Tuesday, December 22, 2009

About once every ten years....

My mom and I used to make Rosette cookies at Christmas time.

The batter: Nothing could be simpler.

If your food budget it tight and you need to make a treat, you won't find a less expensive way to make a few dozen cookie!

Of course the recipe could be "switched up" but we always stuck with the traditional milk/egg/flour mix.

While I am taking some vacation time over the holidays, I'm revisiting a few memorable recipes from my life.

A snowy day, time alone, and Christmas music inspires me to get baking and messing about in the kitchen

If you've never made the treat before, here is how it goes.
The cast iron form is screwed onto a handle. There are at least sixty different styles of molds to collect if you are interested. I have this star shape, a rose window shape, a butterfly and a heart which makes a quarter cup shape suitable for fillings.
The form is dipped in hot oil for a few moments to heat up...

Then dipped into the batter being careful not to have the batter flow over the top edge.

For the batter I used two eggs, 1 and 1/3 cup of half and half, one cup of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, cinnamon, and clove and a teaspoon of sugar this time.

The batter coated form is plunged into the hot oil.

About a half a minute wait....and the batter begins to separate from the form.
A dull knife can be used to ease off any batter parts that clings to the form.

The form cooks a few more moments to brown, then is flipped to cook the underside.
Then it is fished out VERY gently with tongs.

Drain the hot cookies on some paper towels....they are as fragile as butterfly wings at this point.

Sprinkle with sugar.

(Outside the snow was falling like the finest of sugar...I thought the world looked like I had gotten carried away with the sprinkling process! I had to take a picture to show how fine the snow was on our deck railing.)

A nice collection of snowflake cookies.
I pack them in an air tight bowl, and freeze them.
They will last several weeks, and taste their absolute best re-heated and served with a hot drink like cocoa, coffee or spiced apple cider.
(BEHIND THE SCENE: Just so you know...while it is "easy" to make Rosettes, in the same way that pancake making is easy, they still can be a bit tricky. The first few tend to stick to the form, and it can be rather aggravating to have to scrape a form clear and start again.
While I was growing up, one of the moms in our neighborhood noted that kids were like pancakes...the first couple you make are usually messed up and the kids and pancakes turn out better after the first few.
Being a second child myself, this flattering observation has stuck with me.
Having two kids of my own...hmmm...I wonder what the rest of my "batch" might have looked like if there had been more than two attempts.
Anyway...getting past my neighbor's winsome thought...it does help to let all batters like pancakes and these cookies sit for awhile before cooking. The flour particles take a bit of time to fully absorb the fluid, and that is why these sort of things get better with each attempt.
It also helps to have an attention span longer than a gnats...once the rosette is off the form and frying up, you can not wander off to do whatever catches your attention unless you enjoy burnt black forms.
It is also necessary not to do the math to figure out how much each rosette would cost to make if your current rate of pay at work was applied.
You must not think about how many of your family and friends will avoid a fried food.
You must resist eating ALL the rosettes that shatter.
You must resist eating each rosette as soon as it is sugared. (This is why I suggest freezing them...it will slow the mindless munch process down considerably by doing so.)
If you have a friend who gives you rosettes, know that it was a labor of love that she is giving you.
Either that, or she has lost her mind.
Making a loaf of banana bread or a tin of fudge would have taken her half the time. There has got to be a happier way to spend an hour of one's life than dipping batter into boiling hot oil at Christmas time.)


Vicki said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! My mother and I used to make rosettes for Christmas, too. I'm wondering whatever happened to her rosette iron...I haven't seen it since she moved from that 4BR house into the MIL's apartment (attached to my brother's home).

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I'm laughing...because I can picture the whole time consuming process...and am thinking I'll stick to gingerbread loaf for this year. But if I had a friend who was making rosettes...and willing to share...I would be most pleased. They are very pretty!

La Tea Dah said...

Merry Christmas, Jill. Thanks for the great memories of rosettes! They were a favored cookie of my childhood, although I don't think we had an iron, so never made them at home. But our closest family friends were Scandinavian and they made enough to share. Sometimes I would help --- and remember the flavor of the hot cookies sprinkled in powdered sugar. I wonder --- where would one go about finding a rosette iron? I think I'd like to revisit this memory!

Merry Christmas and blessings for the year ahead!

LaTeaDah (Gracious Hospitality)