Scandinavian Rosettes Recipe

Rosette Pattern

Pretty, aren’t they?  These delicate, crisp, lightly sweetened Scandinavian Rosettes are as delicious as they are beautiful.  The “cookies” are made from a thin, crepe-like batter that is quickly deep fried on specially shaped irons.  Rosettes are traditionally made during Christmas time and are a delight to make, share, and eat.

German Rosette Iron Set

I’ve had this old rosette iron packed away in my kitchen for years.  I inherited it from my mom’s kitchen, where it had also been packed away for years.  By the time it came to me, the instruction booklet and recipe were nowhere to be found – I didn’t even know that it was called a rosette iron.  But there is a reason why I kept it all this time.  I have wonderful childhood memories of my mom using this iron to make beautiful, light, crisp cookies that were sprinkled with powdered sugar.  They were delicious and I wanted to make them again someday.

My great-grandmother was from Norway and I think that the rosette iron and recipe must have originally come from Grandma Karen’s kitchen.  I bet my mother had the same memories of these delicious cookies from her childhood as I have from mine.  I’m grateful that she shared them with my sister and I all those years ago and I’m thankful that she held on to the rosette iron, even though the recipe was lost.

Although I couldn’t remember what they were called, I did have a few recollections of how the cookies were made.  I knew that the iron was dipped into a type of batter and that the batter was then deep fried.  I just couldn’t remember how it was fried or how the cookies were removed from the iron.  I knew I’d run across a recipe someday and figure out how to make them for myself.

Recently I was sent a review copy of The Gourmet Cookie Book – a gorgeous new book featuring the best cookie recipe from each year of Gourmet magazine between 1941-2009.  I fell in love with this book as soon as I opened it.  I love the bold graphic design and that each recipe has a full-page color photo to accompany it.  I found myself reading through the book, cover to cover, fascinated by the history and the recipes.  Can you guess what I found toward the end of the book?  A photo that instantly took me back to my childhood – Scandinavian Rosettes that looked exactly like the ones my mom made when I was young!

Scandinavian Rosette Dusted with Powdered Sugar

I knew as soon as I saw the recipe that I would finally be able to use my great-grandmother’s rosette iron to recreate one of my favorite childhood food memories.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow.

Heating Oil and Rosette Iron

First, I added some peanut oil to a small, heavy dutch oven.  I attached a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature and put the rosette iron in the pot to heat up with the oil.

Rosette Batter

While the oil was heating, I mixed up a thin, lightly sweetened batter of eggs, milk, and flour.

Pulling Rosette Iron from Oil

When the oil temperature was hot enough, I carefully removed the iron and let the excess oil drip back into the pot.

Dipping Hot Rosette Iron in Batter

Then I carefully dipped the hot iron into the batter.  It sizzled when it hit the batter, but didn’t splatter.  The iron should only be dipped far enough to let the batter attach to the bottom and sides – it should never come up over the top of the iron.  Leave the iron in the batter for a few seconds, then lift it up and let the excess drip back into the bowl.

Ready to Fry Rosette

Next, I moved the iron back over to the hot oil.  Here you can see the batter attached to the iron before it was fried.

Dipping Rosette in Hot Oil

When you dip the iron back into the hot oil, it will sizzle and bubble, but I had no problems with splattering.

Frying Rosette

Submerge the iron in the oil, but don’t let it touch the bottom of the pot.

Rosette is Ready

The rosette will take only about 30 seconds to cook.  You’ll know when it’s ready because the bubbles will start to subside like this.

Rosette is Cooked

Pull the rosette out of the oil and let the excess oil drip back into the pot before moving it over to a paper towel-lined plate.

Removing Rosette from Iron

Gently pry the rosette from the iron with a fork. It should release easily.

Cooling Rosettes

Once it’s removed from the iron, you’ll want to flip it right-side-up to drain on the paper towels.  These were my first attempts, and as you can see, the first ones were too dark.  It took a few tries to figure out how long to leave the rosettes in the oil, but the recipe makes about three dozen cookies so there is definitely room for error.

Rosettes Ready for Sugar

Soon I had a pile of beautiful, perfectly golden rosettes.

Rosettes Dusted with Powdered Sugar

I sprinkled them with powdered sugar and after one bite I knew that the recipe was right.  These tasted just like I remembered!  I look forward to these becoming a Christmas tradition in my family once again and I can’t wait to try more recipes from The Gourmet Cookie Book!

Scandinavian Rosettes
from The Gourmet Cookie Book

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) vegetable oil
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) for dusting

Special equipment: a rosette iron

Whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl, then add flour and salt, whisking until combined.

Heat oil in  a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan with rosette iron in it until thermometer registers 370 to 375 degrees F.  Carefully lift out iron, letting oil drip off into pan.  Dip all but top edge of iron into batter for 3 seconds, then submerge iron in oil and fry (batter adhering to iron) until golden, 35 to 40 seconds (do not let iron hit the bottom of the pan).  Lift out iron, letting oil drip off, and, working over paper towels, carefully pry off rosette with a fork.  Let rosette drain, hollow side down, on paper towels, then make more rosettes in the same manner, heating iron in oil 10 seconds before dipping into batter each time.

Dust rosettes with powdered sugar before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  • Rosette irons are available from specialty kitchen shops or online from Amazon and Fante’s.  Although most of what I’ve seen online are cast aluminum irons, you can sometimes find cast iron ones like mine on ebay.
  • This recipe can easily be halved.
  • The rosettes are best eaten within one day of being made, but they can be kept, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

Rosette Pattern in Powdered Sugar

Other ideas for Christmas Cookies:

Christmas Cookies around the Web:

Don’t forget to head over to Pinch My Salt Reviews to read my tips on finding balance and eating healthier this holiday season.  If you leave a comment and share your own story, you’ll be entered to win a $150 Visa card.  Sweepstakes ends 12/15/2010.

  1. Blog is the New Black


    10:15 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  2. DessertForTwo

    How beautiful! And original! 🙂

    10:21 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  3. Louise

    great photo progression, i like it… they look so delicate and delicious!

    10:22 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  4. Ruby

    looks so beautiful! Great job Nicole!

    10:25 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  5. SallyBR

    This may very well be THE coolest blog post of 2010!

    Loved it! what a beautiful series of rosettes you made…

    I had no idea how these were made, thanks for posting…

    10:38 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  6. my little expat kitchen

    I have never seen anything like this before. These rosettes look so beautiful. Too good to eat almost. It’s so great that you learned how to make these after all this time and you got to use that iron. Now if only I could get my hands on one!
    Happy holidays!

    10:51 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  7. astheroshe

    I have had one of these for years – bought in a antique shop and i ahve never used it. I am so glad you showed me how! MERCI!

    11:07 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  8. Kristi

    Who doesn’t like anything deep fried with sugar on top. These are beautiful but look like a lot of work.

    11:09 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  9. Natalie

    These are gorgeous! I love the old world cookies. I definitely must have one of these irons!!

    11:35 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  10. Nicole

    It is so funny, I keep looking through the Gourmet Cookie book and it has not yet called to me, but I keep seeing everyone else posting great recipes from the book. I think to myself, “I don’t remember that one”. I feel like I am missing something.
    My mom used to have one of these Rosette Irons when I was a kid, but she never used it. I always wanted to, I always thought they looked so pretty. Thanks to you I might just live out that childhood dream!

    11:38 am  Dec 16th, 2010
  11. Roxan

    Wow, this is so cool, I’ve never seen anything like it! They would be so fun to take to a party.

    12:19 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  12. Ranjani

    Beautiful! I thought I had all the kitchen toys I would ever want, but you’ve just informed me of a new one…

    12:26 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  13. PerennialPlate

    Beautiful. I would love to try to make these.

    12:30 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  14. Christine

    OH WOW – my mom used to be in a cookie exchange with someone who made these every year – they were my favourites! I have always meant to go by an iron – now I am going to make a point of finding one this week! Great memories – and even better cookies. If I recall correctly they tasted like New Orleans beignets…

    1:11 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  15. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen

    The Waffelbackerei title on the box wasn’t enough information? 🙂 I love these cookies, thanks for the step by step photos of the process!

    3:17 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  16. Andyra

    Great post! Those look so good, and beautiful too. I’m very glad you found the recipe!

    4:02 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  17. Luther

    I’ve made these almost every year at Christmas, using them as tree decorations – as well as eating a few in the process! And we have the exact same set of irons, stamped with “made in West Germany” on the bottom, which we purchased for $2.25 at Designs of Scandinavia in Portland, Oregon about 40 years ago, not long after we got married. Yes, they’re a little work, but well worth it. Our one rule: if a rosette breaks while being hung on the tree, we have to eat it!

    5:05 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  18. Suzianne

    I have that exact iron set. I got it from my mother, too. Thanks for the recipe. Now I know what to do with the things and it sounds yummy.

    5:10 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  19. Wendy (The Local Cook)

    don’t you love finding recipes that take you back to your childhood? Those look so yummy!

    5:14 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  20. Dea-chan

    My grandma always shook the cookie off of the iron while it was in the oil, and she would flip it halfway through its cooking. She always makes two big JCPenny boxes full of these for every family event — we’ve never had them for Christmas! 😛

    8:17 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  21. Chantel

    These look amazing! I just might have to try making these sometime as it looks like a lot of fun!

    8:37 pm  Dec 16th, 2010
  22. Teresa

    I have my mother’s set and it looks exactly like yours! We always had these at Christmas. It sits at the far back of my cupboard and I’m so glad to be reminded of it. I’m going to dig it out and give your recipe a try! They are so lovely…and I can remember them so well from over 40 years ago!!!

    1:09 am  Dec 17th, 2010
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  24. Peggy

    These look absolutely gorgeous! Such cute little irons!

    5:55 am  Dec 17th, 2010
  25. Penny

    These are absolutely beautiful!

    7:33 am  Dec 17th, 2010
  26. Jillian

    Those resemble snowflakes! Very delicate and beautiful.

    8:13 am  Dec 17th, 2010
  27. C in DC

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. My mom used to make these, too, but they used to sell them also (or something very similar) at the local fairs and carnivals. I don’t remember ever having funnel cakes as a kid; these were the fried dough of choice instead!

    9:29 am  Dec 17th, 2010
  28. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    That is so cool! I’ve never heard of those before.
    Now I’m wanting yet another single-use kitchen gadget.

    9:31 am  Dec 17th, 2010
  29. Connie

    I never knew what these cookies were called and I am pretty surprised to know what they are now considering my Chinese great grandmother used to make those for us as kids! Thanks for a lovely reminder of a great childhood memory.

    9:47 am  Dec 17th, 2010
  30. KarenP

    I have childhood memories of rosettes too! The mother of one of my friends used to make these and one of my favorite food memories is eating these while they were still warm. I couldn’t get enough of them! Thanks for sharing!

    1:33 pm  Dec 17th, 2010
  31. Paul Byron Downs

    I have never had rosettes but kind of has a feel to a funnel cake I use to have in the mountains in northern Georgia.


    3:02 pm  Dec 17th, 2010
  32. cheffresco

    Aw these are so cute! Unique festive cookie for the holidays!

    3:10 pm  Dec 17th, 2010
  33. Flavia

    I am so happy to read this post! My husband’s aunt just sent us some of her late mother’s kitchen items and a Rosette iron was among the things we received. Fortunately, it came with the original instruction book! I have never seen one before, but now that I have read your post, I am going to have to try this recipe–it looks delightful! Thank you for such a wonderful post–the step-by-step pictures are very helpful. As always, I am continuing to thoroughly enjoy your blog!

    10:14 pm  Dec 17th, 2010
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  35. The Fromagette

    OMGosh, I haven’t seen these since 4th grade and I had forgotten about them… such great memories, thanks!!

    8:59 pm  Dec 18th, 2010
  36. Denise

    I found one of the irons at an antique shop. Does anyone know how I clean it up so I can use it.

    2:25 pm  Dec 19th, 2010
  37. Teresa

    Denise, here is my two cents worth. I would treat it much as I would cleaning up an old iron skillet. If it looks rusty, I would use steel wool to clean it up a bit, then I would place it over a flame-like a gas stove burner-to heat it up and dry out the moisture. I’m not sure about putting a bit of oil on it the way you do when seasoning a skillet, but since it does heat up in the oil before applying the batter, I would think that would work just fine?!

    I haven’t tried this, but I think it would be a safe approach.

    4:02 pm  Dec 19th, 2010
  38. Jennie @ Oh, Sweet Day!

    These are SO neat! I have never heard or tried these before but am truly intrigued!!! They are so pretty too with the dusting of powdered sugar!

    5:53 am  Dec 20th, 2010
  39. matthewjg

    Thank you for the recipe. Just right for the season. I feel excited to try using the Rosette iron. Is this available online?

    Happy Holidays!

    7:01 am  Dec 20th, 2010
  40. emiglia

    You make it look so easy… but I can only imagine myself tearing my hair out at the roots and trying not to be scalded by boiling oil. Want to come make them for me?

    10:32 am  Dec 20th, 2010
  41. Lana

    I thought that I already left a comment:)
    Anyway, i inherited the rosette iron from my mother, and tried to use it once, unsuccessfully – the dough stuck to the iron, and I could not get it off. I gave up, but now I can try again, thanks to you:)
    I am very grateful for your step-by-step photos.

    12:34 pm  Dec 20th, 2010
  42. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)

    Wow those are gorgeous!! My mom had some weird things in the kitchen too that neither of us had any idea what to do with, so they went into the trash, and later we realised how important some of them were 🙁 I never throw anything from the kitchen who’s purpose I don’t know from then on!!

    4:03 am  Dec 23rd, 2010
  43. Laura Roth

    Beautiful! Thanks for such a great tutorial with pics! I have let my husband know that I have added the rosette iron to my wish list 🙂 But I do have a silly question for you. Your thermometer…what brand is it and where can I find the handy tool for attaching it to the pan?

    3:34 pm  Dec 23rd, 2010
  44. NerdMom

    That is so cool. I have seen the irons and the finished products but had no idea that was how you made it! I always thought it was more like a pancake form. Cool!

    1:06 am  Dec 24th, 2010
  45. Karyn

    Wonderful pics! I grew up with these as well. I’m from a small town in nothern Minnesota where all the ladies would make these for various festivals – especially around the holidays. Some had thicker irons so theres were inches higher – some were daintier like yours pictured. I rememer the fun of the smorgasbords with the amazing variety of dishes from all the kitchens in town, then arriving at the dessert table and ALWAYS choosing these amazing treats. Thanks for spurring the memories!

    8:46 pm  Dec 26th, 2010
  46. Kristen

    My grandma, who lives in south western Wisconsin, makes these cookies along with tons of other Norwegian cookies for Christmas. Would you believe that her friend made 750 rosettes in one week for a bake sale this winter?! The recipe says to eat the rosettes within 2 days, but my grandma keeps them in a metal cookie tin with a tight lid for weeks and they seem to be all right. Also she uses canola oil, not peanut oil. I wonder if that makes them keep longer. Thanks for the post. My grandma, aunts, and cousins really enjoyed it too!

    11:42 pm  Dec 26th, 2010
  47. MandyM

    Gorgeous! I made these once a long time ago with an old iron my mom had hidden away, unfortunately it was so long ago and I haven’t seen the iron set since!

    Also, a quick note to say that I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2011. I look forward to reading more of your fantastic food articles. I still make your Red Velvet cake recipe and everyone who’s had it always asks when I’ll be making it again!

    5:22 pm  Dec 27th, 2010
  48. ZM

    In my home land Malaysia, we have something similar like this called kuih ros/goyang and serve mostly during festive season. You may refer here for the recipe & methods:

    7:30 pm  Dec 27th, 2010
  49. Kristin

    My family was born in Norway . I used to watch my Bestemor make Norwegian donuts but never rosettes. I will have to find a rosette iron and try this recipe. My family would love them.

    8:53 pm  Dec 27th, 2010
  50. Wordless Wednesday: Favorite Recipes of 2010 — Pinch My Salt

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    8:53 am  Dec 29th, 2010
  51. mjkpuff

    Made these this morning…. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy to do. The only problem I had was .. even though I patted oil off abit after heating in oil… i couldn’t keep the batter on the iron. I had to use new batter.. finally gave up after a couple dozen.It seemed like I was throwing more batter away then making rosettes.Any hints on how to keep batter fron sliding off. Also has anyone ever tried using a flavored extract, or food coloring?

    1:08 pm  Jan 2nd, 2011
  52. Tara Booth

    These are so cool!

    8:31 am  Jan 3rd, 2011
  53. Teresa

    Lovely photos! I’m glad you found a recipe so you could reboot your family tradition.

    I’ve ordered The Gourmet Cookie Book and am so looking forward to using it.

    2:19 am  Jan 6th, 2011
  54. Natalie

    Thanks again for the inspiration! I found me the irons on E-Bay, and made a batch for New Years Eve! They are out of this world!

    11:32 am  Jan 6th, 2011
  55. Pamela

    Well. Here it is March and I just found your site! I have been making these since childhood and your illustrations will make teaching this recipe to my children/grandchildren soooo much easier. Your recipe is similar to mine. Once you get rolling these really don’t take that much work. I run three irons at a time. I also have irons that belonged to my grandmother, making them 100 years old. There are many irons now available to use for many occasions. I still wouldn’t do them in the summer. Enjoy and share your heritage.

    6:42 am  Mar 19th, 2011
  56. Ilona Passino

    This is great! I’ve had my Mom’s old set and also did not have a recipe for it, and was about to put it, regretfully, into a garage sale, but now I think I will retrieve it and keep it so I can teach my little grand-daughter how to make them. It will be fun to pass these down to her, since she never got to meet her great-grandmother. Thank you for sharing your recipe and story.

    6:04 pm  Apr 4th, 2011
  57. Elizabeth

    My mother made these delicate rosettes every year at Christmas, even though we are of Czech descent. Now that she is in her nineties, I have been the one she has passed this beautiful tradition to. I make at least 100 each year for our family gathering and always get compliments from everyone. It’s the first thing the children reach for when its time to share our sweets. I intend to pass the tradition on to my daughters & granddaughters. Thanks for the wonderful instructions & photos.

    7:33 pm  Jul 24th, 2011
  58. Amanda

    If you are looking for more, we are now manufacturing awesome Rosette Irons and Croustade Shell Makers =) We’re in the Twin Cities, MN – 800-394-4674. Keep the tradition alive!!!

    4:51 pm  Jul 28th, 2011
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  60. Vivienne

    thanks for details of Rosettes- daughter in Australia asked if I still had the irons- found single ones “Nutbrown” make but haven’t found the handle! Now I’ve found a set with 4 shapes joined to the handle. Think it will be a nightmare to clean, but I’ll give it a go. Thought they had to be dipped in the hot fat, then thought the batter would slip off! So now I know! last used the single ones butterfly and tart shape 35yrs ago and didn’t have a recipe- Thanks so much- Viv in New Zealand

    5:33 pm  Nov 24th, 2011
  61. susan

    my mom has one of these and we made these every year. We put raspberry jelly in the center and called them “Paddy Waffles”. Such great memories!!!

    1:33 pm  Dec 18th, 2011
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  63. Joyce Feddersen

    I have made these cookies for nearly 50 years and my family loves them. I have made some important discoveries that made the process easier. 1) Blisters on the cookies indicate eggs have been beaten too much 2) The iron is not deep enough in the fat if the cookies drop off into the oil 3) If cookies do not come off the iron easily, they have not fried enough to be dry in the center. 4) If cookies are not crisp they have been fried too fast 5) Be sure to tap excess fat off the iron each time before dipping in batter.

