A Rose By Any Other Name

December 12, 2011

So first, a quick note of business.

What do YOU, dear readers, want to see more of on BurbEx? Refinishing projects? Embroidery and sewing? Food?  What turns you on and keeps you reading. What can we teach you, or ourselves? We’d love to get some feedback.

Until then, we’ll keep plugging away.

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Yesterday Katie and I attended a cookie party. Yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds. Everyone brought or made cookies to share. We, of course, had to be different. I went back to my roots and decided to try something I hadn’t done in a long, long time.

Rosettes.

The idea of deep-frying can be a little daunting. We’re not super sophisticated at it either, so getting the oil stable at the right temperature took a little finesse.

So down to rosettes. These are basically a fried dough, made on a set of shaped, hot irons. Think a fancy funnel cake. The irons come in several designs, and usually look about like this:

These irons are what the dough is dispersed on, so that it cooks in the shape of the iron. Some of them make cups, some are Christmas themed. These are the original 1970s version, found at Goodwill for $0.69. Yep. Under a buck.

Heat your oil to about 365 degrees. We used our candy thermometer because it goes up to deep fry. It’s important to monitor your oil temperature closely, because it impacts how the dough cooks. If it’s too cool, the dough will absorb the oil and become spongy and laden. Too hot and they will become too crispy and burn. It took about 15 to 20 minutes for our oil to heat up to the right temperature, then a little fiddling around with it to get it stable.

Then…the frying commenced.

First, make your batter:

1 cup flour

2 Tbsp sugar

salt

2 eggs lightly beaten

vanilla

1 cup milk

Mix the dry ingredients, combine the egg, vanilla, and milk, then combine it all until smooth. Ours was lumpy at first but smoothed out. This recipe makes about 60 rosettes. Prepare a tray or rack with paper towel, and place your batter in a shallow dish for dipping.

When the oil reaches the magic temperature, dip your irons in to the oil for a few seconds – 10 to 20 or so, to allow the irons to heat up. The oil also coats the irons so the batter doesn’t stick once it’s fried. Dip the irons in to the batter, being careful NOT to cover the top of the irons. Getting batter on the top makes it hard to remove the rosettes nicely after cooking.

If your oil is appropriately hot, the rosettes will immediately bubble a lot. Don’t be scared, just let them do their thing. It will take them about a minute or so to cook. Take them out when the dough is nice and chicken-brown.

Give them a moment to drip the oil off, then zoom them over to your landing zone – paper towels on a tray or rack. This will allow the excess oil to drain away. The rosette should pop off easily with a fork. After making several, I found that a couple things happened. First, our oil began to cool off because we placed cold batter in it. Monitor your oil temperature and allow it to come back up to temperature when it cools off. Also, not all of our rosettes turned out. It’s okay! Just try again. We did find that once our irons were nice and screaming hot, they would cook the batter immediately, which would then fall off in to our pie plate.  Let your irons cool off a bit if that’s the case.

As you can see, our rosette is nice and brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy. They’re best served hot. They’ll hold for about a day, or three days in the fridge, or frozen up to about three months. However, I think they’re best for immediate consumption. It’s a good party trick to impress your friends.

For about a buck and a half, we had a great dessert to share with our friends. Deep frying can be as simple as that!

xo-

Rach

 

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Update! Upon reflection, I really should have included something about fire safety. I don’t use a lot of things that have only one use, but a fire extinguisher is one of them. When deepfrying, there is the possibility of a grease fire. NEVER put water on a grease fire as it will spread the fire over a large surface. Instead, find something like a pot lid to smother the flames, or use a fire extinguisher. Please be safe.

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November 29, 2011

This weekend we pulled out our quickly amassing tubs of Christmas ornaments to decorate the house. Is it early, sure. But it’s SHINY. Besides, I love my tinsel tree (yes I HAVE a tinsel tree. Are we surprised? No). Anyhoo, I thought I’d post a quick project for my lovelies to make this time of year.

Step 1: Find some doilies- you can check antique shops, Joann’s, Michael’s, or Grandma’s trunk.

Step 2: Get some fabric stiffener.

Step 3: Stiffen said fabric.

Step 4: Allow the doilies to dry on a flat surface or rack (for better air circulation).

The dried doilies will become hard and you will be able to string them up. Stringing several together makes a nice snowflake effect.