Empire Cookies

The dough can be prepared and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.This dough also works well for sweet tart shells.

Prep time: 1 hour to chill dough- 20 minutes for other prep.

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: about 24 sandwich cookies- 2 cookies per sandwich(2 inches in size)


Tender Tart Dough:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 hard-boiled large egg yolk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Icing and Assembly:

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam or your favorite jam(can’t be too runny)
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 6-8 candied cherries, each chopped into 6 bits



Tender Tart Dough:

  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth.
  2. Push the hard-boiled egg yolk through a sieve with a spoon and stir the raw egg yolk and vanilla into it. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended.
  3. Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Shape the dough into a disc (it will be very soft), wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Creamed Butter and Icing Sugar

Hardboiled Egg Yolk Ready to be Pressed Through Sieve

After Hardboiled Egg Yolk Pushed Through Sieve

Dough after the Flour and Eggs Mixed into Creamed Butter Mixture

Disk of Dough Ready to be Chilled


Icing and Assembly:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough just to soften it slightly. Roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick and cut out cookies using a 2-inch fluted cookie cutter(I used a 2.5 inch cutter), placing the cookies on the baking trays, leaving ½-inch between them.

    Rolled Out Dough Cut with Cookie Cutter

  3. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until just lightly browned around the edges. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking trays before assembling.

    Baked Cookies

  4. Stir the raspberry jam to soften and spread a little(about 1 teaspoon) on a cookie bottom and sandwich a second cookie on top, pressing gently to secure. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  5. For the icing, stir to whisk the icing sugar with 1 tbsp of water and the almond or vanilla extract, add the remaining water if needed, until it is a thin icing consistency. Set aside.


  6. Spread a thin layer of icing on top of each cookie, top with a piece of candied cherry(if you have or use some colored sugar or other sugared decoration) and set on a rack to dry. Let the cookies dry for about 3 hours before storing in an airtight container.
  7. The cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.  You can freeze them for up to a month.
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