Author Notes: Ischler or Isler is a tiny cookie dating back to Austro-Hungarian Empire. The cookie was first made in 1849 in the town of Bad Ischl as a treat to the Emperor Franz Joseph I, who established his summer residence there. Needles to say, the tiny Islers immediately became Emperor’s favorite desert and incredibly popular across all Austro-Hungarian lands. I inherited two different recipes for Isler from my two grandmothers. My mom and I played with them, experimented, made changes, and the version below is now our “family approved” trademark. The recipe requires certain degree of baking/pastry skills -- if you are not in the mood for making the chocolate cream, you can substitute it with raspberry jam, which is another popular version of Isler recipe. - QueenSashy
Makes about 40 cookies
- 210g butter
- 2 small egg yolks
- 100g powder sugar
- 60g dark chocolate
- 300g all-purpose flour
- Melt the chocolate. In a mixer fitted with paddle, beat the butter with the powder sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the flour and beat until the dough forms. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325° convection bake (350° regular bake). Place the dough on the parchment paper or work surface dusted with flour and roll it out to a 1/4-inch-thick round. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small round cookie cutter (I use 1-inch or quarter-size cutters), stamp out the cookies and arrange them one inch apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack or flat surface to cool completely.
Cream and Icing
- 210g granulated sugar
- 60g dark chocolate (for the cream), cut into pieces or melted
- 125g butter (for the cream)
- 80g dark chocolate (for the icing)
- 1 teaspoon butter (for the icing)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Prepare the cream: In a medium size saucepan, mix the granulated sugar with ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir in the chocolate. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to boil to make syrup. (Occasionally remove the sugar from the edges of the pan with spatula so that crystals do not form.) Once the syrup reaches the soft ball stage (about 238F) remove from the heat and add the butter. Continue to stir until the butter is fully incorporated. Put the cream into the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours until completely cool and creamy. (You might have to occasionally stir the cream to prevent the crystals from forming on the top.)
- Once the cream has cooled and firmed in the refrigerator, transfer it to a mixer and beat until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Take a cookie round at a time, spread the cream on it and top with another cookie round.
- Prepare the icing. In a small saucepan melt the chocolate with three tablespoons of water over low heat. Add the butter and oil and continue to simmer until the icing is uniform and thick. Remove from the stove and let it cool for about 2 minutes.
- Dip the cookie sandwiches into icing (one side only), and leave on work surface until the icing sets hard (about 2 hours). When the icing has hardened completely, place the cookies into a tin box with a tight lid, and store in a cool dry place for at least one day before serving.