Irresistible Imperial Cookies for Your Sweet Tooth

Welcome to Nonny’s Imperial Cookies Recipe! This recipe is a true treasure, passed down through generations, and now I am honored to share it with you. Imperial cookies, also known as empire biscuits, are a beloved classic across the world. As an articulative assistant for a baker, I can confidently say that these cookies stand the test of time and have truly earned their place as one of the oldest-known cookie recipes.

The origin of imperial cookies is often debated, with some believing they come from Scotland and others from Austria. Either way, the combination of a buttery shortbread base topped with sweet jam and rich icing is simply irresistible. Nonny’s recipe puts a unique twist on this classic treat by adding apple cider vinegar and baking soda to create a perfectly tender and crumbly cookie that melts in your mouth.

I’ve worked alongside many bakers in my time, and I can tell you that Nonny’s Imperial Cookies Recipe is truly one-of-a-kind. They are perfect for any occasion: tucked into a lunchbox, served at a tea party or holiday gathering, or just enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. As you prepare to embark on this journey with me to make these mouth-watering treats, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Nonny's Imperial Cookies
Nonny’s Imperial Cookies

Are you a fan of scrumptious and delectable sugar cookies? If you are, then Nonny’s Imperial Cookies recipe is just the perfect treat for you! These cookies – also known as Empire cookies or biscuits – are the oldest known cookie, with the recipe tracing back to Scotland in the early 1900s.

What sets this recipe apart from others is its unbeatable combination of soft and buttery vanilla shortbread, paired with tangy raspberry jam and creamy vanilla icing. The beautiful icing effortlessly blends into the sweetness of the jam, creating an explosion of flavor in every bite.

But what makes Nonny’s Imperial Cookies even more special is the unique addition of apple cider vinegar and baking soda. This clever mix produces a delightful, slightly tangy taste that perfectly balances out the sweetness.

Plus, these cookies are easy to make and require only basic ingredients that are easily available in any kitchen, such as flour, sugar, butter or margarine, and egg. And if you’re looking for a vegan-friendly option, you can substitute butter with imperial margarine!

So go ahead, indulge yourself with the best sugar cookie experience ever by following this recipe! Trust us – you won’t regret it.

Ingredient List

Sure, here are some creative captions for the Nonny's Imperial Cookies recipe:
Sure, here are some creative captions for the Nonny’s Imperial Cookies recipe:

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make Nonny’s Imperial cookies. The key to this recipe is using quality ingredients. The list may seem long, but everything is easy to find in your local grocery store.

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp of baking soda

Apple Cider Vinegar Icing:

  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp of milk
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar

These ingredients will give you a perfect batch of imperial cookies. You can experiment with substitutions as per your desire.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Gathering Ingredients and Preheating the Oven

Before starting, I make sure I have all the ingredients ready. I measure out 2 cups of cake and pastry flour into a bowl and sift it. Then I add ½ tsp of baking soda and set my bowl aside. Next, in a separate bowl, I combine 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 egg. To add some zing, I use 1 tsp vanilla extract. Now that my wet and dry ingredients are separately combined, it’s time to bring them together.

I preheat my oven to 350°F (176°C) so it can be ready when my mixture is done.

Step 2: Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients

I gradually mix my dry ingredients into my wet ingredients one scoop at a time until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. I pound and mold this dough until it’s silky smooth.

Step 3: Making the Cookies

To make the perfect cookie, we need to be specific with measurements. Once the dough is prepared, roll it out on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thick (0.6 cm) then use a round cookie cutter to make circular shapes. The size of the cookie cutter is up to you, but I prefer a medium-size cookie before baking them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Step 4: Baking the Cookies

Then I bake these “imperial biscuits” at 350°F (176°C) for around 12-15 minutes until they turn golden yellow color around the edges.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

After baking, I let them cool down for no more than one minute on the baking sheet before moving them onto a cooking rack cover with powdered sugar icing or raspberry jam if preferred.

