Okay, so my peeps aren’t known for their dessert making skills, but if there is one thing sweet that the Brits do get right, it’s the Empire Biscuit. It’s a far cry from all the entrails that end up in haggis – don’t even get me started on that – with buttery shortbreads sandwiched together with sweet jam and topped with a dab of white icing. These remind me so much of Christmas and family, and are a perfect to treat to serve after dinner or with afternoon tea, or to wrap up as gifts for your favourite friends. I can’t WAIT for December.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (must be all-purpose – I’ve tried whole wheat and it’s not nice)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup icing sugar (approx)
1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
4 1/2 tsp milk
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, dried and cut into quarters (you could use candied ones too if you want)
1) Preheat oven to 350°F, and in a bowl combine flour, cornstarch and salt.
2) Combine butter and sugar in a separate large bowl, cream together until smooth, then increasingly beat in flour mixture.
3) Roll 1 tbsp dough at a time into a small ball, then flatten with your fingers until about 1/4″ thick, and place 1/2″ apart onto buttered or lined baking sheets.
4) Bake cookies for 12 min, or until firm to the touch (watch out not to overcook or burn!).
5) Remove from oven once done and cool on wire racks.
6) Once completely cooled, spread 1/2 tsp jam on half the cookies, then top with remaining cookies.
7) For the glaze, beat together icing sugar, butter and milk in a small bowl, adding a little more icing sugar if necessary to make a spreadable paste.
8] Spread icing over cookies, then top each with a small piece of cherry.
9) IMPORTANT: Let sit for 30 minutes before serving, so the biscuits can set.