Rosettes are another Christmas tradition from my Grandma Lil, who was the Norwegian. She made rosettes every year and I thought they were the prettiest, laciest cookie ever. My mother made them for years as well and we always looked forward to them. I made them a few years and quit. I disliked the smell of hot oil in my house for days afterwards.
I suppose that is silly of me. There are many ways to get rid of the lingering fried oil smell in a house. It was more because frying the rosettes themselves required some skills and practice. I made them this year to see if I still had the skills.
Mixing the batter is simple. Waiting until all of the bubbles disappear from the batter takes patience. It’s only about 20 – 30 minutes but seems longer because you want to jump in and start right away. It’s a good time to lay out toweling on a baking sheet, heat the oil in the deep fryer, and grab a cold one. Bottle of water, that is. Drinking while deep frying might be a bad thing.
I set my rosette iron into the deep fryer for about 5 minutes to get it hot. Once the batter is free of bubbles, I dip the iron into the batter just up to the top, not over the top. I hold the iron there about the count of 5, then dip it into the deep fryer.
The first two or three have to be coaxed off the iron. I have a fork ready to gently push the rosette off the iron. Later the iron is hot and lubed or something and with just a wiggle of the iron in the hot oil the rosette pops off. Don’t worry that it flattens briefly, it wil form perfectly again as it cooks.
I put two rosettes in the oil at once, since I have a small deep fryer. I stagger them so that one is ready at a time. When a rosette is perfectly browned on the edges, and the center is a bit lighter, it is done. You can also tell doneness as the bubbling slows down and almost stops. I flip the rosette over so the open side is down, and use a slotted metal spoon to gently shake off the remainder and set it on toweling.
This whole time I have the rosette iron in the deep fryer as I remove rosettes. I pretty much never have the iron out of the oil, so that it keeps its temperature. Having a hot iron is key to this being successful and I don’t have to wait for it to warm up over and over.
As the rosettes cool on the toweling I stack them in rows on the other end of the half sheet pan. It maybe takes about an hour to do about 48 rosettes. I haven’t ever timed myself. I just keep working until I’m either out of batter or decide I have enough. I use a large Tupperware measuring pitcher with a rounded bottom that is deep rather than wide. That way I can dip until there is very little left in the pitcher.
I store the rosettes in a tightly covered container until serving. They are served with the rounded sides up, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sprinkling ahead of time is not a good idea as the oil in the pastry will absorb the powdered sugar and you will lose the pretty snowy effect.
Rosette batter is not very sweet, with only 2 teaspoons of sugar. Adding the sprinkles of powdered sugar is a welcome touch. I love the crisp taste with or without the sugar. I’ve also seen them when the lacy side is dipped in colored sugar so the ends are colored. I’m not keen on crunchy sugar crystals on my rosettes. But it is an option if you don’t mind the crunchy thing.
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Beat eggs slightly, add sugar. Alternate adding 1/3 cup of flour, then 1/3 cup of milk until all is added. Be very careful not to beat hard.
Let stand until all bubbles are gone.
Set iron in oil for about 5 minutes to heat. Dip iron into hot oil, then into batter to the count of 5. Dip iron into hot oil and hold until you can wiggle the rosette off and let it fry until golden brown. The first few may give you trouble, but eventually they come right off. Repeat until batter is used up. Fry two at a time, rotating when one is done and adding another. Leave the iron resting in the oil as the rosettes cook so it doesn’t cool.
Remove rosettes from deep fryer with a metal slotted spoon as they become almost uniformly browned. The insides will always be a little lighter. Set fried rosettes on paper toweling on a baking sheet to cool. Store in covered container for up to a week.
Serve with the rounded sides up, sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar.