My mother was a ‘Food Adventurer’. Mom seemed to have this intensity about new foods. She learned to make Chop Suey and Egg Foo Young when the first Chinese restaurants were appearing in south Texas.
She was the Galloping Gourmet’s favorite fan, and she thought Julia Childs was surely going to change the world of meatloaf and fried chicken. Growing up during the 1950’s was an adventurous time for any American household. That’s when Chef Boy-ar-dee spaghetti in a can was introduced to our homes. Campbell’s Soup Company began marketing all those creamed soups and with them came a little 50 page cookbook. All receipes had those soups in them. Thinking about those times is a little scary to a modern foodie like me, but the good news is that I was given early lessons in producing great food by being adventurous. Makin’ it different!
Some years ago, I was exploring the internet attempting to discover rare, ‘antique recipes’. These old combinations sometimes used ingredients I had never heard of, so, that lead to further research. Soon enough, I had a whole box of antique recipes for cookies, cakes and other sweets. The trick was to convert the recipes to ingredients available today. Along the way, I attended a baking demonstration by the very lovely Nancy Baggett. She too had a pinchant for old recipes, and published a fantastic baking book, The All-American Cookie Book, (The Houghton Miflin Co., copyright 2001). One of my favorite recipes from this book is for Iced Lemon Jumbles.
The ring shape of these cookies is characteristic of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, and was brought to this country by English colonists. The traditional ring shape of the Jumble is quite time-consuming to produce . Over the decades, a shortcut would win, and bakers began to roll out the cookies and then cut them into thick rounds. The recipe I use is roughly based on one in the 1879 book Housekeeping in Old Virginia, edited by Marion Cabell Tyree. These Jumbles are a tribute to the earlier convention of the ring.
As you can see from the photo, the dough is soft and maleable. A section is simply rolled to a length of 4 – 5″, then looped around to make a ring. As with most all shortbread-type doughs, the Iced Lemon Jumbles have a decadently-buttery-flaky texture. Once baked and cooled, they are dipped in a Lemon Glaze for the perfect iced cookie treat. This is one of the 5 fantastic cookie varieties contained in WOW! Cookies! Small Summer Basket.
Visit www.wow-cookies.com/wow-summer-specials to order your basket of antique cookies today!