When the French lady at the “vide grenier” (boot fair) explained me her wonderful childhood memories (for many who were children during WWII, they are) of how her gran made exceptionally tasty cookies with this vintage item, I was stunned, as I never heard of these “Rosette” irons. They do have a special place in the history of cooking as I found out later. Tools and recipes, have been passed down over the generations. So of course I had to buy this item for my shop!
“Rosettes” are popular in the United States or among families with Scandinavian ancestry (“Struva” in Swedish). They are traditionally made during Christmas time. Well, some people already start their countdown, so why not try the recipe out now? Be ready for a fun time, and be sure to have light, delicate, crisp, lightly sweetened, delicious and beautiful surprise homemade cookies for your Christmas buffet. To be honest they are not “cookies” in the real sense of the word, as they are fried not baked!
In Finland on the other hand they may be served at May Day. The Turkish call them “Demir Tatlisi” (iron dessert/pudding), in Iran they’re “Nan Panjara” (window cookies), in Ukraine “Khrutiki” (crunchies), but “Buenelas” in Mexico, “Solteritas” in Colombia and “Kokis” in Sri Lanka. Malaysians include coconut milk to the batter and call them “Kueh Rose”, because of their rose shape or “Kueh Goyang” because they need to be shaken off the iron, or even “Honeycomb cookies” because they resemble honeycombs. Portuguese will serve them as “Rose de Coque”. Chinese New Year will not be complete without these cookies.
With this original vintage item, this intricately designed iron (available in the Woo Hoo Cuties’ shop), you’ll be able to make these delicious thin deep-fried pastry cookies. We think ours represents “Felix the cat”:
Felix was a famous, curious and mischievous little cartoon cat in the early 1900’s.
When curious, here’s an old cartoon of Felix:
You’ll need the following ingredients to make these delicious cookies:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) for dusting
Preparing the batter:
- Mix 2 eggs, 2 tlbs sugar, ¼ tsp salt and beat well.
- Add 1 cup of milk, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- Sift one cup of flour.
- Add flour and beat until smooth, creamy.
- Some people add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Pour into a shallow container.
- Allow the batter to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until used (some even suggest to let it rest overnight!)
I even heard people who made these cookies with beer (half milk, half beer). Some people use only one egg!
- Heat oil (originally lard) to 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F, if the oil is not hot enough, your cookie will slide off the rosette iron!
- Heat iron in oil 10 seconds before dipping into batter each time! Drain on paper towels and then dip into batter (don’t sink them into the batter).
- Protect your hands. The iron will get hot (unless you have a modern one with a heatproof handle!).
- Dip all, but top edge of iron, into batter for 3 seconds, then fully submerge iron in oil and fry for around 30seconds /1 min. Don’t let it touch the bottom of the pot! It will sizzle and bubble, but not splatter. The cookies should be a golden brown color when they are done.
- Technique: lower the rosette into the fat slowly, until you see the batter “flower” away from the iron. If not, you will struggle to get the rosette off of the iron.
- Release on paper towels (let the excess oil drip back into the pot before moving it over to the paper towel-lined plate). A Rosette cookie is fried until it is released from the iron by its own. But using a fork, to make the cookie come loose of the rosette, will help if not.
- Place the hollow side down, otherwise extra oil will collect in the channels and turn your rosettes from light to heavy.
Practice makes perfect, so don’t you panic! Modern non-stick versions excist to make life easier and are to be found everywhere on the net, but hey, I like to use an original, vintage one.
- Allow the hot cookies to set for a few minutes before serving!
- Dip the edges of each rosette into frosting or sugar, or simply sprinkle them with powdered sugar (only just before serving!).
- Germans and Scandinavians use elaborated ways to flavor the cookies, with some exotic flavors and even with spices (cinnamon in the sugar, anise or citrus zest)! Some countries even put almonds in the batter. You can also whisk confectioner’s sugar and cardamom together, strain it on the cookies and then sprinkle them with pistachios. Some put a chocolate glaze on them…
- Consume them within one day of being made! They can be kept, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper. Don’t put them in an airtight container as they’ll become soggy! It is said at room temperature, they’ll keep for up to two days, but honestly taste will go downhill.
An excellent clip on You Tube showing the procedure:
This picture, a copy out of “The Gourmet Cookie Book” ( a book featuring the best cookie recipe from each year of Gourmet magazine between 1941-2009), shows you the magnificent end result of these cookies, made with a star shaped iron:
I even found one recipe where cream was used instead of milk: 2 eggs–1 egg yoke–1/3 cup sugar–1 cup flour–2/3 cup heavy cream.
Called “Pattys” in America, they were a trend in the late 30’s through the 60’s, considered as a sort of “Fondue”. Brides got sets as wedding presents.
You’ll find old rosette irons in museums, even dating from the Middle Ages. So let us continue this culinary tradition and make these nice “Rose” cookies, they’ll be your very special treat, for many generations to come.
Indulge the perfect bite at a low cost budget price!