatoes and sweet onions with a couple of serrano chiles and a handful of fresh cilantro all chopped together and liberally salted).
Google Groups: sat.food
Newsgroups: sat.food
From: “Jerry Jungmann”
Date: 2000/04/05
Subject: Re: Fratelli’s new spring menu
And, finally we take our bread rolls (Italian bolillos 😉 and make “Molletes”.  Slice the bread in half, cover with refried beans and cheese and bake in the oven.  When crusty and brown remove and top the Molletes with lots of pico de gallo.
April 2002, Southern Living, “Discover the sweet secrets of south Texas” by Scott Jones, pp. 92+:
* Dulce markers, used to make the scalloped designs on the Molletes, are available by mail order ($9) at Rodriguez Bakery Equipment, 1405 West Barton Street, Harlingen, TX 78550; (956) 421-2387.
Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: “Douglas S. Ladden”

Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 04:53:45 GMT
Local: Wed, Nov 26 2003 11:53 pm
Subject: Re: Bolillos
When I saw it, I immediately went in and started looking for bolillos.  They had them, I bought them, I came home and made molletes with beans, chorizo and cheese.  Yummy!  Craving sated!
Dos Centavos
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thoughts on Viernes…from Cristal on 11102006
The smell of molletes (pan de huevo), marranitos, piedras (hard round cookies covered in a red candies syrup), and more just practically make you faint.   
Roadfood - Mexican Bakeries
lennonlover 2005
Posted - 02/23/2007 :  03:25:31
Semitas (they look like oval cookies)
Semitas de Anis (Black Licorice) (ditto)
Cuernos (this means “Horns” so they are sugered horns)
Mexican Wedding Cookies - Powdered Sugar
Bolillos (not sure what they look like)
Campechanas -They look like empanadas but they are sweet) Empanadas (see other posts) But I will say empanadas vary from each Latin American country!!
Marranitos (the outside has little points and they’re filled I believe)
Molletes (sugary and yellow and have crisscrosses on them and they look like seashells a bit)
Piedras (sugary and yellow)
Pastel de Polvo ( S shaped and white and sugary)
Polvorones Roscas (look like sugar pretzels)
Huavaches (they look like crackers, oval shaped)
pan dulce by albert reyes
January 17, 2007
Pan Dulce in a Whole New Light
Downtown Dallas is covered with ice and snow today.
Pan Dulce is Spanish for “Sweet Bread.” This is what my grandfather and grandmother, as well as my parents used to eat with coffee when they got together with the rest of the family. I am talking about Cuernitos, Empanadas, Molletes, Conchas, Pan de Polvo, and Campechanas. Ok, if you don’t recognize these words you are really missing out.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, February 03, 2008 • Permalink

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