Ischler Cookies, or Ischler Törtchen as they are called in Austrian, are famous Austrian cookies. The cookies are named after a little spar town Bad Ischl which is located in the Southern part of Austria. The Austrian emperor Franz Joseph had his summer residence there and there were also a lot of aristocrats who spent their summers in Bad Ischl. In this little town there was a little bakery Zauner where Franz Joseph used to order pastries and this bakery invented the little Ischler Törtchen. Until today you can find this delicate Ischler in almost every bakery in Austria (in Hungary as well because it was part of the Habsburg Empire). Most of the time Ischler is filled only with jam and only sometimes you can find it with chocolate-butter cream and jam, mostly in confectionery. I think the combination of jam and the chocolate-butter cream makes it almost like a delicate praline. I know that a lot of butter and chocolate is involved in the filling but if you see it as a praline I think it is legitimate to treat yourself an Ischler with chocolate-butter cream and marmalade. An apple a day (suppose) to keep the doctor away and I say a praline a day keeps the sorrows away.
I recommend using good quality jam. Trust me; it makes such a big difference.
And I have to warn you: it takes a little bit of time to make these cookies. I advive you to listen to a good radio program while you sandwich the cookies (this is an activity à la Marianne).
Makes about 30 cookies (diameter of 6 cm)
- 150 g pastry flour
- 150 g almond flour
- 75 g powdered sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 125 g cold unsalted butter
- 150 g unsalted butter, soft
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 60 g milk or semi-sweet chocolate
- 100 g apricot or redcurrant jam
- 150 g semi-sweet chocolate (50%)
- Pistachios or roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- Place the flour, powdered sugar, almond flour and salt on a clean surface. Make a well in the center and place the egg in the center of the well.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add the butter pieces to the flour. Make sure you use cold butter which makes it much easier to knead the shortcrust.
- Knead the ingredients very quickly until the dough is smooth. If the dough is to dry or too crumbly, add a little bit of cold water.
- Cover the shortcrust in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 2 mm thick. You can also roll out the shortcrust between two parchment papers which is a little bit easier because then you do not have to worry that the dough will stick on the surface.
- Cut out 50 to 60 circles (it depends on the size of your cookie cutter).
- Place the cookies onto baking sheets; do not forget parchment paper for the baking sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies should not have a golden color; the ideal cookie should be a pale tan color. This prevents that the cookies won’t break so easily.
- Let the cookies cool on a backing rack.
- In the meantime prepare the filling.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile whisk the butter and the powdered sugar until fluffy.
- Add the melted chocolate to the butter cream and mix well until the cream is smooth.
- Mix the jam well, so that there are no chunks in it.
- Spread jam onto half on the cookies (on the top side). On the rest of the cookies spread the chocolate butter cream (on the bottom part). Then press one “jam cookie” and one “chocolate butter cream cookie” very gently, so that the cookies do not break.
- For the glaze melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes. Spread the melted chocolate on the cookies and sprinkle with chopped pistachios or almonds on top.