Ischler cookies, 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.
What are Ischler or Ischler cakes?
There are many versions of Ischler little cakes. You may find them in chocolate or vanilla shortbread cookie version. Usually they are round about 1 inch wide cirlces and are filled with nutty filling.
The filling is made out of ground walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds mixed with butter, sugar, few drops rum and apricot jam. The Top of the Ischler cookie is covered in chocolate and little blanched almond or walnut is decorating this cute cookie.
List of ingredients for Ischler cookies recipe
- All-purpose flour
- Fine sugar
- Vanilla sugar (4 g)
- Egg yolk
- Unsalted soft butter
- Ground nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts or almonds)
- Confectioner sugar
- Apricot jam
- Baking chocolate or chocolate chips
- Blanched almonds or walnuts
How to make the dough for Ischler cakes
Start with preparing the dough
In a bowl of a standing mixer, mix all the ingredients for the dough; flour, sugar, vanilla sugar. milk, egg yolk, soft unsalted butter, until all is combined. The dough will come together in a ball. Remove the dough from the bowl and pat the dough into a disc. Cover in plastic food wrap, and refrigerate until firm (1 hour).
Roll out the dough and cut out cookie shapes.
Preheat oven to 160 C / 320 F (middle rack). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out about 1/4″-thick. Using round cookie cutter, cut out cookies (about 1″ inch wide). Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather the scrap dough, roll, and repeat.
Bake the cookies
Bake the cookies in preheated oven for 5 -8 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn lightly golden. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, before piping the nut filling.
How to prepare the nut filling for Ischler cakes
Prepare the nut filling
In the meanwhile you can prepare the filling, which is made mostly out of ground nuts, butter, apricot jam and few teaspoons of dark rum for the aroma. Assembling the Ishler cookies is easy. One side will be spread with nutty filling and the other side with the apricot jam.
I prefer to pipe the nut filling with piping bag. But you can also simply spread it with a knife. Use the pastry bag, fill it with nut filling and pipe it over 20 cookies. You will have approximately 40 Ischler cookies in total, so use half of it to pipe the filling on. On the other half of the cookies, spread the extra apricot jam and squeeze them together as a sandwich. Let them chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Dip the cookies in chocolate
Melt the chocolate with butter either in the microwave or in water bath and cover the top of the cookies with the chocolate. For the decoration, you can half of the blanched almond or walnut.
I have decorated some Ischler cookies with white chocolate, by dropping a few drops of white chocolate 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 Ischler cookies are ready to consume. 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 ingredients note
All the recipes for Christmas cookies demand precise weight of ingredients to achieve the best quality of the final product. This is why I strongly recommend getting a food digital kitchen scale.
More Christmas cookie recipes
- LINZER COOKIES
- RAFFAELLO COCONUT BALLS
- WALNUT CRESCENTS WITH CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
- HAZELNUT CRESCENTS
- ALMOND APRICOT TART
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ISHLER LITTLE EMPERORS CAKES
For the dough
- 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 unsalted butter room temperature
- 150 g grounded nuts walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds
- 100 g confectioner sugar
- 3 tsp rum
- 50 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 80 -100 g apricot jam + extra jam for second layer
- 400 g baking chocolate or chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 15-20 blanched almonds or walnuts for decoration
For the dough
- In a bowl of a standing mixer, mix all the ingredients for the dough, until combined. The dough will come together in a ball.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Pat the dough into a disc. Cover in plastic food wrap, and refrigerate until firm (1 hour).
- Preheat oven to 160 C / 320 F (middle rack). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out about 1/4"-thick.
- Using round cookie cutter, cut out cookies (about 1" inch wide). Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Gather the scrap dough, roll, and repeat. Bake the cookies in preheated oven for 5 -8 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn lightly golden. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, before filling them with buttercream.
- In a medium bowl of standing mixer, mix all the ingredients, until creamy (except the extra apricot jam for second layer).
- Place the nut filling in a piping bag with round tip. Pipe the filling onto half batch of the baked cookies. Add a layer of apricot jam on the other half of the cookies and close them to make a sandwich. Let chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, before dipping in chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate and butter over water bath and dip the top half of a round cookie. Decorate with half of blanched almond or walnut. Let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
- Keep refrigerated and consume within 5-7 days.
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