Would you like to serve a fried treat that is delicious and beautiful this Hanukkah? Surprise your family and friends with a delicate rose, created from batter, shaped by a metal cookie cutter, and cooked in olive oil. This ethereal treat harks back to ancient Persia, medieval German woodcutters, and the Ottoman Empire.
The technique of deep-frying foods originated in the Mediterranean in the 5th Century BCE. The most commonly used oil was olive oil. As traders took this art to Persia, cooks poured batter into the hot oil, and then immersed the fritter in a syrup of rosewater and sugar. In the 15th Century CE elaborate wooden molds were carved in Europe for shaping gingerbread cookies. Both the mold carving and gingerbread baking were controlled by guilds. In the 18th Century CE the wood was replaced by tin, and shaped cookies were democratized. Everyone could bake their own fancy cookies! The cooks of the Ottoman Empire brought all these traditions together to create a beautiful fritter called demir tatlisi. They dipped iron molds in the shape of flowers in batter and deep-fried them. A warm syrup of sugar, water, and lemon was allowed to simmer on the side. After all the cookies were fried, they were dipped in the syrup and served. Visiting European diplomats brought these recipes to Europe, where they were adopted. Scandinavia fell in love with the flower cookies, calling them Struva. The syrup was replaced with powdered sugar. When the British discovered them, they named them rosettes. You may surprise your Hanukkah guests with beautiful flower shaped fritters.
Adapted from Kari Diehl
Special equipment: you will need a rosette mold https://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Swedish-Rosette-Timbale-3286/dp/B0000VLYB8
- Mix the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Refrigerate the batter for 2 hours.
- Heat the oil in a heavy pot to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour the batter into a shallow casserole dish.
- Heat the rosette mold in the oil.
- Dip the hot mold in the batter so that the bottom and sides are coated, but not the top.
- Submerge the mold and batter in the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown.
- Place the rosettes on a paper towel to blot the excess oil.
- Arrange the rosettes on a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.