How to make it

  • Beat eggs with sugar salt and vanilla. You could over beat this, but you wont, stop when it all comes together and there isn't any egg snot stuck together, it's all mixed in.
  • Slowly add the milk ( I will use whole if I have it, or add some cream to skim if I don't) and add the flour. Again, slowly. Or maybe you don't have to clean your kitchen. When this mixture is smooth (yes, you need to stop the process, pull out a spatula and scrap the sides.) put through a sieve and let stand (in the fridge) for two hours.
  • Give this mixture the occasional stir every once in a while until all the bubbles are out, but mixture stays together. ( I confess to making this a day ahead once, it worked out fine, and letting the batter rest for a few hours more than two, just make sure to fold in all the ingredients before starting, tap the bowl a few times, get the bubbles out.) You are all set to think about deep frying.
  • Working along a line with a fryer at my finger tips for the last decade has made me forget the dangers of hot oil in the kitchen. Think twice before doing this job with children around. Perhaps not the time to follow my favorite TV Chef the Galloping Gourmet's advice and have a few glasses of wine while cooking. I don't use thermometers when cooking with oil, I just pay attention to a few things while getting going, how long it takes to meld the lard (oh, yeah) we are frying in lard today. I have tried every oil on this planet, but lard works best for rosettes. As you bring the oil up to temp, give the irons a few test tries. A single batch makes like 60 cookies but in reality, you get about four dozen good rosettes and three dozen that are nice enough to share. If I had to put a degree on it, I would start out around 375 f.
  • If you need irons I would say look at garage sales for an old set. I have two newer sets and they do not hold a candle to the heirloom set given to me. Usually these are either cast iron or aluminum. I like the iron.
  • Heat up iron in oil, dampen on paper towel, I often start with four towels folded in half as we have one of these two headed iron holders, this is a key step. The batter will not hold to the iron if you go straight to the batter from the oil.
  • While irons are heating pour batter into pie plate, I use Pyrex here and not metal or aluminum pans. When coating the irons be careful not to let the batter flow over the top of the iron forming a bond around your mold. (this is why you need a fork handy for pulling the occasional sticky rosette from the iron.) Remember, you are standing over hot oil.
  • At my station around the stove where the oil is heating I have the paper towels on a cutting board, the batter in the pie plate next to that See Photo. A fork. A small spider tool (chopsticks or a long handled wooden something for flipping the rosettes) and a small ceramic plate to set the spider and the fork on. On the other side of the oil I have the sugar dusting pan. I used to dampen off the rosettes as they came out of the fryer on a paper towel, but it all takes too long, if you have two people this is best as the sugar coating gets sticky when a wet (oily) fresh rosette comes in, and finally a plate for the finished product.
  • When coating the iron with batter after dampening on the towel, dip in and move the iron about gently, pulling up and then down for a triple dip, coating the iron with batter. Lift the iron to the oil and completely immerse iron in oil for a count of twelve, lift up and see if the rosette slides off. (Leone's recipe calls for a 30-40 second immersion but I have found that the cookie often over cooked or difficult to remove from the iron if I fry it this long.)
  • At this point, you will know if you have an easy off rosette or one of the tricky ones, if the rosette sticks, quickly grab the fork and gently pull off the batter from the iron. Put the irons back in the oil to heat for the next round. Now you need to flip these beauties floating on the surface, I set the fork down if I had to use it and grab the spider, scooping up and flipping each rosette once in the whole process.
  • Yes, I have flipped them twice or more before, yes, these are only guide lines, I have messed this up so many times it isn't funny. Try doing this barefoot, it adds a fear element I think gives the cookies their crunch. If I don't have a spider I use chopsticks. I avoid metal utensils for flipping as they get hot fast. (unlike this old photo) Often I will hold the rosette under the oil with the spider and this works great, three four count at a time.
  • When removing rosettes, have the pattern right side up (reverse of how they went into the oil on the iron) and shake off excess oil on the way to the sugar shower dusting station See Photo. If you pull up the rosette the same way as they went in on the iron, there will be these pockets of oil in the cookie and that is not pretty bouncing around the kitchen counter.
  • You will find your flow and pattern on these. They are difficult but worth the extra effort as they melt in your mouth like a cookie cloud.
  • The iron is hot again, if the last one was a failure, forget about it, remember, you have sixty more to try. Dampen off the oil and rebatter. Honest, you will get the hang of it.
Work station (couple of years ago, I am so much better now)   Close
Sugaring .. yes, that's a word.   Close

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