April 15, 2020

Chester Jumbles a WWI - Depression Era Cookie Recipe

Things are going to look a little weird on my site for the foreseeable future. Due to the Covid-19 Quarantine, I am stuck in New York without my camera gear, and kitchen implements.

For those of you who don't know, I volunteer with the Chester Historical Preservation Committee and was very excited to find this book that was printed in Chester, Pennsylvania while I was on vacation in Massachusetts last year. Drive 4 and a half hours for some local history? Yes, Please.

What the heck is Chester, PA? It's the first European City in Pennsylvania. It's where William Penn actually landed. It's where the wounded were sent by rail after the Battle of Gettysburg. It was home of the Eddystone Rifle Plant, during WWI. It was a major shipbuilding site during WWI and II. It's where Martin Luther King Jr. went to school. It's really historic, you'll just have to trust me.

I was very excited to get to try some local recipes from this time period. This book, The Kitchen Guide, was originally published in 1913 in Philadelphia and had only 3 recipes with Chester in the Title. Sometime during the 1913 printing and the 1927 Chester printing, "Chester Jumbles" were added to the text. Jumbles are one of the earliest forms of cookies.

Chester Jumbles 


- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 1/2 Cups Shredded Coconut
- Almonds, sliced
- About 4-5 Cups of Flour


Cream the sugar and the room temperature, butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla, 1/2 cup of the flour, the salt and the 4 eggs and coconut. Add flour until the dough does not stick to your hands. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 of an inch. Cut out with round or donut shaped cookie cutters and top with sliced almonds. Bake on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.

For whatever reason I did not think I was going to like these but they turned out very good. They're soft with a light coconut flavor and nice crunch from the almonds. I only made a half batched and it made about 14, 3 inch cookies. 

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, these sound great! I may have to try to make them one day. Thank you for sharing!


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