These little cakes, comes from the Austrian spa town of Bad Ischl. In the time, Emperor Franz Joseph and all of his court used to buy these little cakes from very famous confectioners in the region by batches, that’s how good they were! And they were called with the apt name Ischler Törtchen or Ischler little cakes.
There are many versions of Ischler little cakes. You may find them in chocolate or vanilla version. Filling is made of course with nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds), little of butter, few drops of dark rum for aroma and apricot jam. Then covered in chocolate and on the top. I added little artistic touch: half of blanched almond, drop of white chocolate or little decorative candy.
As any other cookie dough, needs to be rested for at least 2 hours before rolled and cut out shapes. For Ishler cookies, we need small round cookie cutter. Size doesn’t really matter, but I prefer all my cookies in small one bite shape, so I am using round cutter of 1.5 inch in diameter. Once your cookies are baked, let them cool down. In the meanwhile you can prepare the filling, which is made mostly out of ground nuts and apricot jam, and few teaspoons of dark rum for the aroma. Assembling the Ishler cookies is easy. One side will be filled with the cream and the other side with the extra apricot jam. For better filling, I use pastry bags for buttercream. Layer of apricot jam can be applied with simple knife. After all this, you need to let the cookies cool in refrigerator, so the cream will harden well. I would recommend overnight.
Now chocolate cover. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in steam bath and cover the top of the cookies with the chocolate. For the decoration, you can use your own imagination. I used half of the blanched almonds, some of them I decorated with white chocolate, by dropping few drops on the cookie and with a toothpick I create these little ornaments (hearts). You may also use small decorative candies or other nuts to put little decoration on the top. And now Ischel cookies are ready to consume…hm maybe not this fast. It is more delicious, if you let the cookies rest a bit (at least overnight) in the refrigerator. The aroma of rum and nuts will penetrate well through the cookies and it will be even more delicious.
Measuring is specifically made in metric system (measurements). The reason why; all these recipes for Christmas cookies are made in precise measurements to achieve the best quality of the final product. This is why I strongly recommend you, to get a food digital kitchen scale to get the best and enjoyable results.
ISHLER LITTLE CAKES
- 210 g all-purpose flour
- 70 g fine sugar
- 1/2 pkg vanilla sugar (4 g)
- 1 tbs milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 125 g soft butter
- 150 g grounded nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds)
- 100 g icing sugar
- 3 tsp rum
- 80 -100 g apricot jam + extra jam for second layer
- 400 g chocolate for decoration
- white almonds for decoration
- In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, mix all ingredients until combined.
- Shape the dough in a round ball, cover in plastic wrap and let sit for an hour in refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven on 160 C/ 320 F, middle rack.
- Take out the dough from refrigerator and place the dough on a clean dusted surface. Roll out 1/4 inch (10.16 cm) thick dough.
- Cut out round shapes and bake in preheated oven 160 C/ 320 F for about 5 -8 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
- Let cool down for about 10 minutes and meanwhile you can prepare the filling.
- For the filling, in a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Spread the filling over the baked round (half of the batch), add layer of apricot jam and cover the other half of rounds.
- Let chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Now melt the chocolate, dip the top half of a cookie and decorate with half of an almond.
- Let chill overnight and then go and taste them, yummy!!!