With these steps in mind, you too can join me in making Nonny’s Imperial Cookies recipe just like the way Anna Olson or Trisha Yearwood does!

Substitutions and Variations

 These cookies are fit for royalty!
These cookies are fit for royalty!

If you’re looking to switch up this classic recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can try out.

Firstly, if you’re looking for a vegan option, you can substitute the butter in the recipe for vegan margarine. You will still get a delicious and fluffy texture with this substitution.

If you prefer a more tangy taste, you can try replacing the regular butter with imperial margarine. This substitution will give your cookies a unique and richer flavor, making them even more delicious.

For those who love icing and fillings, empire biscuits can be made with raspberry jam or royal icing filling to enhance its sweetness. You can also shape the dough with a heart-shaped cookie cutter for a more valentine-like touch.

The classic imperial cookie recipe calls for cake and pastry flour. However, if you prefer a denser texture in the cookies, then you could replace it with all-purpose flour. This would result in less airiness and more bite.

Lastly, Trisha Yearwood’s empire cookies recipe suggests using shortbread instead of regular cookie dough to yield more delicate results. However, this change will mean that the cookies won’t be as fluffy nor would they have such a spongy texture.

Remember, these are simply ideas for variation, so feel free to experiment!

Serving and Pairing

 A little bit of almond extract goes a long way.
A little bit of almond extract goes a long way.

Nonny’s Imperial Cookies are a perfect treat for afternoon tea or coffee break. These cookies pair well with a wide range of beverages such as black tea, green tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate. The sweetness of the cookie is perfect to balance the bitterness of tea and coffee.

If you’re hosting an afternoon tea party or brunch, it’s recommended to serve a platter of Nonny’s Imperial Cookies alongside other baked goods such as scones or muffins. The cookies have a subtle vanilla flavor and a tender texture that will leave your guests wanting more.

For a special occasion, you can add some variation by spreading raspberry jam on top of the cookies and pairing them with whipped cream. This combination creates a delicious dessert that can satisfy your sweet tooth while adding freshness and color to the dish.

Nonny’s Imperial Cookies are very versatile and perfect for gifting during holidays, parties, or as a thank you gesture to friends and loved ones. You can package them in a clear plastic bag tied with a ribbon or put them in colorful candy boxes.

Overall, Nonny’s Imperial Cookies are a tasty treat that everyone will enjoy. You can enjoy them during tea time or another occasion when you want something sweet and comforting.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect tea-time treat.
The perfect tea-time treat.

So, you’ve made a batch of Nonny’s Imperial Cookies and now you’re wondering how to store them for later without sacrificing their lovely texture or divine taste. Well, the good news is that these cookies are incredibly versatile and can last for up to a week if stored properly.

To make-ahead, prepare the dough according to the recipe instructions and place it in a storage bag or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store it in the fridge for up to three days before baking. This will give the butter time to solidify and will result in better shaped cookies when baked.

After baking, let the cookies cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. If you want to keep them fresh for longer, store them in the fridge for up to a week.

Reheating these cookies is not necessary but if you want them warm and gooey like they just came out of the oven, you can pop one (or two) into the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Alternatively, you can heat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 2-3 minutes.

If decorating your cookies with icing sugar or raspberry jam, it is important to let them cool completely before storing or reheating as this can affect the texture and presentation of your masterpiece.

With these simple tips, you can ensure that your Nonny’s Imperial Cookies remain perfectly delicious even after being stored or reheated. So go ahead and make a big batch, because these cookies are so addictive that one batch will never be enough!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A family recipe passed down through generations.
A family recipe passed down through generations.

To get the perfect results with Nonny’s Imperial Cookies recipe, there are some tips you need to keep in mind. As John Nonny, the creator of this recipe puts it, “To make these cookies imperial you need to put in imperial effort as well.” Here are some helpful tips that will help you create the perfect batch of these classic cookies.

First, use unsalted butter instead of margarine. Butter has a unique flavor that margarine cannot replicate. Additionally, margarine can contain water which may cause the cookies to spread out too much and become flat.

