Monday, October 30, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Ischler Cookies


Page 171 in the old book / page 206 in the new book

I knew these were going to be a hit - how could they not? Two cookies, rich with butter and ground almonds, are sandwiched together with some sweet and tart apricot jam and then given a crowd-pleasing final touch - a generous coat of semisweet chocolate on one end. They were outstanding.

I followed the recipe just about to the letter and found both the dough and the cookies were easy to handle. I had no difficulty rolling the dough or dipping the cookies. I cut most of the cookies the recommended size (2 1/2 inches), but also made a few small cookies (1 1/2 inches). Next time I think I'd go with the smaller size. The cookies spread a little and by the time you sandwich two together, fill and dip them, the little ones are just right. (Note: the larger ones are pictured above.)

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "Yum! Two cookies in one! This was a double treat since there are two thick cookies placed together with an apricot jam filling in the middle. The cookie had an almond taste, but the almonds must have been finely chopped, because there were no noticeable pieces of almond in the cookie. The cookie was dipped in chocolate and had a thick layer of rich dark chocolate on both sides of the cookie. Rating: 5.0"

Denny: "Exellent but a tad messy. The cookie's terrific with a hint of apricot and a taste of almonds. Liked the way a half-dip of chocolate gives you a handle for not getting chocolate on you. Minus .1 for the mess and minus .1 for not covering more of cookie with chocolate, like 2/3 or 3/4 or 7/8 rather than 1/2. Terrific. Rating - 4.8"

Laura: "A very tasty cookie! A nice pairing of a simple almond cookie with the apricot jam... with the added delight of CHOCOLATE! Rating - 4.0"

Terri: "These cookies are my favorite so far. The combination of almonds, apricot filling and the chocolate dip make this the perfect cookie in my eyes and my taste buds! The shortbread texture of the cookie gives it a crunchy feel, and the apricot sandwiched between the layers was delicious. Rating - 5.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.7

Next Week - Viennese Chocolate Cookies

Nutrition Facts

15 comments:

Lu said...

I like the idea of the smaller cookie. I think these "might" be the ones I try first when my book arrives this week. Just curious what brand of apricot jam did you use? Some of them are thicker than others. Thanks!

Cathy said...

Hi Lu - if you take a look at the nutrition facts you'll like the idea of a smaller cookie even better! Finding some good apricot jam proved to be more of a chore than I anticipated. There are so many varieties that are made without sugar and I just don't think they're appropriate for something like this. I ended up buying two and trying them. The first had a very strange consistency, but the second, Dickinson's was perfect. I had to pick out the large chunks of apricot, but there weren't that many (and they made a nice snack :) ). Be careful not to use too much - you don't want the preserves oozing out the sides.

Another Maida Heatter Fan said...

Hi, I just wanted to leave a tip that addresses the "messiness" factor. Viennese Ischl cookies are made with a whole blanched almond on the top of the chocolate-dipped side. The idea is that you hold the cookie with two fingers; one on the unchocolate-coated side,the other on top of the almond. Nibble until cookie is gone, saving the almond for the last bite. Clean fingers!

Another Maida Heatter Fan said...

Forgot to add: with the almond, you can (and indeed should) dip the entire surface of the top cookie in chocolate.

Cathy said...

Hi fellow MH fan! That's a great tip and I'm sure more chocolate would make people even happier with these cookies. Thanks!

rowena said...

Chocolate and apricot...no way could you go wrong! Of course when you wrote "...rich with butter and ground almonds", I was already thinking that I'd better use up the last of the apricot jam in the fridge before it gets forgotten in the mess.

BTW, thank you so much for the info on the buckwheat flour! I had no idea about the absorption factor, and haven't even heard yet about polenta nera!!

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena! I love apricot jam and these cookies are the perfect way to use it - the almonds complement the jam well and the chocolate turns the whole thing into something really wonderful.

I had never heard of that black polenta before, but I guess it makes sense that the Italians would also make a buckwheat porridge. Looking forward to more of your buckwheat adventures!

Visual-Voice said...

They look delicious.. YUM!

Laura said...

Hello again! Just a note that the page number for these cookies is 206, not 208. I thought I was losing it for a minute while reading the recipe on 208.
I could have used a good cookie just then.

Cathy said...

Hi Susan - they were! Thanks :)

Hi Laura - right you are - page 208 is next week's cookie. I'm fixing it now. Thanks!

mari said...

Those cookies look beautiful. I love sandwich-style cookies because I feel like there's a surprise in between the two cookies. I agree that you can't go wrong with the apricot-chocolate combination.

Lu said...

YAY, my book arrived yesterday. Now the decision - which cookie first?!!!

Cathy said...

Hi Mari! I love sandwich cookies too and it seems like you don't see them very often - in cookbooks that is, there are certainly plenty on grocery store shelves! Guess it would be simple enough to slap a little jam between a couple of your favorite cookies, but I never think to do it!

Hi Lu - How wonderful! Have fun deciding!

Anonymous said...

I've been making a cookie called Viennese Sandwich cookies since the mid 70's that sound and look exactly like the ones pictured. We give away about 12-16 cookie tins every year and that cookie without a doubt is everyones favorite. In our house we call it "the cookie".
I often wonder how many other people make them. They are just YUM!!

Cathy said...

Hi Anon - how lucky the recipients of your cookie tins are!