How to Make Ischl Tartlets
Ischl (pronounced “eesh uhl”) tartlets are deliciously delicate cookies named from the Austrian spa town of Bad Ischl. This recipe uses a heart-shaped cookie cutter but these cookies can be cut into your favorite shapes for a beautiful presentation and dusted with powdered sugar for a “snowy” effect.
Specialty tools: 1-inch round cutter, 3-inch-diameter heart cutter, rolling pin
Preparation time: 1-1/4 hours; includes chilling
Baking time: 15 minutes
Yield: 3-1/2 dozen
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 scant cup sugar
1-1/2 cups finely ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup apricot or raspberry preserves
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Place the flour, sugar, almonds, and cinnamon in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse the mixture for 10 seconds.
Cut the butter into pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse the mixture for 30 seconds. Then turn the machine on and leave until the dough forms a ball, another 30 seconds. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
To make the dough with a mixer and mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, and cream together. Toss the cinnamon with the flour and almonds. Add this to the butter mixture in four stages, blending well after each addition. Stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Proceed with the same instructions given for the food processor.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/8-inch thick. Use a 3-inch-diameter heart cutter to cut out the cookies.
In half of the hearts, cut out the center with a 1-inch-diameter round cutter. Gather together the scraps and the cutout centers, reroll, and recut. Place the cookies on the lined cookie sheet, with at least 2 inches between them.
Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and set. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies from the parchment paper to cooling racks. The cookies can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and held at room temperature covered with foil before they’re assembled.
When the hearts are cool, place a spoonful of preserves on the solid hearts.
Heavily dust the hearts with the hole in the center with confectioners’ sugar and place these on top of the preserves. The tartlets will keep for 1 day at room temperature, in a single layer covered with foil.
Per serving: Calories 131 (From Fat 71); Fat 8g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 4mg; Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.