Manuscripts and Special Collections

Recipe of the month: Cracknells

April 1st, 2011 at 08:04

Cracknells are thin almond biscuits. This particular recipe has a line written at the end, ‘These were very pleasing, Carolo Secundo’, suggesting that they were a favourite snack enjoyed by King Charles II. Staff from Manuscripts and Special Collections have tried cooking them. They are very tasty, but hard, and should be rolled thinly in order to avoid cracked teeth! Rose water can be found in the home baking section of large supermarkets. The recipe comes from Elenor Mundy’s recipe book, begun in 1728.

Cracknells (MS 86, p. 102)

Blaunch, and beat very fine, half a pound of almonds, with rose water, wet them not too much, then mingle with them a pound of sugar finely poudered [powdered], two pounds of the finest flower [flour], with cloves and mace, at discretion, three beaten eggs, a quarter of a pound of butter, and so make it a Paste, and roll it out into Cracknells. Bake them, as soon as made, be your oven of temperate heat.


One-third of the amounts given above is more than enough for a modern baking tray. Roll the mixture into thin round biscuits, and bake in a moderate oven (180C/350F/Gas 4) for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown

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