Jumbles are a very old cookie, mentioned in lots of early American cookbooks. This particular version is based on an 1825 recipe for “Jumbals” in Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife (University of South Carolina Press). Food historian Karen Hess notes that their name derives from European versions of the cookie—the Italian ciambelline and the French gimblettes. Usually, the dough was rolled out and cut into thin strips, which were then twisted in knotted forms, such as pretzels or figure eights. Later, ring shapes were more common. The Jumbles in this recipe are simple buttery rounds, topped with coconut, which toasts gently as the cookies bake.