Prince Biskits

“To make prince bisket. Take one pounde of verie fine flower, and one pounde of fine sugar, and eight eggs, and two spoonfuls of Rosewater, and one ounce of carroway seeds, and beat it all to batter one whole hour, for the more you beat it, the better your bread is, then bake it in coffins of white plate, beeing basted with a little butter before you put in your batter, and so keepe it.”

Delights for Ladies, to Adorne Their Persons, Tables, Closets, and Distillatories; with Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes, and Waters by Hugh Plat, 1602

Prince Biscuits

As I tested different variations of this recipe, I thought: why would it call for beating for a whole hour? I decided that it would be to add air to the mixture. So I opted for a slightly more modern approach to this treat. (In all frankness, I’m not going to spend an hour mixing biscuits!)


2 c. white flour
1 c. sugar
5 chicken eggs to room temperature
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds (whole or partially crushed)
1 Tablespoon rosewater

Whip the eggs until they are foamy, approaching soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar until the peaks firm up. Add the caraway and rosewater and mix well.

Fold in the flour by hand to retain the lightness of the batter. Drop by teaspoons (the cutlery not the measuring spoon) onto a WELL greased sheet (better yet, a silpat or parchment paper). Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges. Remove from your baking sheet right away and let cool.

Other notes

I tried this with four duck eggs; they don’t whip up quite as nicely as chicken eggs. You can also make these in a muffin tin (not fully filled to keep them small), but they are very stubborn to come out. Grease very well. Using muffin papers works, but leaves the patterning in the final dish which I didn’t want.

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