Grandma Knudson’s Rosettes


Grandma Knudson’s Rosettes

Karrina "Carrie" Swenson Knudson
Bosque County

The original recipe called for deep-frying the rosettes in lard, which is not widely available today.. Whatever type of fat you choose, it’s essential to use a heavy pot when making these crispy treats. You’ll also need a rosette iron. Expect to do some experimenting before turning out well-formed rosettes.

2 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Crisco (or a combination of ½ Crisco and ½ canola oil)
Powdered sugar

Line a shallow pan with paper towels and set aside.

Beat eggs lightly in a small mixing bowl. Add sugar, flour, milk, and vanilla and stir until blended. Set aside.

Place enough Crisco in a heavy pot to deep-fry rosettes (about 2 or 3 inches of melted fat); heat until the oil is very hot (about 375° F). Heat rosette iron in the hot oil until it, too, is very hot (if the iron isn’t hot enough, the batter will stick to it); drain excess oil and dip the hot iron halfway into the batter. Then return the iron to the hot oil. Rosette should slip off the iron as it starts to fry. (If necessary, use a fork to gently loosen it.) Cook rosette about 30 seconds, or until golden brown. Remove rosette with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Dust rosette with powdered sugar using a sifter.

Reheat iron and repeat procedure with remaining batter. As you become more experienced, you can fry several rosettes at a time, but don’t crowd them. Makes about 30 rosettes. 

Contributed by Geneva Allen Finstad
Karrina "Carrie" Swenson Knudson's granddaughter
Bosque County

Karrina “Carrie” Swenson Knudson and her granddaughter Geneva Allen. Courtesy of Geneva Allen Finstad.

Karrina “Carrie” Swenson Knudson and her granddaughter Geneva Allen. Courtesy of Geneva Allen Finstad.

“I’ve been making rosettes from the time I was big enough to help my mother and grandmother,” says Geneva. “I make them several times a year, often for fundraisers such as the Bosque County Norwegian Society of Texas booth at the annual Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio. I also make them for my family at Christmastime.

“My great-grandmother [Marit Moen Swenson] brought the recipe from Norway when she came to America in 1851, as well as many other Norwegian recipes not written down, just memorized. My mother gave me the heavy pan she used to make the rosettes and the irons to dip in the batter. She said, ‘They will not turn out good if you use any other pan.’ So I use the same pan she did. But any heavy pan will work. Making pretty rosettes takes a lot of practice. I avoid making them when the weather is rainy.

“Mother made many dozens of these cookies to fill a gallon container for each of her grandchildren for Christmas. They loved them so much as they grew up and had their own families, they would hide Grandma’s cookies to save them and make them last longer.”