Absolutely wonderful, these simple, yet flavorful biscuits are perfect for the Christmas holidays. Make them into Celtic knots, as shown, if you like.

Jumbles or Knot Biscuits (Scottish Elizabethan)
Recipe type: Desserts, Cookies
Serves: 30 biscuits
  • In British (Imperial) measurements
  • 1 1/2 ounces butter; salted
  • 4 ounces caster sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rose-water
  • 1/2 ounces caraway seeds
  • 1 large egg; beaten
  • 8 ounces plain flour
  • extra rose-water and caster sugar for glaze
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C / gas mark 4. Cream the butter, sugar and rose-water together, then mix in the caraway seeds, beaten egg and flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Knead on a lightly floured board, then take small walnut-sized pieces of dough and with your fingers form each into a roll, approximately 3/4-inch in diameter and 6-inches in length.
  3. Make into simple knots, plaits, Celtic knots or rings and arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Brush with rose-water and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  5. Bake near the top of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tinged with brown. (Knots and plaits will take longer to bake than simple rings, so don't mix shapes on a baking sheet.)
  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin.
Makes about 30 biscuits or rolls.

From: "A Book of Historical Recipes" by Sara Paston-Williams, The National Trust of Scotland


To make Jumbils a hundred (dated from 1596 AD)

"Take twenty Egges and put them into a pot both the yolkes and the white, beat them wel, then take a pound of beaten sugar and put to them, and stirre them wel together, then put to it a quarter of a peck of flower, and make a hard paste thereof, and then with Anniseeds moulde it well, ane make it in little rowles beeing long, and tye them in knots, and wet the ends in Rosewater; then put them into a pan of seething water, but even in one waum, then take them out with a Skimmer and lay them in a cloth to drie, this being don lay them in a tart panne, the bottome beeing oyled, then put them into a temperat Oven for one howre, turning them often in the Oven.

Delicious when served with syllabub (see other recipe).

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