The Ischler

The Ischler
The Ischler

Cookies, oh boy! I have a weakness for cookies and I won’t turn down one or two or even three if offered. I read the recipe a few times and thought these can’t be too tough. They’re cookies. Hmmm, I was just a little wrong. The name is intriguing – The Ischler. Rose explains that it’s an Austrian cookie created in the spa town of Bad Ischl. A thin almond cookie sandwich with apricot lekvar and chocolate.

Well, back to the recipe. I made the dough a day ahead and put it in the refrigerator so that the dough could absorb the moisture evenly and make it easier to roll. First off I had to grind sliced almonds and powdered sugar to make sort of an almond flour.

Sliced Almonds
Sliced Almonds
Ground Up Almonds
Ground Up Almonds

Easy enough. Next I added 2 sticks of butter.

Butter
Butter

After that was incorporated, I added the egg and vanilla. A funny thing with the egg, the recipe called for 1/2 of an egg. What! Then I remembered that I had read in another one of my favorite cookbooks, The Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller, about weighing eggs. By doing that, you get the exact amount of egg for the recipe. After all, eggs aren’t alway equal in size. Once the egg was mixed in the dry ingredients were added and blended until everything was just incorporated.

Smooth and Creamy
Smooth and Creamy
Dry Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough

I kneaded the dough a bit then cut it into quarters and wrapped it in plastic. Off to the fridge.

Ready to Chill
Ready to Chill

So far things are going well. The next day I made the lekvar. Lekvar is a thick jam or fruit butter. Who knew? I bought some dried apricots and had the bags sitting on the counter in the kitchen. A while later, I came back in the kitchen and found one of the bags on the floor with little teeth marks all over it. I wonder who did that. Oh, that crazy Beagle, Dakota. Fortunately, she didn’t get in the bag. Here she is feeling ashamed at what she did.

Dakota
Dakota

It was pretty easy to make the lekvar, just a little time consuming since the apricots needed to soak for a couple hours in water. After that they needed to simmer on the stove for about 1/2 hour.

Apricot Bath
Apricot Bath

After that, into the food processor with some apricot brandy. I didn’t have any so I bought a small bottle of it. All for 1 teaspoon. I also added the sugar and lemon zest. It kind of looked like baby food.

Lekvar
Lekvar

Then the mixture needed to go back on the stove and cooked down a bit and thicken up.

Lekvar Ready to Go
Lekvar Ready to Go

It really did remind me of baby food and the more I looked at it, it was a fruit butter. I remember growing up and my Mom would give us apple butter for toast. Love that stuff.

So Pretty
So Pretty

With the lekvar done, it was time to roll out the dough. This dough was really sticky before I put it in the fridge and after a day, it was really hard, I let it sit out a while to soften. Rose said to roll it out to around 1/8″ so I got a couple sticks that were 1/8″ thick and used those as guides for rolling. It worked pretty well but some of my cookies came out just a tad bit thicker. Even with plastic wrap on the dough, rolling it was a challenge. It wanted to crack some and it softened up really fast.

Dough
Dough
Rolled Out
Rolled Out

Here is where things got a little messed up. I preheated my oven to 350ΒΊ and my oven thermometer said just that. Put the cookies in for 4 minutes then rotate the pan and bake for another 2 to 6 minutes. 

Almond Cookies
Almond Cookies

Can you guess which stack was the first batch? These suckers bake quickly and just like toast, they can burn in a heartbeat. The next batches I watched the oven like a hawk so they wouldn’t burn but even then, some of them got a little too dark on the edges. As the cookies cooled, I made the chocolate ganache filling which was super easy. Melt the chocolate and add the cream. Assembling the cookies was fun, one cookie had a thin layer of the lekvar and the other cookie the ganache then sandwiched together. Done!

So how were they? Very good! The cookies were very delicate and had a wonderful almond flavor but with the lekvar and ganache, yum! Yes, they did take a little time to make but I would definitely make them again. I have enough of the lekvar left to make about another couple hundred cookies πŸ™‚ The good thing is the lekvar will keep in the refrigerator for a long time. Might have to try some of it on an English muffin. 

Next week will be Almond Coffee Crisps. Can’t wait for that one. Anything with coffee in it is a wonderful thing!

 

20 Comments

  1. hi Glori love your post and your cookies look great also the pictures are nice and huge and you’re right up is good too when you have some time please stop by and check out my blog.

  2. Glori: The cookies look beautiful! I find that I have to use the baking times strictly as guidelines–most things I bake are done much sooner than the recommended times. I must make the levkar soon. I didn’t have time and so used the apricot glaze, which was very good. Please visit me at http://www.artfuloven.com, where I am giving away one of Rose’s favorite kitchen gadgets this week. Happy baking from Michele!

    • Glori

      Thanks Michele. I learned my lesson on the baking times that’s for sure. Thought about doing the apricot glaze but I don’t have a microwave.

  3. How did you find sticks that just happened to be 1/8″ thick? Do you have a stash of seemingly useless items somewhere that you search through?

    • Glori

      Well Marie, I do woodworking and use a lot of 1/8″ thick material but I also have a stash of seemingly useless items in quite a few places around the house πŸ™‚ Doesn’t everyone?

  4. Hi Glori, Your posts are always refreshingly honest. I’ve enjoyed them all. All I can say about Dakota is that you should consider yourself lucky she feels remorse. My dog Alfie doesn’t know what remorse is. After all, the brick of cheese was so delicious–you know. Anyway, your cookies look terrific.

  5. I’m so glad I cut the recipe in half – don’t know what I’d do with double the amount of lekvar in my fridge. Great write up!!

    Patricia @ ButterYum
    http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2014/11/6/tbb-the-ischler

  6. Χ‘”Χ”

    I see you also have the wands. Funny picture of your dog.

    Your in for a real treat with next weeks cookies! (I made them already)

    • Glori

      The wands were from my scrap wood stash. it’s interesting that Rose doesn’t have a picture of the next cookies in the book.

  7. Your dog is sooo cute!!! I noticed you are so precise in cutting the butters into cube..the cubes look like exactly the same size! πŸ˜‰ I too burnt some cookies for my next cookies in the book and i think i did something wrong with them.. but i guess doesn’t matter as long as they taste great! πŸ˜€ Your cookies look wonderful!

    • Glori

      She’s cute most of the time, Faithy but she has a wild streak. Sometimes burnt cookies taste better than the ones that aren’t.

  8. Great pic of your hilarious dog! One of my cats can’t leave bags of things alone and I find teeth marks in the packaging all the time if I turn my back. My first batch overbrowned too and the next ones I moved the rack up to top of the oven. Worked out and gave me an easier baking time frame. I liked these with strawberry preserves as well.

    • Glori

      That’s a good tip, Vicki. I should have moved the rack. My cat used to do that too when she was younger. She can’t jump that high anymore.

  9. They look grand – and love that you posted a photo of the extra crispy brown ones too!

    Cutest dog photo. A woodworking baker – amazing!

  10. Poor remorseful Dakota; so cute!

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