To make Sugar-Cakes or Jambals.
Take two pound of flour, dry it, and season it very fine, then take a pound of loaf sugar, beat it very fine, and searse it, mingle your flour and sugar very well; then take a pound and a half of sweet butter, wash out the salt and break it into bits into the flour and sugar, then take the yolks of four new laid eggs, four or five spoonfuls of sack, and four spoonfuls of cream, beat all these together, put them into the flour, and work it up into paste, make them into what fashion you please, lay them upon papers or plates, and put them into the oven; be careful of them, for a very little thing bakes them.
From: The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May, which can be found here at Project Gutenberg.
My modernized version:
1/2 lb of flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 pinch saffron
1/4 lb of sugar
6 oz unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sweet sherry
1 tbsp cream
Extra sugar (~1/4-1/2 cup) for decoration
parchment paper for baking
I did use unbleached flour for this recipe, since I was attempting, as usual, to be authentic. As for the sugar, though, I used plain white sugar in the recipe and raw sugar for decoration. If I had more, as well as the time to "pound it very fine", I might have used raw sugar for the whole thing.
"Sack" is pretty hard to find nowadays, so I used sweet sherry, which is pretty close.
I also reduced the whole recipe to 1/4 of the original quantity. It still made 3 dozen cookies, and being that it's just after christmas and we still have a ton of cookies in the house, I'm glad I did!
The spices get a bit more explanation...