THE ISCHLER

 

February 1, 2015

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In all honesty, I have a love-hate relationship with sandwich style cookies. They always look beautiful, and I reach for them without hesitating, but I find they are often too much for my palate. It's usually that the cookies are rolled too thick or are cut too large. For me, a sandwich cookie needs to be bite sized—two bites max. Otherwise, it just overloads my senses. Rose’s photographer did this cookie justice; it looks delightful, and I couldn’t wait to try one. Isn’t it true that we eat with our eyes? So here goes my experience with the Ischler.

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Instructions

MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH—STAND MIXER METHOD

  • I used the food processor to process the nuts and the powdered sugar. Then I switched to the mixer to finish the dough, which came together nicely. I refrigerated it for the afternoon, then I reread the recipe and realized I forgot to toast the almonds! Damn.

The almond cookie dough before it was refrigerated
The almond cookie dough before it was refrigerated

ROLL AND CUT THE COOKIES

  • I’ve never rolled dough with a piece of plastic wrap over it. The idea intrigued me, but I didn’t think I’d like it. Rose was right when she said the dough rolls without cracking, and yields a much smoother texture when complete. They looked great when baked. This technique is a keeper.

Using plastic while rolling out the dough is a good idea.
Using plastic while rolling out the dough is a good idea.

  • Every dough is a little different and has its own set of tolerances. I learned quickly that the key to this dough is to keep it cold. As it warmed up, the cookie cutter made sloppy edges, and the cookie distorted when I lifted it off the counter with my fingers. With a small offset spatula and cold dough, the edges were clean and it transferred easily to the tray.

Cutting cold cookie dough.
Cutting cold cookie dough.

BAKE THE COOKIES

  • Getting the timing right was critical here. The first tray (the cookies that didn’t stay cold) over baked. For the second batch, I was more careful with the timing and the cookies looked just browned around the edges.

Baked cookies.
Baked cookies.

MAKE THE GANACHE FILLING

  • Easy and yummy.

Melted chocolate and cream.
Melted chocolate and cream.

MAKE THE LEKVAR FILLING

  • Aarrgghh! My first mistake was to pour all that delicious apricot flavored cooking liquid down the drain rather than using it in the puree. Then I remembered the apricot essence that I had in the way back of my drawer (since forever). Water and apricot essence aught to fix it, but I CAN’T get the bottle open, not with all my might. So I went into my husband’s basement (don’t get me started) and I put the tiny bottle in his great-big-man-vice. Three tries! It took three tries! The cap finally eased open. Gees.
  • Now the lekvar is on the stove and it’s sputtering all over the floor and stove. Rose said to stir it constantly (she’s always right). So I started stirring. This is my least favorite thing to do. The more I stir, the more moisture is released and the more concentrated the mixture becomes. This is good, but since I added way too much water (such a good idea I had), the 10-15 minutes turned into 30-35 minutes. And in spite of my stirring, the stuff was spitting on my arms and hands, and it hurt because it was burning hot. I had to put on protective lekvar armor: mitts and sleeves. Gees! Anyway, it all worked out, but I didn’t enjoy making the Levkar. I’m still so annoyed with it, I don’t want it on my toast.

The annoying levkar filling.
The annoying levkar filling.

FILL THE COOKIES

  • When I baked the cookies, I remembered there was a full tray that didn’t cut well and got too warm, and I let them get all mixed up. So I spread them out on my counter and began judging each cookie on its merits, and made two piles: the good ones and the bad ones.

Good cookies on the right. Bad cookies on the left.
Good cookies on the right. Bad cookies on the left.

  • As I’m spreading the apricot on the cookies, I figured I’d better pair up the cookies so I didn’t fill too many with apricot and not have enough for the chocolate.

