This is the best recipe for Scandinavian Rosette cookies – based on our traditional family recipe. Updated with nut oil and almond milk to add flavor, but also to make these cookies healthier and climate friendly.
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TRADITIONAL ROSETTE COOKIES
Scandinavian Rosettes are a traditional cookie that originated in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. They date back to the 16th century when they were made for special celebrations like weddings and festivals. The name rosette comes from the flower-shaped design made from the batter, which is deep-fried to a crispy texture. The unique flavor and shape of these cookies have made them a popular treat during Christmas holidays, as well as other festive events. Rosettes are a traditional Christmas cookie, but they are delicious any time of the year. These delicate, crispy, and intricately designed cookies are perfect for any occasion, whether it be a special celebration or just a simple treat with a cup of coffee.
Rosette cookies are made from a simple batter, which consists of flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. The batter is whisked until smooth and thin, then dipped into hot oil using a special rosette iron. The iron is heated in oil, then dipped into the batter, which sticks to the mold. The mold is then quickly immersed in hot oil, and the cookie is fried until golden brown. The cookie is then removed from the mold and placed on a rack or paper towel to drain off excess oil.
The popularity of rosette cookies has grown over the years, and today they are enjoyed in many parts of the world. They are often served as a dessert or snack during the holiday season, and they are also a popular item at fairs and carnivals. The process of making these cookies requires skill and patience, and it is considered a cherished tradition in many families.
Rosettes are known for their beautiful, intricate design that resembles a flower. Not only are they visually stunning, but they also have a light and crispy texture that melts in your mouth.
BEST RECIPE FOR ROSETTE COOKIES UPDATED
With Finnish on one side of our family and Swedish on the other, Scandinavian rosette cookies are a tradition in our house for Christmas. My rosette iron dates back generations, and so does our traditional family recipe. But this year we updated the recipe and it actually tastes better than our traditional family recipe. We used nut oil instead of butter, and almond oil instead of milk. The nut oil gives the cookies a delicious nutty flavor without adding nuts, which might burn in the hot oil. And the cookies made with nut oil actually come out lighter and crispier because butter is about 20% water, and the nut oil does not contain any water. The almond milk substitutes for milk one-to-one, and adds an additional nutty flavor to the batter. Making these cookies without butter and milk makes them healthier, since they have less saturated fat, and nut oil is a healthy oil. It also makes them dairy free, in case any visitors have dietary restrictions. And, it makes them climate friendly, since they are made with nut oil instead of dairy products.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST ROSETTE COOKIES
Although they may look complicated to make, rosette cookies are actually quite easy, with the right tools and ingredients. All you need is a rosette iron and some basic baking ingredients. These cookies are made from a simple batter of flour, eggs, salt, sugar, almond milk and nut oil. The beauty of this recipe is that it is so versatile, you can add other ingredients, like vanilla, lemon or spices, to make variations on the recipe.
Making rosette cookies from scratch requires a bit of patience and skill, but the end result is totally worth it. If you’ve never made Rosettes before, don’t worry; it’s easier than it looks. All you have to do is heat up the iron mold in the oil, dip it into the batter, then back into the oil to deep fry the batter until the cookies are a beautiful golden brown. The result is a thin, crunchy cookie. If you are new to making them, this post will give you the tips you need.
- Choose an iron that has an “L” shaped handle, so your hand is not over the hot oil as you fry the cookies. The iron shape should be smooth and not rough, or the batter may stick to the iron and not release. Some irons will fry two cookies at once, so half the time, but will require a larger pot.
- If the iron is new, it may need to be seasoned by dipping it in hot oil and letting the oil cool on the iron before doing it again. Doing this several times will create a non-stick so the cookies will come off.
- Have a carving fork handy to remove any cookies that fall off into the oil. Allow them to finish cooking and then remove them with the fork.
- Use the carving fork to remove a cookie from the iron that sticks to the iron. If it still doesn’t come off, put the iron back in the oil and fry it off. If it still won’t come off, it may need to be soaked in water and then the iron reseasoned.
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil frequently, either an instant read thermometer or one that attaches to the side of the pot. The oil temperature changes quickly.
- Leave the iron in the oil as the oil is heating up to ensure the iron is hot enough before using it.
- Every time you make a cookie, dip the iron into the oil for about ten seconds before dipping it into the batter for about ten seconds. This will ensure that the iron is hot enough and the batter stays on the iron.
- Shake off the oil drips into the oil before dipping the iron into the batter. If oil drips start to collect in the batter, whisk them into the batter.
- If batter drips into the oil, scoop out the pieces before they burn so they don’t give the oil and cookies a burnt flavor.
- After frying, remove the cookie immediately from the iron and set it on a wire rack with a plate underneath to catch the oil that drips off.
- Sift powdered sugar over the cookies before they cool so that the sugar sticks to the cookies.
