Rosettes are one of those delectable Scandinavian deep fat fried treats that are good enough, taken together with lefse, to make up for that other Norwegian delicacy--lutefisk. Some of my friend's mothers made them for Christmas when I was growing up in Minnesota and I looked forward to Christmas just so I could have some rosettes.
I no longer have friends whose mothers make them, so I have to make them myself. I picked up a rosette iron when I was down in Petersburg, AK (It isn't called Little Norway for nothing!) and I've been making them for Christmas ever since.
Here's how I make them:
- Whisk 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup whole milk (Don't substitute skim or 2%!) in a small but deep bowl.
- Add 1 1/2 cups sifted (or at least fluffed up) flour. Mix until the lumps are gone.
- Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and mix that in well.
- Pour batter into a loaf pan (a loaf pan works perfectly for dipping two rosette forms at a time), and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
- Begin heating oil to 350 F (180 C) in pan or deep fat fryer. This year I used a deep fat fryer, but I've used just a large saucepan and candy thermometer, too, and that's not much more difficult than using a deep fat fryer.
- Line a cookie sheet with a couple of layer of paper towel or brown paper and set it beside the fryer or sauce pan to use for draining the rosettes.
- When the chilling time is up, remove the batter and heat the rosette iron (see photo of mine) in the oil for a minute. Remove the iron from the oil and allow the excess oil to drip back into the heated oil. Let the iron cool for 20 seconds or so, too, because perfect iron temperature is important. Dip the iron into the batter just far enough for the batter to reach the top of the iron, but not go over it. Expect to use a little trial and error to find out the right amount of time to let the iron cool. If the iron is too hot, the batter cooks in the loaf pan and drops off the iron back into the uncooked batter. If this happens, remove the partially cooked batter from the pan, discard it, and try again. Don't worry if this happens more than once. I have to do a little trial and error every year until I get the hang of things, but after that happens, things move easily and quickly.
- Carefully transfer the iron from the batter to the hot oil. Fry the rosette in the oil just until the rosette is firm and lightly brown, about 1 minute.
- Remove iron from oil and gently shake rosette off the iron onto the paper towel. If the rosette sticks to the iron, take a fork and gently remove it. This recipe makes about 3 dozen rosettes.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar (confectioner's or powdered sugar, depending on where you live) or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Serve.
- Eat the same day or freeze. If you freeze them, then don't sprinkle the sugar over them. Just place them in an airtight plastic freezer container with paper towel between the layers. Sprinkle the sugar on them when you remove them from the freezer. They will thaw in just a few minutes.