Today was secret Santa day. Christmas is still a few days away but the food bloggers exchanged gifts today through the secret Santa elfs who zipped around town. In anticipation of the elf visit, I baked these Ischler cookies.
This Austrian cookie tastes quite similar to a buttery shortbread. Rose Levy grinds her own almonds but I used ground almonds I already had. Additionally, her recipe is adapted so it's eggless and the dough is made by made rather than a food processor.
About half an hour before you start baking, cube 110 grams of salted butter and set it aside to soften. Now to the actual dough. Mix 100 grams ground almonds wih 60 grams caster sugar. Add the softened butter and mix until everything is well blended. All 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp milk. Finally add 110 grams of plain flour and mix/knead lightly until it comes together as a dough. Divide into two halves and wrap each in cling wrap, then let chill in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness (or as thin as you can) and cut out round cookies. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake until the cookies start to brown at the edges. Rose says this will take 10 minutes but I had thicker cookies so it took a bit longer. Let cool, then sandwich with apricot spread.