Empire cookies with gin glaze

By Camilla Wynne
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The Empire cookie goes by many names—Belgian biscuit, biscuit bun, German biscuit, double biscuit—and is apparently related to the Linzertorte, which I suppose it must be, in as much as any jam-filled pastry is. I do not think, however, that it has ever been quite this good. The Cherry Negroni Jam and the gin work perfectly here, but you could technically sub in any jam and flavor the glaze to match, creating your own perfect Empire cookie. Again, though, I’m not sure this version can be improved upon!

YIELDS
24 SANDWICH COOKIES

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 230 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 325 g (2-1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

To finish:

  • 1/3 jar Cherry Negroni Jam, puréed or finely chopped
  • 94 g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gin
  • 12 candied cherries (Amarena, cocktail, or maraschino), drained and halved

Directions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour and salt, and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, between 30 minutes and one hour. (Or you can make the dough up to one week in advance and refrigerate or freeze it. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 48 rounds using a two inch fluted cutter. (You may need to gather the scraps and roll again to get the 48.)
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until firm and just golden around the edges. Let cool completely on the pan on a wire rack.
  5. To finish the cookies, using a mini offset spatula, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto the bottom of half the cookies.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the icing sugar with the gin until smooth. Dip the tops of the remaining cookies into the glaze, shaking off any excess, and place each one on top of a jam-covered cookie. Place half a cherry in the center of each. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before serving or storing between sheets of wax paper. The sandwiched cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for five days.
  7. NOTE: Can sub good-quality store-bought sour cherry jam.

Excerpted from Jam Bake by Camilla Wynne.Copyright © 2021 Camilla Wynne. Photography by Mickaël A. Bandassak.Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.