The first time I had an Imperial Cookie (or Empire Cookie as they are also called) was when I worked for Starbucks while I was in university. We had an amazing local bakery supply all our pastries and it didn’t take much for me to fall in love with their Imperial Cookies. It has been a number of years since I worked for Starbucks, so I figured I would try to replicate one of my favourite cookies for the blog. This recipe is a hybrid between Canadian Living’s Classic Empire Cookie recipe and the amazing Anna Olson’s Empire Cookie recipe. I could not have been happier with the results. The cookies were soft, delicate and delicious. I also had the opportunity to use some of our newly made Raspberry Jam, which made these cookies even more delectable. Feel free to use homemade or your favourite store bought jam.

You will need:

For the cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cake and pastry flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup raspberry jam
Candied cherries or red icing (optional)
For the icing topping:
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp hot water, approximate

 In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir into butter mixture in 3 additions.

Shape the dough into a disc (it will be very soft).

Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours.

On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough just to soften it slightly. Roll out the dough to approximately ¼-inch thick and cut out cookies using a 2-inch cookie cutter.

Place the cookies on the baking trays, leaving ½-inch between them.

Bake in a 350°F oven until edges are light golden, about 10 minutes.

Let cool completely on racks.

While your cookies are baking and cooling, you can now make the icing topping.

In small bowl, stir icing sugar with almond extract; drizzle in enough of the water to make spreadable icing.

Once your cookies are cooled, stir the raspberry jam to soften and spread a little on a cookie bottom.

Sandwich a second cookie on top, pressing gently to secure. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Spread your icing on top of each cookie sandwich.

Top with a dot of red icing, or a candied cherry (totally optional).

I had no cherries so I settled for a dab of red icing.

Let cookies stand until set, about 1 hour.

Serve to your friends, or hoard for yourself. I did.

Elegant and pretty.

Tart and sweet.

Enjoy!

Imperial Cookies (AKA: Empire Cookies)
Yields 12
Elegant, soft, delicate and delicious iced cookies filled with raspberry jam.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
3 hr 10 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
3 hr 10 min
For the cookies
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 2 cups cake and pastry flour, sifted
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  9. Candied cherries or red icing (optional)
For the icing topping
  1. 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  2. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  3. 1 tbsp hot water, approximate
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir into butter mixture in 3 additions.
  5. Shape the dough into a disc (it will be very soft).
  6. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours.
  7. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough just to soften it slightly.
  8. Roll out the dough to approximately ¼-inch thick and cut out cookies using a 2-inch cookie cutter.
  9. Place the cookies on the baking trays, leaving ½-inch between them.
  10. Bake in a 350°F oven until edges are light golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on racks.
  11. While your cookies are baking and cooling, you can now make the icing topping. In small bowl, stir icing sugar with almond extract; drizzle in enough of the water to make spreadable icing.
  12. Once your cookies are cooled, stir the raspberry jam to soften and spread a little on a cookie bottom.
  13. Sandwich a second cookie on top, pressing gently to secure. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  14. Spread your icing on top of each cookie sandwich.
  15. Top with a dot of red icing, or a candied cherry (totally optional).
  16. Let cookies stand until set, about 1 hour.
  17. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They also freeze very well.
Adapted from Canadian Living
Adapted from Canadian Living
Claudia's Cookbook http://www.claudiascookbook.com/

 

31 Comments on Imperial Cookies (AKA: Empire Cookies)

  1. Lori
    August 28, 2012 at 2:47 PM (4 years ago)

    These have been a favourite since I was a kid. Fabulous job on thee beauties! I just may have to go make some for back to school lunches!!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      September 6, 2012 at 1:12 AM (4 years ago)

      Thanks Lori! And happy back to school to you 🙂

      Reply
  2. Dana
    September 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM (4 years ago)

    Imperial cookies are so grand! We tend to cut small shapes out of the top cookie so that the jam peeks through, so that’s an option too! Yours look so good!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      September 6, 2012 at 1:13 AM (4 years ago)

      Thanks Dana! Cutting out small shapes from the top of the cookie is a great idea! I will definitely have to try that!

      Reply
  3. Maryanne
    November 28, 2012 at 2:07 AM (4 years ago)

    Going to make these to take to my folks this weekend as an early Christmas treat! I love your instructions and photos, they are so clear and easy to follow. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      November 28, 2012 at 2:18 AM (4 years ago)

      Thanks Maryanne!! I’m glad you find the photos helpful. Let me know how you like the cookies! 🙂

      Reply
      • Maryanne
        December 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM (4 years ago)

        Hi again! They were a huge hit with everyone! Going to make more to take for Christmas and decorate the tops with red and green icing dots.

        Reply
        • Claudia's Cookbook
          December 21, 2012 at 2:39 AM (4 years ago)

          Hi Maryanne! I’m SO happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know. Decorating with red and green for Christmas is a great idea. I may have to do that as well. Happy Holidays to you and your family 🙂

          Reply
  4. suecee
    December 14, 2012 at 3:54 AM (4 years ago)

    Once filled, how long do they keep? Do they get soggy?