THE SCIENCE OF MAKING GREAT COOKIES
These basic tips for making cookies give us great cookies every time we bake.
THE SCIENCE OF MAKING GREAT COOKIES EVERY TIME
To make great cookies, it is important to understand a little of the science of making them. They are small, so there is less room for error, which is why measuring accurately is so necessary. And they have very few ingredients, so each ingredient has a key roll, and using the best of each ingredient will make a big difference.
CHOOSE THE BEST INGREDIENTS
Using the brands we have listed will ensure that you make great cookies every time. These brands not only taste better, but production of each is tightly controlled so the product is consistent. The size of the sugar crystal, the amount of protein in the flour, the shape of the salt – all these things will affect the way the cookies bake. Cookies are so small that little differences in the ingredients can lead to a big difference in the cookies. Some of these brands cost more than other available products, but it’s worth it. For some, we include a link to their official websites so you can buy direct and in bulk and often reduce the price.
LA TOURANGELLE – Nut oil is a great substitute for butter. The flavor of nuts works well in cookies, and the oil gives the cookies a fudgy center and crisp edges. La Tourangelle offers a number of different oils, already roasted for added flavor – pecan, pistachio, walnut, hazelnut, almond. Nut oils contain no water, and butter does, so a substitution would be about 3 parts oil for 4 parts butter. We buy some in bulk to save money, but are careful to buy only what we will use in a few months and keep it refrigerated.
GOLD MEDAL UNBLEACHED ALL PURPOSE FLOUR – has a lower protein amount than some all purpose flours – 10.5 percent protein. This is a good flour for baking cookies, since it makes them more tender. In addition, the company ensures that the protein content is carefully calibrated, so you get consistent results. Also, it is important to use the unbleached flour, since bleaching can give cookies an off taste or have unpredictable results.
KING ARTHUR UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR – has a slightly higher protein amount than Gold Medal – 11.7 percent protein. It is good for baking cookies, especially those that are a little more hearty and need some substance. King Arthur is an employee-owned company that responsibly sources the wheat for their flours, and it pays off in the taste and quality. They have a “never bleached” guarantee, which means their flours don’t have an off taste or unpredictable results that can be caused by bleaching. They also carefully calibrate the protein content, which means the flour gives you the same results, every time you bake.
WHOLESOME ORGANIC SUGAR – produced from sugar cane fields that are green cut and are not burned or treated with herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Burning sugar cane fields contributes to air pollution and climate change, and is a major cause of the destruction of the rainforest. Buying sugar from fields that are green cut helps prevent this destruction. The sugar also has a better taste because of how it is produced. It is more expensive than buying the standard brands, but the difference is only a few cents per recipe, so it’s worth it. We also save money by buying this in bulk direct from the company and storing it in jars in the pantry.
HOMEMADE BROWN SUGAR
If a recipe calls for brown sugar, we use white, granulated Wholesome Organic sugar and add a small amount of sorghum syrup instead. Brown sugar is just white, granulated sugar with molasses added. Sorghum syrup tastes very similar to molasses. We actually prefer the milder taste of the sorghum syrup. This saves money, since brown sugar is usually more expensive than white sugar, and it saves storage. We don’t make brown sugar by mixing the sorghum syrup and sugar because they don’t mix well, and the syrup is easy to add to a recipe. Also important, sorghum does not come from sugar cane. It is grown more sustainably in colder climates without burning and without cutting down tropical rain forests.
HOMEMADE SUPERFINE SUGAR
Superfine sugar, also known as caster sugar or baker’s sugar, is just white, granulated sugar that has been ground fine so that it dissolves quickly. It is often much more expensive than granulated sugar, so instead of buying super fine sugar, we make it ourselves and save money. We put the Wholesome organic sugar in the food processor and grind it fine, which takes about a minute, and store it in jars in the pantry.
Powdered sugar, or confectioner’s sugar is just white, granulated sugar ground to a fine powder with some cornstarch added to keep it from clumping. We tried to make it ourselves, but could not grind it fine enough or evenly, so we buy Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar in bulk and store it in jars. Buying in bulk saves money and it stores well in a jar with a lid.
HEILALA VANILLA – the best tasting vanilla we have ever tried. Plus, it is ethically produced. We double the amount of vanilla usually called for to add extra flavor. Vanilla extract is usually half alcohol and half water, so the extra vanilla will add some liquid.
VALRHONA CHOCOLATE – Using a high quality chocolate makes a really big difference. We use Valrhona because of the quality and because it’s an ethical choice.
DIAMOND CRYSTAL KOSHER SALT – pure salt without additives or iodine taste. The weight and structure of salt varies between brands so it is important to choose a salt and stick with it to be consistent.
