It was once said that the sun never set on the British Empire, with territories in India, the Americas, Africa, East Asia, Australia, and beyond. But, along with the World Wars came the re-drawing of the maps as the colonies reclaimed their independence.
During World War I the empire was still quite strong, but the war with the Autro-Hungarian Empire had an impact on everything from borders to music to food. The popular Linzer cookies (also called German biscuits) were seen as too German by those living in the UK. The recipe stayed much the same, but these jammy cookies were re-named as empire cookies, which was supposed to sound more British.
Whatever you call them these cookies are delicious and will make the table look festive any time of year.
To begin making these cookies cream together butter and sugar. Then add in 1 egg and stir again. Stir in flour until a crumbly mixture forms. Then turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and roll out to 1/8″ thickness. Cut out cookies using a 2″ or 2.5″ cookie cutter. You should end up with 40 thin cookies.
Bake for 15-20 minutes and then allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. You definitely don’t want to try and glaze hot cookies so let them cool all the way before decorating.
Spread some of the raspberry jam on 20 of the cookies. Add the other 20 cookies on top to make 20 sandwich cookies. To make the icing mix together confectioner’s sugar with milk until a thick glaze forms. If it’s too thin it will roll off the cookies. Spread some glaze on top of each sandwich cookie and before they set add a halved Maraschino cherry to each one.
These are beautiful piled up on a tiered platter for teatime, but you don’t need to have a formal excuse to eat these luscious, fruit-filled cookies. Thanks to their delightful flavor these treats are perfect for just about any occasion.
Makes 20 sandwich cookies
40m prep time
20m cook time
For the cookies:
- 2 sticks butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring
For the decoration:
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 10-oz jar Maraschino cherries
- 1 10-oz jar seedless red raspberry jam or preserves
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Mix together butter with granulated sugar, adding the egg in and stirring again. Add flour and stir until a crumbly mixture forms.
- Turn out dough onto floured work surface. Roll to about 1/8” thickness. Cut out 40 cookies using a 2 1/2” to 3” round or scalloped cookie cutter, collecting and rolling out scraps if need be.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning cookies over once halfway through baking. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled mix up the icing, adding milk to the confectioner’s sugar one spoonful at a time and then mixing in each spoonful. You want a slightly thicker glaze for this recipe, so do not add all the milk at once.
- Spread the jam over 20 cookies. Place the other 20 cookies on top and spread glaze over each sandwich cookie. Add a half of a Maraschino to each cookie before the glaze has a chance to set.
Recipe adapted from Christina’s Cucina.