I live in the Beach (or Beaches) area in Toronto - People who live in the beach call it the beach and those who don't usually call it the Beaches...it doesn't matter to me...I love it. I often go to Meat on the Beach, a local grocery store/butcher. They have a great variety of delicious things and they always have a tray of Empire Cookies that look so pretty. So I decided to make them!
I think mine look pretty too. They are a bit sweet and I think next time I would make them a little smaller because of that. What is an Empire biscuit you ask? It is a sweet biscuit popular in the United Kingdom, particularly Scotland, and other Commonwealth countries and is typically considered a traditional Scottish snack (according to Wikipedia).
Here is the recipe for those who would like to give it a go from Anna Olson.
Tender Tart Dough
½ cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup + 2 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted
1 hard-boiled large egg yolk
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups cake and pastry flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
Icing and Assembly
⅓ cup raspberry jam
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1-2 Tbsp warm water
¼ teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
6-8 glacée (candied) cherries, each chopped into 6 bits
Tender Heart Dough Instructions
1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth.
2. Push the hard-boiled egg yolk through a sieve 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 2 hours.
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, placing the cookies on the baking trays, leaving ½-inch between them.
3. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until just lightly browned around the edges. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking trays before assembling.
4. Stir the raspberry jam to soften and spread a little on a cookie bottom and sandwich a second cookie on top, pressing gently to secure. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
5. For the icing, whisk the icing sugar with 1 Tbsp of water and the almond or vanilla extract and add the remaining water if needed, until it is a thin icing consistency.
6. Spread a thin layer of icing on top of each cookie. Top with a piece of glacée cherry 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.
Until we bake again...