Secondly, use cake and pastry sifted flour. This type of flour is lighter and has a finer texture compared to all-purpose flour. The fine texture of the cake and pastry sifted flour helps create softer and fluffier cookies.

For accurate results, always measure your ingredients accurately. Baking requires precise measurements, and even small variations can lead to different outcomes. Use measuring cups and spoons for both wet and dry ingredients.

Another critical tip is not to overmix your dough once you add the flour. Stop mixing once it forms a smooth dough; overmixing may make your cookies tough and chewy instead of being soft and fluffy.

When baking the cookies, preheat your oven so that it is at the correct temperature for baking your cookies. Make sure you place your cookie sheet in the center of the oven to ensure even baking.

Finally, let your cookie dough chill in the fridge before forming it into balls or cutouts. Chilling allows for both better flavor development and easier handling when shaping them into form since it prevents them from spreading out quickly.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to making perfect Nonny’s Imperial Cookies. Don’t be afraid to experiment with variations like adding raspberry jam or icing sugar on top, as suggested by Anna Olson or Trisha Yearwood by shaping it into heart-shaped empire biscuits; you never know what delicious combinations you’ll come up with!


Before you start preparing your Nonny’s Imperial Cookies, let me answer some of the frequently asked questions about this recipe. Doing so will help you avoid any surprises, and ensure that you get the perfect results every time.

What is the oldest known cookie in the world?

Pizzelles, a type of cookie that has been around for centuries, trace their origins to the mid-section of Italy. These cookies were first made for a festival called the “Festival of the Snakes” or the “Feast Day of San Domenico” in the village of Colcullo, located in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

What is the secret to bakery cookies?

When it comes to baking, don’t be afraid to be generous with the salt. Adding a little extra can enhance the flavor profile of your baked goods. And for an extra touch of sophistication, try sprinkling some flaky salt on top for added texture and an extra pop of flavor.

One crucial step in baking is to have room temperature butter. This will prevent lumps in your batter and allow the butter to blend smoothly with the other ingredients. Cream the butter with the sugar for an extended period of time to create a light and fluffy mixture for your batter.

When it comes to adding chocolate to your recipe, opt for chopped chocolate pieces rather than chocolate chips. Chopped chocolate will provide a more decadent and rich flavor to your baked goods.

What kind of cookies did Trisha Yearwood make?

The recipe I’ll be sharing with you today is a festive favorite from Trisha Yearwood’s collection of homemade recipes.

Why are they called spritz cookies?

The delightful spritz cookies have their roots in Germany, where they are commonly known as “Spritzen” cookies. As the name suggests, these cookies are created by squirting or pushing the dough through a cookie press to form various shapes, resulting in visually appealing treats.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, Nonny’s Imperial Cookies are a true classic and an all-time favorite. These cookies have stood the test of time and have been enjoyed by generations of families all over the world. The recipe is simple, versatile and easy to customize.

What makes these cookies so special is the combination of buttery shortbread with a sweet jam filling that creates a mouth-watering experience everyone will love. Whether you want to indulge in a treat or impress your guests, Nonny’s Imperial Cookies are the way to go.

Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. It is all about using high-quality ingredients, taking your time while baking, and adding your own personal touch to create the perfect cookie. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to accomplish just that!

So whether you’re someone who loves traditional treats or trying out something new, give Nonny’s Imperial Cookies a try. You won’t regret it!

Nonny's Imperial Cookies

Nonny’s Imperial Cookies Recipe

This is my great grandma's recipe for butter cookies. They melt in your mouth. She always used Imperial brand margarine (hence the name) but they work well with butter also. These can be decorated with colored sugars before baking also.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: < 30 Mins, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Drop Cookies, For Large Groups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 51.4kcal


  • 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour


  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Chill dough before baking.
  • Drop by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake in preheated 300F oven for 20 minutes.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 10g | Calories: 51.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.7g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 3.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 8.1mg | Sodium: 32.4mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 3.3g

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