I got this recipe last year from a little old Norwegian grandma at a Sons of Norway heritage baking workshop in the DC-area. She wrote it down from memory in that shaky penmanship that comes with age.
Even though we’ve never met before and will never meet again, we spent an afternoon together, making rosettes and krumkake and sandbakkels. For me, it was pure heaven, getting a crash-course in making the Scandinavian holiday treats I grew up eating with the Norwegian grandma I never had (I’m not actually Norwegian–or even Scandinavian– at all. But you already knew that.)
Then Thursday, while driving back from having a “Thanksgiving Lunch” with Logan at his school, I stopped in to a little antique store in a teeny town. I found a gem: a vintage, cast-iron rosette set in its original box.
Twelve dollars. Best twelve dollars I ever spent.
1 C canned milk (regular is fine, too, but canned is what her recipe calls for because it stands up better in the heat of the oil; I use a mix of organic non-fat milk and a few tablespoons of organic half and half.)
Mix eggs and milk first. Add sugar. In a different bowl, mix salt and flour. Add dry mix to the wet and mix well in to a batter.
Turn electric skillet on to 350 and fill to about 1.5-2″ or so deep in vegetable oil. This will take about 1.5 standard containers of oil.
Connect irons to prongs and handles and place irons in skillet to heat up. Once the oil is at 350, take iron out for about five or ten seconds to cool off just a smidge. If the iron is too hot, the batter wont stick to it. If the iron is too cool, it wont stick at all, either.
Dip the iron in the batter, covering it about 3/4 of the way on the sides. If the batter covers the entire iron it will not come off in the oil.
Submerge the dipped iron in the oil but don’t let it touch the bottom. The batter will bubble and the rosette will begin to seperate from the iron or “bloom.” As the rosette begins to bloom, give it a slight shake to set it free from the iron.
If the rosette gets stuck on the iron, take a fork and help it off. Let the rosette cook in the oil for a minute and then flip it so the other side can cook. Let it cook until it is light brown, then remove from oil and place on paper towels.
You can do several rosettes at a time–I was able to fit about six easily at a time. Just be sure to place the irons back in the oil when you aren’t using them so they stay warm…but again, make sure and take the iron out for a couple seconds before using it again so it has a chance to cool off just a little bit.
The first one will never turn out right; it is a sacrifice to the norse gods, Marguerite said. And she’s right; it takes a few tries to get the rhythm going–dip, place in oil, bloom, shake loose, dip in batter again, back in the oil, bloom, shake loose, repeat…Honestly, though, I think about one in every three won’t turn out–the irons will be too hot and the design just wont stick, or it will over cook or get stuck on the iron…and if you are using the aluminum rosette irons instead of cast iron ones, you’ve got an even bigger challenge because they don’t hold the temperature as evenly and are even less likely to stick correctly. It is possible; just takes more patience.
So I usually make a double batch; it seems to take about an entire batch before you get the rhythm down…but don’t worry… The recipe makes several dozen and even the broken ones still taste great.
Mmmmmm Broken Rosettes…nom nom nom
Once finished, dust the rosettes with powdered sugar and enjoy.
Have your 6-year-old Taste Tester walk a plate over to your elderly neighbor to thank him for plowing your garden spot earlier this week before the ground freezes…
Yes. Do that. That way you can “sample” a few before the kiddo sees you…you know, just to make sure they turned out OK.