I whipped up a batch to take to the beach tomorrow, and also to bring over to Whole Foods in Princeton as I was pitching them an idea for a cooking class/demo ... more about that to come - Whisk and Spoon Instructor Chris Crawford is excited about the idea and I will likely be hosting a class in early Oct. demoing Mrs. Goodfellow recipes featured in the book!
The name jumbles comes from the Latin word gemel, which means twin, since the cookies were originally shaped like a figure eight or a double ring. But, we Americans soon found that too time-consuming (big surprise!), and to make preparation quicker and easier, it soon became customary to form the dough into single rings. Eventually even the ring shape fell out of favor, and jumbles were often simply rolled out and cut into circles. (From Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America's First Cooking School, p. 171).
You can see from the photos below how to shape the dough into rings. After chilling it for at least two hours, it is rolled out, then cut into narrow strips. Each strip is rolled between between the palms or on a work surface to form a rope approx. 5-in long. The ends of each rope are then brought together to ceate a ring (I discovered it is easier to wrap them around my finger, but really whatever method works!) The "rings" are then placed on a baking sheet, spaced about 1 in apart.
In her cookbook, Hearthside Cooking, Nancy Carter Crump updated the jumbles recipe taught by Mrs. Goodfellow for modern ingredients and methods. Here's her version, give it a try!
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rose water
3 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mace
Additional grated sugar
1. Cream butter and sugar until very light. Add egg and rose-water, blending thoroughly. (May substitute lemon extract to taste for rose-water.
2. Sift flour with spices. Add all at once to creamed mixture, blending well.
3. Wrap dough and chill at least 2 hours.
4. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4" thickness.
5. Cut with doughnut cutter or cut into strips 1"x8" and shape into rings.
6. Bake cookies on ungreased sheets in preheated 375 degree oven 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Remove to rack, sprinkle with sugar and cool. Makes about 3 dozen.