Empire Cookies

Although my favourite cookie is typically the one I made most recently, I will always keep this one in my top 5. Empire cookies are just so good. They are a bit of work to make but I had my mom help me this time around.


We had a celebration of life for my Nana who passed away earlier this year. We both loved empire cookies so I was happy to find her recipe. Surprisingly, this was my first time using it!


It was a special moment to flip through her recipe book and see she had this recipe in there.


You start with a full pound of either butter or margarine and add in the sugar. This gets beaten until light and fluffy. Empire cookies can be described as a rich shortbread cookie. The egg keeps them soft but they are made with rice flour to keep the delicate crumb.



It comes together into a soft, buttery dough. Continue to beat it together until it comes to one ball of dough in the mixer.


I went with a smaller cookie cutter this time. I tend to lean towards making them larger simply because I want a big cookie but for an event its always better to make them small.


The cookies need to cool off completely before you can start filling and decorating.


You want to have everything ready to go before you begin decorating.


Flip every other cookie over so you can easily sandwich them once you pipe the jam.


Sometimes I carefully pipe the icing on top with a piping bag…and sometimes it just goes on with a spoon. This time it was a spoon so we had a more rustic look to it.


I always rinse and dry the cherries before putting them onto the icing. This prevents them from bleeding into the icing on day two.


They are such a pretty cookie to have a on a dessert table. They keep for days so you can make them well in advance.


Nana’s Empire Cookies 


1 pound (2 cups) butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1/4 tsp salt

Icing and Assembly 

1 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 cups icing sugar

4 tbsp heavy cream

Pinch of salt

About 15 glacee cherries cut in half, rinsed and dried


  1. In a medium bowl whisk together all purpose flour, rice flour and salt. Set this aside.
  2. In a stand mixer beat the butter/margarine together with the sugar for about 2 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix this until combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter in 3 batches and beat until the dough comes together in one ball.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Cut the dough into quarters. Between 2 pieces of saran wrap roll out the first quarter of dough and cut out into small circles. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them near the end as they brown very quickly.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Put the jam into a piping bag (you can just spread it with a knife as well)
  10. In a small bowl mix together the icing sugar, cream and salt until a thick shiny icing forms.
  11. Pipe the jam onto the underside of a cookie and place another on top.
  12. Spread the glace and place a cherry in the middle of each cookie. These can be kept for at least a week in a covered container.


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