The fortune cookie, as we know it, was invented for the San Francisco World Fair in the early twentieth century. Our Artificial Walnut predates that by about five centuries. Made in wooden molds with the imprint of the shell and the kernel, the sugary treat must have delighted both the old and the young. Filled with comfits of candies, caraway seeds, or filled with a motto or saying inside, it was like opening a treasure box.
The 1655 receipt from the A Queens Closet Open’d, is our basic gum paste recipe that we now use for decorating cakes, this has the addition of rose water for a pleasant taste. My forms are from the House on the Hill. I added cinnamon to the paste to make the shell dark and left the kernel off white. They were fun to make.
I let them dry overnight and stuck them together with more gum paste and then tied a ribbon around them. I left a few kernels out and filled one shell with candied caraway seeds for the Kitchen talk. They are pretty little things, and, when I have time, I’ll make more and put them up in tins for a special occasion.
I’d like to pickle real green walnuts next. Anyone know of a walnut tree near Portsmouth?
Cinnamon was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god.