Recipe 135 – Jumbles

10th January 2013

I really should have spent the morning tidying and cleaning the house, but decided as I hadn’t baked anything this week so far, my morning was going to be in the kitchen baking.  The cleaning can wait until this afternoon!

There were two recipes I had picked to bake today.  I didn’t feel like baking a cake, I think we had all had enough cake over Christmas, so my first recipe was from the ‘Baking for Children’ section of Mary’s Bible.  This will leave me only one more recipe to bake from this section!

I googled ‘Jumbles’ to see what exactly they were as reading through the recipe, I couldn’t really work out where exactly the name came from.  Apparently “Jumbles are little cookie-like pastries common in Azerbaijan and abroad since the Middle Ages which have a relatively simple recipe.  They were widespread specifically as they travelled well, thanks to their very dense, hard nature”.   Dense, hard nature – what was I about to bake!

The first stage was to lightly grease three baking trays.

All the ingredients had to be measured into a bowl – in went 150g softened butter, 150g caster sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, one egg and 350g plain flour.  The recipe does include the grated zest of a lemon, but I decided to omit this as I know my daughter isn’t too keen on lemon and I thought the vanilla on its own would make them flavoursome enough.  I couldn’t believe the next part, Mary says to work the mixture together by hand until a dough is formed.  I can’t imagine Mary doing that!  She does actually say in the next sentence that you can use a food processor or electric mixer.  I decided I wasn’t going to get the food processor out as I had already measured the ingredients into the bowl and I despise washing up so much, that it had to be in with the hands.  After a gentle squelch together of the ingredients and then a bit rougher, the mixture did start to come together and form a dough.

The mixture had to be divided into 32 pieces.  First I quartered my mixture and then split each quarter into three.  Out of these three bits I made another three bits.  Now all of you mathematicians out there will have worked out that I had in fact made 36 pieces and not 32.  I always thought my maths was pretty good, but obviously not – half of 32 is not 18 is it …?

Anyway each little piece of dough was rolled out into a strip about 10cm (4″) long and twisted into the shape of the letter ‘S’.  These were put on the baking tray and then popped into the fridge for half an hour to chill.  Whilst they were ‘chilling’ in the fridge I put the oven on to preheat.

After half an hour the jumbles were popped into the oven for 10 minutes.  They weren’t quite done after this time (Mary does say 10-15 minutes), so I popped them back in for another 3 minutes.  By now they were a very pale golden colour.  

The jumbles were removed from the oven and the oven temperature was increased by 30 degrees.  Whilst the oven was becoming hotter, each jumble was brushed with some honey (I had warmed the honey in a little pot in the microwave to make it runny) and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  They were returned to the oven for another 3 minutes, after which they were removed from the trays and put on a cooling rack.

These little cookies were lovely and I couldn’t resist making myself a hot chocolate whilst waiting for them to cool – they were ideal to hook over the edge of the mug.  I love these cookies – I hope there’s some left by the time the children come home from school – I can help taking one every time I walk past them!

Verdict – easy to make, lovely flavour (glad I didn’t put the lemon in) and I will definitely make these again!



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