Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Rosettes - Outdoor Wednesday
Rosettes - today's recipe - and a tree decorated for the holiday in a Swedish amusement park.
From the kitchen of One Perfect bite...Rosettes are deep fried, ornate pastries that are formed with a special iron and served during the Christmas holidays throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. They are also a standard feature of the table at Chez Mary. For me, and for many who were children during WWII, they are also "a remembrance of things past". Once the use of the rosette iron is mastered, you'll find them simple to make, wonderful to eat and kind to the family budget. I've just finished making 48 rosettes for less than three dollars. I mention cost not because I think it's of special concern to you, but their simplicity and affordability are what made these cookies known to me. I've spoken in the past, perhaps too much, of war kitchens. Unfortunately, in this season of miracles, I've been discovered by a few people who would like to rewrite the history of kitchens in the United States. We have to live with stupidity, but ignorance drives me crazy because it is avoidable. Like it or not, there has been a huge change our country's eating habits over the past 50 years. Today's cookies are a case in point. When the government has rationed your use of butter, sugar and eggs, you can throw your hands in the air, shake your head and walk away, or choose to emulate those wonderful women of my childhood and make do with what is on hand. The Italian kitchen of Mrs. S, the German kitchen of Hannie and the Swedish kitchen of Mrs. P all made rosettes for Christmas. Their rosettes were different from each other, but they all managed to make a wonderful pastry for pennies. Each made a cookie that reflected their cultural traditions. One used beer, one used anise and one used citrus zest. Using the simplest of batters, they made the culinary traditions of their families shine. I hope you'll give these a try. I've chosen the most basic batter to get you started and I have a few tips to share with you regarding the iron used to form the rosettes. The iron should sit in hot oil for 10 minutes before it is dipped into batter. The batter into which the hot iron is dipped should come no further than 3/4 of the way up the mold. Any higher and you'll not be able to release the cookie at the proper time. I've found that I get the crispest rosettes if I let the batter sit overnight before being used. I also like to sugar the rosettes while they are still warm. While many people use cinnamon sugar, I prefer to use confectioners' sugar because most of my holiday cookies are highly spiced and the rosettes are a nice change. Vanilla and lemon sugar would also be lovely here. That's up to you. Here's the base recipe for one of the nicest Christmas cookies you'll ever have. Many will tell you these keep for a week. Don't believe them. These are best eaten the day they are made. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for several days, but you'll notice the deterioration of the pastries with each passing day. Try to keep the oil in which the rosettes are fried at a constant temperature. If it is hot enough when the dough goes into the oil you'll find the cookies do not absorb the oil. I know you'll love this one.
Rosettes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water or flat beer
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
Cinnamon sugar or confectioners' sugar for dusting
1) Combine milk, water (or beer), sugar, salt and egg in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Slowly stir in flour; beat with an electric beater at medium speed until smooth.
2) Heat 2-inches of vegetable oil to 365 degrees F. Heat iron in hot oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Shake off excess. Dip iron into batter until it covers 3/4 of mold's height. Go no higher or batter will not release from mold. As soon as Rosette begins to brown, lift mold and let Rosette drop gently into oil. Turn it over and let reverse side cook for a few extra second.
3) Carefully remove Rosette and drain on paper toweling. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or confectioners' sugar. Repeat until batter is used. Yield: 48 Rosettes.
Cook's Note: Rosettes can be frozen. Re-crisp in 300 degree F. oven.
This is being linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday - A Southern Daydreamer