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Empire Cookies | Food styling by Claire Stubbs | Prop styling by Alanna Davey Image by: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Our delicate, buttery sugar cookies partner deliciously with the sticky jam filling in these classic British favourites.

  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Total time 1 hour & 45 minutes



In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and 1 tsp of the almond extract. In separate bowl, whisk flour with baking powder; stir into butter mixture just until combined. If necessary, knead gently to form smooth dough.

On lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to scant 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch (4 to 4.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange, 2 inches (5 cm) apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 350°F (180°C) oven until bottoms are light golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)

Spread rounded 1 tsp jam onto bottoms of half of the cookies; sandwich with remaining cookies, flat sides down.

In small bowl, whisk together icing sugar, remaining almond extract and enough hot water to make icing about the thickness of whipping cream; spread over tops of cookies. Top each cookie with cherry piece. Let stand until icing is dry, about 20 minutes. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.)

Tip from The Test Kitchen: These cookies are best made a day ahead so the jam and shiny almond glaze have time to set and soften the cookies.

Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.


Nutritional facts per sandwich cookie: about

  • Sodium 36 mg
  • Sugars 10 g
  • Protein 1 g
  • Calories 102.0
  • Total fat 3 g
  • Potassium 17 mg
  • Cholesterol 14 mg
  • Saturated fat 2 g
  • Total carbohydrate 17 g


  • Iron 4.0
  • Folate 6.0
  • Calcium 1.0
  • Vitamin A 3.0
  • Vitamin C 2.0
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