Growing up, a family friend of my Norwegian grandfather would always bring over an assortment of Norwegian Christmas cookies each year for the holidays. He would of course share this bounty of sweets with his children and grandchildren, and I was always delighted for these special once-a-year cookies. Sadly, that family friend passed away several years ago, and both my grandfather and I have moved away from the town we lived in in Maryland, so it has been a long time since he or I have enjoyed, or even seen, those Scandinavian treats. Moreover, I didn’t even know the names of any of the cookies!
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but Edible Austin, the Central Texas food magazine, has on the cover of its current issue a magnificent photograph of one of the Norwegian cookies I remember best, and it turns out they are called Rosettes! Inside is a great recipe for them (with spicy Mexican chocolate!) by Jessica Maher of Lenoir. I read that you need a specialized tool, called a rosette iron, to make these cookies, so I promptly ordered one from Amazon. Intimidated slightly by the prospect of deep frying, Taylor and I mustered our courage and made our first batch of rosettes this past Sunday – and they turned out great! They are light, crunchy, and just-sweet-enough, just like I remember them.
The traditional recipe has both eggs and milk, so Taylor got work devising an inclusive vegan version. We made those last night, and they turned out spectacular! I’m sure even my grandfather wouldn’t be able to tell that they are not made with animal products! In fact, I’ll be mailing him some of these for Christmas this year (don’t tell him – it’s a surprise!). I know he hasn’t had them since his friend passed away, so I’m confident that they will put a big smile on his face.
Even though we aren’t likely to see any of the real white stuff this year in Austin, these beautiful snowflake-shaped holiday cookies will leave you dreaming of the snow-peaked mountains of Scandinavia, and they’re sure to put a smile on the faces of all you share them with. Be sure to check out our Vegan Rosettes recipe and make yourself some of these wonderful cookies!