Such a prosaic name for these cookies: jam rings. Which is perhaps why it took me so long to get around to baking them. Yawn. Ischler Törtchen, however, sound worth trying. But I confess that what would have had me making these much sooner would be if I had known just how much they would remind us of the Hungarian Pastry Shop’s version of Linzer Torte.
This cookie takes its German name from Bad Ischl, an Austrian spa town. Apparently ground almonds are more traditional in the Ischler, and hazelnuts in the Linzer, but Sharon Tyler Herbst suggests either for these, and I happened to have more hazelnuts in the pantry than almonds, so that’s what I used. And that is probably why their flavor is so reminiscent of our Morningside Heights jaunts.
Ms. Herbst provides two versions of this Austrian recipe (or is it Austrian-Hungarian? — there seems to be
an emperor a Kaiser involved), and I tried out both finishes on the one batch I made. Two cups of butter (that’s a whole pound, by the way — yikes!), two and a half cups of ground hazelnuts or almonds, four egg yolks, four cups of flour, vanilla extract and sugar make up the batter which must be rolled out, cut into circles and rings, and baked. Once cooled, I used a raspberry spread between the circle pairs meant for bittersweet chocolate glazing (almost a ganache but not quite), and strawberry jam on the ones topped with a ring and dusted with powdered sugar. Both are rich and delicious.