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Ischler Cookies in NYC/LI area?

Eli | Aug 5, 2000 02:03 AM

I just read a past posting which mentioned the old Louis Lichtman bakery (was on 86th & Amsterdam - now extinct). This jogged my memory: When I was a kid, I used to go there regularly for their delicious Ischler cookie.

I say "cookie" -- singular -- because the thing was big and weighed a good 1/3 pound; it was not something you bought in quantity, but rather one at a time, like a rich pastry. They would put it in a small pastry box (as would normally accomodate one large-size Napolean), and the 5-6" diameter x 1" thick cookie would rest on an angle in the box, because it was too wide to fit flat.

An Ischler cookie (at least, the Lichtman version) was made of two 1/2" thick, crumbly butter cookies (sort of like shortbread, but neither as heavily shortened nor as dry) sandwiched together with a thick layer of apricot filling, and covered all over (except for the bottom) with a thick layer of sweet dark chocolate icing.

This is not to be confused with the Linzertorte/Linzer cookie, which has a hole in the top cookie, no chocolate icing, and is sprinkled with powdered sugar.
(The Linzers I've tried have all been hard and dry, with meager amounts of filling.)

Ischler cookies are Austrian in origin, but Lichtman's was a Hungarian bakery. This may explain why, when I looked up a recipe for Ischler cookies, they where described as light, airy almond cookies (almond? I don't remember tasting almond) with apricot filling and a thin chocolate glaze -- nothing resembling the chocolate-drenched wonder-bricks of my youth.

Does anybody know where to get the Lichtman-style version, as I have described here?

P.S.-- Many years ago, after Lichtman's closed, I had tried one from another Hungarian bakery in Manhattan's East '80s (i.e.-Germantown) -- but it was very disappointing, not at all as I'd remembered. It was a dry, hard, shrunken thing, coated with cheap chocolate icing... practically flavorless.

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