Ischler Cookies


8 ounces blanched, ground almonds
2-1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/4 cups cold butter, cut into slices
3/4 cup smooth, thick apricot jam (12-ounce jar)
12 ounces chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Crisco shortening


Combine nuts, flour, sugar, and almond extract in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Or place all ingredients in a food processor and combine, using a rapid on-off action. Turn dough out onto a board and form it into a ball. Work the dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand. Do this twice. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half between sheets of waxed paper to ¼-inch thickness. Slide a cookie sheet under the waxed paper, and chill dough in refrigerator or freeze until firm. Remove top waxed paper, and cut dough into rounds with 1-½- or 2-inch cutter. Re-roll scraps, chill, and cut. Place cutout dough on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, until firm and golden. Leave on cookie sheets for a minute or two before removing to racks to cool. Sandwich cookies with jam. Melt together chocolate chips and Crisco over hot water, transfer to bowl, and dip half of each sandwich into glaze. Cool on waxed-paper-lined cookie sheets and keep refrigerated.


Makes about 3 dozen.

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