I could make imperial cookies for any season of the year. Have you heard of these little treats? They seem to be quite regional and those that are familiar with them remember the neighbourhood bakery stocking these adorable and tasty cookies.
Imperial cookies are basically two butter cookies sandwiched with raspberry jam in the middle. The finishing touches include royal icing poured over top and for those that are really traditional, the final topper is a half of a maraschino cherry buried ever so slightly into the royal icing.
Some people tend to like the cookies to be the main feature, but I like to roll out my cookies so they are a little thinner and they really should melt in your mouth when you bite into them.
I’ve made these cookies a few times on my blog. Sometimes I change up the icing with buttercream (so good!) but for these Christmas-themed imperial cookies, I went back to the basics. I added some red, white and green Christmas-y sprinkles. And you can also colour your icing if you want to make them even more festive.
Do you have a traditional cookie that was a favourite of yours growing up?
- ¾ cup of butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp of good quality vanilla
- 2¼ cups of flour
- 1½ tsp of baking powder
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 jar of good quality raspberry jam
- 1½ cups icing sugar
- ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
- 2 tbsp hot water
- In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
- Mix in vanilla, salt and baking powder and mix till fully combined.
- Change to the slowest speed. Add in flour in small amounts and slowly mix until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix!
- Take out the dough and place onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk, completely cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge to rest and cool the butter for at least two hours.
- When you are ready to roll out the dough, flour your working surface generously. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out the dough (just deal with about a ¼ of the dough at a time). I roll mine around a ½ inch thick but it’s personal preference as to how thick you want your final cookies to be.
- Don’t over work the dough as that will cause the butter to warm up too much, so work quickly. Or, you can do what I did which was to put the precut pieces back into the fridge for a bit of a second rest. This helps prevent them from spreading out too much when they bake.
- Bake for about 7 minutes, watching closely. The exact timing depends on the thickness of your cookies. I didn’t want any browning around the edges so 7 minutes was just perfect.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Assembling the cookies are pretty easy. I added about just less than one teaspoon of jam one side of each cookie sandwich, and then topped it with the second cookie. Just make sure you don’t overfill or your cookies will slide around.
- To make the icing, mix together the icing and hot water. Add in almond extract, some people don’t like this extra flavouring, replace with clear vanilla if you like, or leave out the extra all together. Then drizzle overtop of assembled cookies.