“My Lady Chanworths receipt for Jumballs”

I’m a fan of interesting spice combinations, shortbread, and history, so this recipe found and updated by Rare Cooking intrigued me. Jumballs are shortbread cookies which were popular for hundreds of years. One commenter pointed out that the modern name is jumbles, though it looks like American versions tend to have fruit and other bits stuck in them. This is definitely not the case with the classic, deceptively simple cookie shown in this recipe.

The recipe as Rare Cooking adapted it:

1/2 lb sugar (1c)
3/4 lb flour (2 3/4 c)
1 t caraway seeds
1/2 t coriander seeds
1/2 lb butter, melted (2 sticks or 16 T)
1 t rosewater
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/8 lb. ground almonds (generous 1/2 c)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix flour, sugar, and spices in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand). Add melted butter, rosewater, egg yolks, and ground almonds and mix until a uniform dough forms.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into cookies. We did this by rolling the dough into a log and slicing 1/4 inch cookies, but there are many other ways to shape this kind of dough.

Bake 20 minutes or until brown around the edges. Cool on a rack before devouring, if you have the willpower.

Results? Phenomenal. I’ve had American style oatmeal jumbles and other things of that nature, but nothing like this. You’d think that between the almonds, the coriander and the caraway that you’d miss the rose water entirely, but the flavor still comes through. This will definitely be a lovely treat to make again this winter.

Now go look at all the other fascinating information on Rare Cooking!

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