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      December 14, 2012 at 5:11 AM (4 years ago)

      I kept mine in an airtight container for about 4-5 days and they didn’t get soggy at all. You can always freeze them too!

      Reply
  5. Laura
    May 2, 2013 at 12:23 AM (4 years ago)

    I sooooo want to make these cookies after buying a version from a local baker. Since I have a child with a nut allergy, can I leave out the almond extract from the icing without affecting it too much?

    Cheers.

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      May 2, 2013 at 12:27 AM (4 years ago)

      Hi Laura – You can definitely use vanilla extract to replace the almond extract! If you can, try to find white vanilla so it doesn’t darken the white icing. If you can’t find, no worries – regular vanilla will work nicely. Let me know how they turn out!

      Reply
      • Laura
        May 7, 2013 at 11:21 PM (4 years ago)

        Thank you! I’m going to make them this week. I hope 🙂

        Reply
        • Laura
          May 11, 2013 at 12:20 AM (4 years ago)

          Success! I made them today and my family loved them. Thanks so much. This is going in my recipe file.

          I couldn’t find white vanilla, but the regular stuff worked wonderfully.

          Reply
          • Claudia's Cookbook
            May 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM (4 years ago)

            Fantastic Laura! I’m so happy to hear they turned out and were a hit. I really love them. Something about the sweet of the cookie and the tartness of the jam. Delicious!

  6. Laura
    May 19, 2013 at 2:09 AM (4 years ago)

    Now, I don’t suppose you have a tiramisu recipe? This is my son’s latest request 🙂

    Reply
  7. Maroonmango
    July 18, 2013 at 2:40 PM (3 years ago)

    Hello, I just wanted to say I have loved this recipe for a while now and all my family gets excited when they know these are what I’ll be bringing, unfortunately a couple months ago it was suggested to go gluten free/ dairy free while feeding my new baby boy, thus stopping regular baking in its tracks. Last night I attempted these (quite reluctantly) with a home made gluten free flour mix. I have to say they are by far the best conversion I have tried yet. I still followed the recipe exact other than subbed the flour as well as margarine for the butter. Thank you so much for this versatile and seemingly impossible to screw up recipe!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      July 25, 2013 at 9:29 PM (3 years ago)

      Hi Maroonmango! I’m so happy to hear you were able to adapt the cookie recipe to be gluten free! That’s awesome. I definitely should try it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Reply
  8. maureen pearson
    October 9, 2013 at 2:46 AM (3 years ago)

    just love this recipe, thank you so much, happy memories of a childhood in England just after the war when butter was a luxery, these cookies were pure bliss thank you

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      October 9, 2013 at 2:47 AM (3 years ago)

      You are very welcome Maureen! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

      Reply
  9. alberto roberti
    December 20, 2013 at 3:49 PM (3 years ago)

    thank you so much for this delicious recipe!

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      December 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM (3 years ago)

      You’re very welcome Alberto! Happy Holidays to you!

      Reply
  10. Linda Kasian
    February 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe and the wonderful illustrations and step-by-step guide. I will be making these cookies today with my granddaughters and this will be their copy to start their personal cook books.

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      February 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM (3 years ago)

      You are very welcome Linda! Please let us know how you like the cookies 🙂 Happy baking!

      Reply
  11. Cathy
    October 25, 2015 at 12:56 PM (1 year ago)

    I don’t have parchment paper is an ungreased baking sheet ok?

    Reply
    • Claudia's Cookbook
      October 25, 2015 at 1:29 PM (1 year ago)

      No, the cookies will stick to an ungreased baking sheet. If you don’t have parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat, you can try greasing your baking sheet. But I can’t guarantee they will turn out the same way.

      Reply
  12. Lise
    December 22, 2015 at 10:35 PM (12 months ago)

    I made these and followed the recipe to a tee. I had issues; the dough was not coming together at all so to save my dough, I added 2 tsp of milk. Honestly what I had in my mixer looked like sand! I’m an experienced baker and this has never happened to me before.

    That said, the cookies did work. A tip I would give is to make sure your cookies are completely cool before filling and icing. I left mine sit out overnight to ensure they would be cool and then no issues with the icing dripping. I also had to add a bit more water to the icing as it was too lumpy for me, even after sifting.

    Reply
  13. Kuri
    February 13, 2016 at 7:08 PM (10 months ago)

    I made these yesterday with a friend and despite following all the directions, our dough wasn’t sticky in the slightest [like the above commenter’s]. We added an extra egg and that did the trick!

    I made these again today because they’re soo addicting. I followed the recipe exactly but had a second egg ready just in case….and the recipe turned out perfectly! I’m not sure what we did wrong yesterday, but the resulting cookies were great each time =)

    Reply
  14. Bryan
    December 5, 2016 at 3:28 PM (2 days ago)

    I made these cookies for a Christmas Cookie Exchange, did 6x the recipe and they turned out Amazing! I rolled them a little thinner than the recipe and was able to yield 96 full cookies. I didn’t have any almond extract for the icing, so I substituted vanilla and it turned out good. I let them set in the fridge overnight.

    I’ll definitely use this recipe again! The cookie recipe is perfect for making Alfajores, I’ll try that next with homemade dulce de leche filling.

    Thank you for the great recipe!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *