German Nut Triangles (Nussecken)

German Nut Triangles

German Nut Triangles

I came across these nutty ‘Nussecken’ triangles in Konstanz, Germany. We had popped into a bakery and there was a tempting tray of them on the counter. A buttery shortbread base, a hidden layer of apricot jam covered with a delicious hazelnut topping, all finished off with chocolate-dipped corners.

They have been on my to-bake list since the beginning of the year; after a hectic few weeks, which has included planning and organising purchasing our new home (a camper unit for our truck), I finally found some free time to experiment in the kitchen.

Chris has been driving to Austria to collect it, leaving me in Scotland house sitting my favourite dog. All shall be revealed soon (Newsletter subscribers got a sneak peek), I can’t wait to see it for real, and check out my new (even more compact than the last one) nomadic kitchen!

We both enjoyed the Nussecken we had in Konstanz but I found the shortbread base to be disappointing. Maybe I’m a shortbread connoisseur from all these years living in Scotland, but I like my biscuit bases to be buttery and full of flavour, not bland and wishy-washy.

When researching the recipe, I came to the conclusion that I would use my fail-safe Caramel Shortbread base: it’s exactly what I wanted those triangles in Germany to be like, moreish and crumbly.

This is a pretty easy recipe, especially if you have a food processor as you can blitz the nuts and process the shortbread dough in seconds. 

When I first started to experiment with this recipe, I used a bag of chopped mixed nuts instead of hazelnuts (as it was all they had in the village shop) but the flavour was not right at all. I think the mix was too peanut-ty and they overpowered the taste, hazelnuts are definitely the way to go.

Hazelnuts are however pretty expensive, so I bought mine unblanched and removed some of the papery skins by dry frying and rubbing with a tea towel. You could of course bake with the pale blanched ones for ease.

The traditional recipes tend to use ground hazelnuts too, so if you can find that, that’s perfect, if not, ground almonds work absolutely fine to bring everything together.

German Nut Triangles

German Nut Triangles (Nussecken)

The topping is based loosely on the recipe for Nussecken on the Dr.Oetker website.

The only none vegan ingredient in this recipe is butter, I’m pretty sure you could sub it for vegan marg, maybe a tablespoon of golden syrup in the nut topping would help add a buttery edge to it if you use a non-dairy spread.

The chocolate dipped corners are entirely optional, I personally don’t think these slices need it but it is authentic.

German Nut Triangles25 cm x 20 cm / 9″x 8″ {or similar} brownie tin lined with parchment

oven 180 C / gas 4 / 350 F

For the nutty topping:
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g hazelnuts
  • 60 g ground almonds or ground hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam or orange marmalade
For the shortbread base:
  • 185 g unsalted butter
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 85 g golden caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
To finish:
  • 150 g dark chocolate (optional but authentic)

Begin by toasting the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan, keep them moving and toast until the papery skins begin to loosen, then rub them in a tea towel to remove any loose skin (don’t worry about the skin that isn’t loose). If your hazelnuts come pale and skinless skip this step.

Now chop the hazelnuts into small pieces, this is easily done in a food processor. They don’t need to be uniform, random and knobbly is better!

Place the butter, sugar and water for the nutty topping in a saucepan and melt them together. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and the ground almonds. Give it all a good mix in and set aside to cool while you make the shortbread base.

If you’ve used a foot processor for the hazelnuts, give it a quick dust out then place all the ingredients for the shortbread into it and process until it forms a dough.

If you don’t have a processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt then rub in the butter with your fingertips, it becomes a dough.

Either roll the soft dough out to fit the lined tin or press the dough into it. Option two is the easiest! Use a fork to lightly prick the surface.

Spread the apricot jam or marmalade over the dough then spoon over the cooled nut topping mixture and spread to cover.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely in the tin, this makes cutting it up easier.

Once cold, cut into six equal squares then cut each square on the diagonal to form 12 triangles.

Optional but authentic:

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave if you prefer). Dip or spoon the melted chocolate over the two pointiest corners of the triangles. Allow to set on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight tin.

German Nut Triangles
A buttery shortbread base with a nutty topping.
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For the nutty topping
  1. 100 g golden caster sugar
  2. 100 g unsalted butter
  3. 150 g hazelnuts
  4. 60 g ground almonds or ground hazelnuts
  5. 2 tbsp water
  6. 3 tbsp apricot jam or orange marmalade
For the shortbread base
  1. 185 g unsalted butter
  2. 250 g plain flour
  3. 85 g golden caster sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
To finish
  1. 150 g dark chocolate (optional but authentic)
Instructions
  1. Line a 25 cm x 20 cm / 9″x 8″ {or similar} brownie tin with parchment and preheat oven 180 C / gas 4 / 350 F.
  2. Begin by toasting the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan, keep them moving and toast until the papery skins begin to loosen, then rub them in a tea towel to remove any loose skin. If your hazelnuts come pale and skinless skip this step.
  3. Now chop the hazelnuts into small pieces, this is easily done in a food processor. They don’t need to be uniform, random and knobbly is better!
  4. Place the butter, sugar and water for the nutty topping in a saucepan and melt them together. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and the ground almonds. Give it all a good mix in and set aside to cool while you make the shortbread base.
  5. If you’ve used a foot processor for the hazelnuts, give it a quick dust out then place all the ingredients for the shortbread into it and process until it forms a dough.
  6. If you don’t have a processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt then rub in the butter with your fingertips, it becomes a dough.
  7. Either roll the soft dough out to fit the lined tin or press the dough into it. Option two is the easiest! Use a fork to lightly prick the surface.
  8. Spread the apricot jam or marmalade over the dough then spoon over the cooled nut topping mixture and spread to cover.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool completely in the tin, this makes cutting it up easier.
  11. Once cold, cut into six equal squares then cut each square on the diagonal to form 12 triangles.
Optional but authentic
  1. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave if you prefer). Dip or spoon the melted chocolate over the two pointiest corners of the triangles. Allow to set on a wire rack.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight tin.
Vagabond Baker http://vagabondbaker.com/
German Nut Triangles

 

 

Have you tried Nussecken?

By Rachel A Davis

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2 Responses

  1. I absolutely love hazelnut especially the choc hazelnut combo and shortbread is my favourite type of classic biscuit so this recipe sounds perfect to me! And fairly simple too. I alap have lots of apricot jam I need to finish too so must try and find a free afternoon to make this!
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