USING THE BEST EQUIPMENT
- Oven Thermometer
- Instant read thermometer
- Accurate measuring spoons
- Medium to heavy-weight, light-colored aluminum cookie sheets – dark or thin sheets may burn the bottom of the cookies
- stand mixer
- food processor
- silicone baking mat – much less expensive than parchment paper in the long run
- silicone heat resistant spatula for scraping the bowl. All one piece is easier to clean and doesn’t come apart
- thin metal spatula for moving the hot cookies – the thin metal won’t break the cookies
- cooling rack with a gridded frame – the grid prevents the cookies from falli
- digital kitchen scale
- medium wire whisk
- microplane zester and grater
- cookie scoops with squeeze release handles
- fine mesh strainer for sifting
METHODS FOR MAKING COOKIES
UNDERSTAND THE METHOD – our cookie recipes are made with one of three methods:
- BATTER – used for drop, rolled, cut out or formed cookies. Create a batter by stirring the wet ingredients together (nut oil, sugar, eggs, flavorings), then adding the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda). This is easiest method for making cookies and works best in a bowl, stirring by hand.
- IRON – creating a thin batter that is stirred together and then fried or baked in an iron. This requires special equipment such as a waffle iron, rosette iron, pizzelle maker, or krumkake iron.
- MERINGUE – creating a meringue with egg whites and sugar, sometimes with a flour made of ground nuts. The cookies made this way are often gluten free. This is easiest and works best in a stand mixer, but a food processor is the easiest way to make the nut flour. It can also be done with a hand mixer or whisking by hand, but it would take much longer. There are three types of meringues – French, Italian, and Swiss.
- French meringue is the easiest and most common type of meringue and is often used in baked goods, since the egg whites are not cooked. It is made with egg whites and sugar that are whipped together until they form stiff peaks. The mixture is can be baked at a low temperature until it dries out and becomes crispy, or it can be mixed with other ingredients to make various types of cookies.
- Italian meringue is a more complex type of meringue that requires a bit more skill to make. It is made by whipping egg whites and adding a hot sugar syrup then whipping them together until they form a glossy, stable mixture. The hot sugar syrup cooks the egg whites, making the meringue safe to eat. Italian meringue is commonly used in recipes such as buttercream frosting and French macarons. It is denser than French meringue and has a slight sweetness to it.
- Swiss meringue is made by whisking egg whites and sugar together over a double boiler until the sugar dissolves. It is then whipped until stiff peaks form, resulting in a glossy, shiny meringue. Swiss meringue is often used in recipes such as mousses and buttercream frosting. It has a silky texture and a buttery flavor that is perfect for a variety of desserts. Swiss meringue is also more stable than French meringue, making it a great option for decorating cakes and pastries.
TIPS FOR MAKING COOKIES
USE A SCALE AND MEASURE IN GRAMS – Use a scale to measure most of the ingredients by weight. This is absolutely essential. The inaccuracies from using measuring cups can easily lead to failure when baking. Different brands of flour and sugar will be different when measured with measuring cups, and not all measuring cups are accurate. Measuring by weight is the same every time. It is also much easier – just put the mixing bowl on the scale, zero the scale, add an ingredient, zero the scale again, add the next ingredient, and so on. Measuring in grams is more accurate, and easier, than pounds and ounces. Since it is a smaller measurement, it is more precise. Also, grams are often easy numbers to remember, making it possible to make the cookies without looking at the written recipe and easy to compare recipes. Clean up is easier, since there will be fewer bowls and no measuring cups to wash. And cooking with children is easier because they quickly learn how to add ingredients until the scale reads the correct amount.
USE A SCALE TO MEASURE OUT EACH COOKIE – Use the scale to make sure the cookies are exactly the same size. Using a scoop for some cookies makes forming the cookies fast and easy and will also help maintain the same shape, but the scale will make them the same size.
REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH AT LEAST THREE HOURS OR OVERNIGHT – This allows the flour to absorb the liquid in the dough, making the cookies bake better. You can refrigerate the dough in the bowl covered with plastic wrap, measured out for drop cookies, as a flat square for rolled cookies, or as a log for sliced cookies.
VACUUM PACK AND FREEZE EXTRA DOUGH – After refrigerating the dough overnight, extra cookie dough can be frozen. Vacuum sealing keeps the dough fresher.
USE AN OVEN THERMOMETER – Use an accurate oven thermometer to check the oven temperature before putting the cookies in. The temperature of ovens vary, and may not be the temperature on the dial.
ALLOW THE COOKIES TO COOL ON A RACK – Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the pan, then transfer them to a rack to keep them from getting too dark on the bottom. The cookies will become more crisp as they cool on the rack, though we realize allowing them to cool before eating them is almost impossible.
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We call this our “no affiliates” statement because we accept no advertising, have no affiliates and accept no payment. We are not paid to mention brands – we just love buying the best, sharing that information and saving the planet at the same time. The effort put into writing and photographing the blog is solely based on our dedication to the cause.
Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography