Rosette Cookies/ Roce Cookies/ Kokkisan

Ever wondered why Rosette cookies or Roce cookies are traditionally made for Christmas all over the world?? Hmmm…Ive thought about it as well…been unsuccessful in finding an answer… deduce that because flowers are nature’s ultimate expression of God’s love, Beautiful rosettes when prepared with love during Christmas gratify the Lord!! 
It is still unknown as to who discovered the Rosette cookie, the Germans, Norwegians, Dutch, Czech, Polish, Mexican and Indians all claim that the Rosette cookie is really “theirs”….who knows!! ( if you do know plss share the knowledge !!)
The Rosette cookie is a delicate, crisp, lightly sweetened, fragnant flower shaped cookie made using intricately designed rosette irons. In Mangalore the cookies are known as Kokkisan/Roce cookies as coconut milk (Roce) is used to add richness and flavour to the cookies. Unlike other parts of the world where refined flour is used to make the cookie, Mangaloreans use a mixture of ground rice and flour. 

For decades my late Maternal Grandma used to make Christmas sweets/ Kuswar on an industrial scale and supply these sweets to the local shops and bakeries in and around Mangalore. As a child on holidays, I used to love watching these large group of women in the Christmas spirit work for hours together churning out lovely christmas treats. My mom has learned the art of Kuswar making (Christmas sweets making) from Grandma….and now teaches me the invaluable tricks and tips on making good treats.

This is my mom’s recipe for Instant Roce cookies that are delicate, light, crispy and melt in the mouth. It is instant as it does not involve any prior soaking and grinding of the rice. The batter can be made easily within 5 minutes. When stored in airtight containers these cookies keep well for 4-5 weeks.

To make Instant Roce Cookies/ Kokkisan you require:

Dry ingredients:
Ground rice flour: 1 cup ( I used Melam Appam podi which is finely ground rice)
Refined flour/Maida: 1 cup
Nutmeg powder:1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp

Wet Ingredients:
Coconut milk: 3/4 can/ 1.5 cups of thick milk/ 1st extract
Egg: 1
Rose water: 2 tsps
Granulated Sugar: 3 tbsps

1. In a bowl sieve all the dry ingredients together.  In another bowl put all the wet ingredients and sugar and beat very lightly to mix. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a balloon whisk to get a homogenous mixture of double cream/thick dosa consistency, with no lumps, do not overbeat.
2. Heat sufficient oil in a large deep pan. ( if you have a thermometer- to between 360-375F ). Heat a rosette iron in the hot oil (375 degrees) for a minute.
3. Drain excess oil from the iron on a kitchen paper. 

4. Dip the iron in the batter to 1/4 inch from the top of the iron.
5. Dip iron immediately into hot oil (375 degrees). 
6. Let the cookie remain submerged in the oil with the mould for about 5 seconds, there will be a lot of bubbles in the oil indicating the cookie is getting cooked. After about 5 secs use a tiny gentle up and down motion within the oil to tease the cookie off the mould. If the cookies dont unmould by themselves use a fork to release the cookie from the sides of the mould.
7. Fry rosette until golden on one side then tip over to cook the other side. Once the cookie is done the number of bubbles in the oil reduces. Lift out the cooked cookie using a sieved spoon, and then turn the cookie grooves side down to allow all the oil to drain out from the crevices. Drain onto a rack placed over paper towels. Allow to cool completely.
8. Reheat the iron in the heated oil again for 30 secs and make the next rosette. Continue till you use up all the batter.

This recipe will make 30-35 rosettes. This will take around 1.5 -2 hours depending on the size of the pan and no. fried at a time ( I fried 2 at a time). In case you do get bored towards the end, thin down the remaining batter with a little water and enjoy them as pancakes 🙂

Once you have made all the rosettes. Let them cool completely before packing them in an airtight container.

Serving suggestions:
If you like, serve them like the Swedes and Norwegians do with a generous sprinkling of castor sugar or cinnamon sugar, or if you are a chocoholic like me…. dip the cookie edges into melted chocolate then dipped into a plate of crushed nuts….

or munch them on their own like mangies do 🙂 

 ….dont stop munching till all are gone………..mind you…that is on Christmas day 😉 you wouldnt want to go through the whole process again 🙂
Caysera’s Useful Tips -when disaster strikes:
1. Soggy rosette? It should be fairly crisp as soon as it is slightly cool. The oil may be not hot enough or you are not frying long enough. Also, make sure you turn the cookie upside down to cool on it’s back. The oil needs to drain off the edges.
2. Lots of blisters on your rosette? You over beat your eggs
3. Is the rosette falling off the iron while in the oil? You aren’t putting your iron deep enough into the oil. Add more oil to the fryer or place lower in fryer. But, don’t hit the bottom, it will burn the rosette.
4. Can’t get the rosette off the iron? Remove with a knife. You may have dipped it too deep in the batter.
5. Trouble with the batter falling off the iron– Your oil must be sufficiently hot before you dip the mold into it, pat the iron flat onto kitchen paper after taking it out from the hot oil  to remove excess oil, and then let it hiss as you put it into the batter.

I hope you have fun making and eating them……

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

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