Cookies, I am going to present you today, have its origin in my new homeland of Austria. In the Upper Austria, there is a small spa town called Bad Ischl, in which The Bakery Zauner has its old traditions, listed to 1950’s. Back then, a famous pastry cook Richard Kruth invented a recipe called Ischler Törtchen.
There are, of course, plenty of versions of them. Upon request of my mom who loves them, I am going to offer you my Christmas version - Luxurious Austrian Cookies.
The base is a two level cookie dough flavoured with walnuts and cocoa powder, connected with a smooth rum-nutty-marmalade filling, topped with a layer of good quality chocolate. Impressive, easy and stunning!
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes + 1 hour sit of The Pastry Dough in fridge
The Pastry Dough:
250g of plain flour, sifted
20g of good quality cocoa powder, sifted
70g of icing sugar, sifted
40g of walnuts, mashed
1 egg yolk
140g of butter, soft in cubes
120g of walnuts, mashed
80g of icing sugar, sifted
3 splashes of good quality dark rum
2 tablespoons of sour marmalade (I used sour cherries)
70g of good quality dark chocolate (I used 70%)
25ml of double cream
Whole walnuts to decorate
The Pastry Dough
In a large mixing bowl place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and walnuts.
Add the egg yolk and give a good stir.
Butter in. Start kneading a dough with hands. Continue until you get a nice homogenous texture. Wrap it in a cling foil and sit in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Once The Pastry Dough has been chilled enough, preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place it between two cling foils and roll it out with a roller to ½ cm thick dough. By using round cutters create as many rounds as possible. Transfer them gently into a baking tray lined with a baking paper. Continue until there is no dough left.
Note that this pastry dough is really easy to work with.
The rule number one is to work fast, especially if it gets too warm in your room. Thereafter, bake the cookies straight away.
Whether you want to place all trays in the oven at the same time, place them in a cold place until you finish. This way cookies will keep a perfect shape and texture.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until baked through. Then, take them out and let them cool down entirely.
In a blender place the walnuts, sugar, rum and marmalade. Beat until very smooth and easy texture to work with. Meaning, it should not be too thick, nor too liquid, a kind of butterish texture. Taste and set aside.
In a steam bath melt the chocolate until smooth. As you go, start pouring a splash of double cream at a time. Incorporate well and repeat.
Continue until the chocolate is melted completely.
Next, transfer in a cold bath or in a cold place (not in the fridge).
By now, cookies should be ready to work with. Couple them and divide into two large plates.
First, place all top cookies, flat side-down. Brush each of them with a good amount of melted chocolate by using a pastry brush. Place a walnut in the middle of each.
Second, on the flat side of each bottom cookie place a nice amount of The Filling, approximately 1 tablespoon. It goes very easily with a small sandwich knife.
Third, gently close each couple of cookie. Cover them and store in a cold place. They are magnificent already now, but wait until the chocolate gets dry a bit. Yummy!
Makes 30 medium couple cookies.