    Also, the following order of mixing ingredients eliminates problems with lumps, etc.
    Mix flour & milk, beat with mixer. Add slightly beaten eggs and mix very briefly with mixer. By hand, add and mix salt, vanilla and sugar. Patience is required for success in these cookies. They are wonderful!!!

    2:18 pm  Dec 19th, 2011
  64. marla

    These rosettes are stunning & the process looks like fun.

    8:14 pm  Dec 19th, 2011
  65. Lorrie

    Thank you! I have the same rosette irons passed down without instructions or recipes. I could find the recipes, but nobody gave proper instructions.

    8:40 pm  Dec 19th, 2011
  66. Tina @ Babycakes Blog

    Thanks for this great tutorial! I just bought some Rosette Irons from and went in search for a recipe and found your detailed instructions. My irons should be arriving tomorrow and I can’t wait to try them out.

    9:56 pm  Mar 8th, 2012
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  68. Margaret

    AMAZING!!!! These are some of my favorite cookies from childhood. My mother never let me help make them so your tutorial was perfect. Thanks so much!

    3:04 pm  Dec 2nd, 2012
  69. Matilda

    I just e-mailed my Mom asking her to mail her Rosette Iron set to me. These were some of the wonderful Christmas cookies we had each year. I loved them!

    9:04 pm  Dec 8th, 2012
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  72. Roxanne

    Have you tried berry sugar instead of icing sugar?

    8:56 pm  Dec 18th, 2013
  73. B Peters

    I came to the computer for a recipe for those fried cookies I remember having once when I was small. I bout dropped when the first web site had a picture of the exact box ( Waffelbackerei) . I cant wait to make these today.. Thanks so much. Merry Christmas. 🙂

    10:23 am  Dec 19th, 2013
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  75. Korte

    I hace made rosettes for yrs’ I like to replace 1/2 the liquid with beer. let the bater set over night in the fridge,place a small bowl in a larger bowl of ice .Just put part of the batter in the bowl ,you want to keep it cold When you take the batter out of the fridge you will need to gently stir it. For Christmas I will add red or green food color.I like to add lemon flavoring to it sometime.

    2:51 pm  Dec 30th, 2013
  76. Korte

    I have made rosettes for yrs’ I like to replace 1/2 the liquid with beer. let the bater set over night in the fridge,place a small bowl in a larger bowl of ice .Just put part of the batter in the bowl ,you want to keep it cold When you take the batter out of the fridge you will need to gently stir it. For Christmas I will add red or green food color.I like to add lemon flavoring to it sometime.

    2:52 pm  Dec 30th, 2013
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  78. Byrdie

    I bought my set of iron molds back in the 70’s at a garage sale for a $1.00. I have been making them only during the Christmas Season. I always get the request every year, to make more. I cover mine with granulated sugar & cinnamon, the recipe is about the same except I do not add vanilla and I fried them in Wesson oil. To me and everyone that have had them, the cookies taste like Bunelos a Mexican deep fried tortilla tossed in sugar & cinnamon, again these are done only during Christmas or New Years to snack on before the tamales done at midnight to welcome the new year

    3:31 pm  Dec 30th, 2014
  79. Byrdie

    Almost forgot, I am glad you found the recipe, Enjoy!

    3:37 pm  Dec 30th, 2014
  80. Ruby Garcia

    I have bought my rosette iron set in 1990 in the Netherlands because i found it quaint but never got to use it. I will be using your recipe to make them when i finished redoing my kitchen cabinets for my baking area.

    9:00 pm  Aug 2nd, 2015
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  82. r

    These can be kept for quite a few weeks if you put them between sheets of wax or parchment paper and put in a bakery box, not an air-tight container, and put the box in a slightly cool place. That’s the way my aunt kept them. I’ve eaten them at the end of January and they were still good. However, don’t sugar them until ready to eat them.

    4:58 pm  Dec 20th, 2015
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  84. Lee wei

    Hi, can i use rosettes iron to be a branding iron to stamp on cheesecake and bread?

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