Filled and ready to be sandwiches. The Ischler, The Finer Cookie.
Filled and ready to be sandwiches. The Ischler, The Finer Cookie.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

  • The Ischler is complete. Yay! I took one bite, then three more. The cookie overwhelmed my senses; I took a deep breath and shook it off. I was hoping that wouldn't happen. The flavor was delicious, but I didn’t want another. It was too much for me. My husband on the other hand, made ecstasy faces and walked off with two more in his hand. The difference between us is what makes the world go around.

The Ischler, The Finer Cookie
The Ischler, The Finer Cookie

  • WHAT ARE THE ALPHA BAKERS? : Here's how it works: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum's newly published THE Baking Bible . Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our like and dislikes . The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone will be baking the same recipe at the same time. Unfortunately, no recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions, but if you love to bake, THE Baking Bible is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/.
TAGS:  THE BAKING BIBLE   apricot   chocolate       LABELS: Alpha Bakers 

Comments

11 Comments

Portiarose Palmer   2017-01-08

Portia Love poking through your mouth watering site. You make me want to bake. I came across the picture at the end of "Rose's Alpha Bakers" page to see you and your husband enjoying that delicious cocktail. Handsome drinking partner Kim

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Portiarose! He's a keeper.

Rick   2017-01-08

I'm the guy with the man basement and the same who walked off with a few cookies in my hand....the only thing is that Kim did not see the extras that I took. I would do this again!!

Monica   2017-01-08

Kim.. I love how you made the "bad"/ "good" cookie sorting pile. Maybe because I sort of did the same thing... :) And they look beautiful, all the sorting paid off. Like you these were not a fav of mine - but then I'm not a big cookie person either. My husband (like yours) made like a bandit and would eat 2-3 at a time.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Hi Monica, I realized I sounded like a bit of a perfectionist with that comment. But yeah, you know which ones look better than others. Give the wonky ones to your husband, and good ones to friends and family. It just goes like that.

Marie   2017-01-08

You're a lucky person to have such a sensitive palate--otherwise, you'd take a handful of cookies and be merrily on your way, like your husband.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

I should tear a page from my husband's book.

Mendy   2017-01-08

Husband basement? Psha. Perhaps he should spend more time in the kitchen baking with wifey. :) Your lekvar and your cookies look fab. I wish I had made the lekvar. I really enjoyed looking though the other cookies on your site.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Hi Mendy, yes that basement is...well, I resist it at every turn...not that I don't like basements...but this is a manifestation of...what's that movie about the guy who writes math on his walls? Thanks for your nice words about my cookies, and sorry to make you work so hard to get to the Ischler post. I'm cutting my teeth on this website stuff. I need to move my pages--a job for today. I think this is why you were having trouble loading my site.

Patricia @ ButterYum   2017-01-08

Great write up! My least favorite part of the recipe was stirring the lekvar constantly too. I pulled a stool up to my stove so I could sit while I stirred. What a chore. Patricia @ ButterYum http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2014/11/6/tbb-the-ischler

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Hi Patricia, Yes is stirring, stirring, stirring is a recipe for crazy.

Glori   2017-01-08

I didn't toast the almonds either. Your bad batch is better than my good batch. Lekvar armor is classic!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Not so Glori! Your cookies look really good!

Michele   2017-01-08

Levkar armor?! You're hilarious!! Your photos are the best! Michele at www.artfuloven.com GIVEAWAY THIS WEEK!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Michele, Thanks for the encouraging words. PS: your website looks great too!

Vicki   2017-01-08

We were supposed to toast the almonds? Well, so much for that! Glad to know about keeping the dough cold. I'll remember when I roll mine out later this morning. I couldn't face doing it all the same day.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Hi Vicki: I think we were suppose to toast them?

faithy   2017-01-08

I can't tell the bad from good ones! They all look good to me and perfect!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Faithy! You're always so sweet!

Catherine   2017-01-08

Ha - good and bad cookies?! From the picture they all look perfect.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thanks Catherine! It doesn't matter anyway when the cookies are so delicious.

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