We were so honored to be asked to judge the Chocolate Jumbles competition at the county fair this year.
Jumbles–a spicy cookie made with molasses, nutmeg and clove–were common in Europe as early as the 17th century and were prepared by twisting the thick dough into shapes and then boiling.
The jumble made its way to the Mohawk Valley in the 19th century with the arrival of the German Palatine settlers. They added chocolate to the cookie and a characteristic round shape and painted the surface with a royal icing. Fancy!
Families have been making the cookie in Schoharie County for over 200 years, and each family has its own tradition and twist.
It wasn’t easy to choose a winner, but we bravely faced the challenge.
Congratulations to Debbie Collins who won the blue ribbon with a cookie just like her grandma used to make. That’s an heirloom recipe!!
Debbie Collins’ Chocolate Jumble Cookie
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of shortening or lard
1 cup molasses
5 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of cocoa
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of clove
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking soda
Combine ingredients in order given and then chill.
Roll and then cut out the cookie using a donut cutter.
Bake at 350 degrees just until the edges turn crisp
Allow to cool
Paint with royal icing
Learn more about the history of jumbles and several variations on the recipe in a booklet produced by the Friends of Fort Plain
Does your neck o’ the woods have a special cookie recipe? Tell us about it in the comments section below!