Belgian Cakes

Belgian Cakes
    These biscuits were originally called German Biscuits; but during the First World War, the name was changed to Belgian Cakes or Empire Cookies in much the same manner as Berlin, Ontario became Kitchener and sauerkraut became liberty cabbage.  Even poor old King George felt compelled to change his last name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.

    Here is how to make German Biscuits (original name), Belgian Cakes (Canadian name) or Empire Cookies (British name).


Ingredients

(Makes 24 filled biscuits)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup fine sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup raspberry jam (approx.)

Icing:
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 to 2 Tbsp hot water
Candied cherries to decorate

Directions

     Cream butter and sugar together.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour and baking powder, gradually add to butter mixture to form a dough.
Divide dough in half for easier handling.  On a lightly floured surface, roll 1/8 inch thick.  Cut with floured 2 inch cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated 350°F oven 10 to 12 minutes until very lightly browned around edges.  Cool on rack.
     Spread half the cookies with jam; top with remaining cookies.
     Blend icing sugar, almond extract and enough hot water to make a thin icing.  While icing is still soft, spread over top. Decorate with a small piece of candied or glazed cherry.  Do not use marachino cherries; they are too wet. 


Note:   If you have trouble with cookies sometimes going brown on the bottom, try using the "top" oven rack in the middle of the oven with another cookie sheet on the lower rack as a "heat shield" between the element and the actual cookie sheet.
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