If you are a fan of hazelnuts and chocolate, then this Nussecken recipe for you! Triangles of tender buttery shortbread base topped with a caramelised hazelnut layer are dipped in melted chocolate to make these popular German nut triangles.
What are Nussecken?
Literally translated into ‘nut corners’ (Nuss = ‘nut’ and ecken = ‘corners’), these popular German hazelnut cookies/biscuits are sold in many German bakeries. They have a caramelised hazelnut topping made from ground hazelnuts (aka hazelnut flour/meal) and chopped hazelnuts, and a shortbread base. Once baked, traditionally two corners – or all three sides – are dipped in melted dark chocolate. They were one of my favourite bakery buys when we lived in Munich, and the chocolate hazelnut combination inspired these flourless hazelnut cookies. I am so excited to now be able to share this Nussecken recipe with you!
Why we love this recipe
- Chocolate and hazelnuts – a favourite combination of flavours! If you love Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, you’ll love these nut triangles!
- The house smells amazing when they are cooking!
- They make a delicious edible gift.
- Although they look complicated, they are actually easy to make – the bottom layer is a shortbread (and you can be messy putting it in the tin), and the top layer is butter, vanilla and sugar melted and mixed with nuts. The oven caramelises the hazelnuts, so you don’t have to worry about making the caramel yourself.
- Hazelnuts – both whole hazelnuts and ground hazelnuts (aka hazelnut meal/flour) are used in this recipe. Use hazelnuts with their skins on. Hazelnuts can be expensive, so if you want to make a slightly cheaper version of this chocolate nut bar, use chopped almonds and ground almonds/almond meal instead, (I’ve tried it and almonds work really well!). You can also use a mixture of both hazelnuts and almonds. Or even walnuts.
- Butter – unsalted butter.
- Flour – plain flour or all purpose flour.
- Apricot jam – commonly used in German baking, it has a milder taste and colour than other jams. You can use smooth jam or chunky jam, whichever you prefer.
- Chocolate – use a 70% chocolate, and the best quality chocolate that you can. I like to use Lindt.
How to make this recipe – Step by step instructions
(Full instructions are given in the recipe card – these images are intended to help you along the way 🙂 )
- Mix butter and sugar.
- Add egg and vanilla.
- Mix flour with baking powder.
- Add flour to butter-egg mixture.
- Stir to combine.
- Form into soft and smooth dough.
- Line tin.
- Roll out dough.
- Use finger to squash the dough into the tin.
- Prick the dough with a fork.
- Top with apricot jam.
- Melt butter, sugar, water and vanilla.
- Don’t let boil.
- Add ground hazelnuts/hazelnut meal and chopped hazelnuts.
- Stir to combine.
- Spread out over shortbread base and apricot jam.
- Cut into squares and then cut each square in to triangles.
Yes they are, and they are also called hazelnut meal.
Hazelnut flour has a high fat content compared to other flours, so it can go rancid quicker than other fat-free flours. Storing hazelnut flour in your refrigerator will help it last for longer.
Stored in an airtight container, these biscuits will keep up to a week.
Yes you can. Cool completely and then wrap well, placing a layer of greaseproof paper in between each layer. They will freeze for up to 2 months.
My recipe tips
- Roll out the dough and then press into the tin with your fingers – this ensures the base is an even thickness and you don’t get some thick bits of base without much hazelnut topping (something I have done, and won’t do again!)
- Use your piece of greaseproof paper as a guide for the size needed when rolling out the dough.
- Use a ruler when cutting out the squares and triangles – this helps keeps the edges straight.
- To dip the corners in chocolate: pour the chocolate into a small, deep bowl. Dip a corner into the chocolate then wait a few seconds before you dip the other corner, this helps prevent the chocolate from dripping down the sides.
- If you love chocolate, you can dip all the sides in chocolate rather than just the corners (see photo below). I often saw them sold them like this in German bakeries.
- You can make mini hazelnut corners: cut the triangles in half and dip one corner in chocolate (these make great gifts or petit four to serve with coffee)
More recipes with nut flour
I love baking with nut flours, here are some more of our favourite recipes using ground almonds/almond flour.
More German recipes
Here are some traditional and recipes inspired by our time living in Munich, Southern Germany.
Nussecken (German Nut Corners)
- Lamington baking tray – a shallow tray measuring 23cm x 33 cm (9" x 13")
- 100g (3.5oz) butter softened
- 80g (⅓ c) white sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 220g (1½ c) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g (5.3oz) butter
- 125g (½ c + 1 tbsp) white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 100g (1 c) ground hazelnuts (hazelnut meal)
- 200g (7oz) hazelnuts roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
- 150g (5.3oz) dark chocolate roughly broken into pieces
- Line a 23cm x 33 cm (9" x 13") baking tray with a layer of greaseproof/baking paper, greasing the ends of the tin that aren't lined with a little butter.
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan / 180˚C / 320˚F convection / 356˚F
Make the base:
- Cream the softened butter with sugar.
- Add the beaten egg and vanilla and stir.
- Mix the baking powder with flour and add it to the egg-butter mixture and stir.
- Keep mixing until it starts to form clumps, and then mix with your hands until you get a solid ball of dough.
- Using the greaseproof paper as a guide, roll out your dough to the size of the tin (you can chop bits off that overhand and squidge them into any gaps.) Make sure the whole of the bottom of the tray is covered with dough and there are no gaps.
- Prick all over with a fork.
- Spread the apricot jam all over the shortbread dough in an even layer. Put to one side while you make the topping.
Make the hazelnut topping:
- Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Don't let it boil.
- Take off the heat and add the hazelnut flour and roughly chopped hazelnuts and mix well to combine.
- Leave to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Pour over the base and using the back of a spoon, spread out into an even layer, completely covering the base and jam.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes to make sure the edges aren't burning, turning half way through.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before marking into triangles using a sharp knife.
- Mark into 8 cm x 7.5 cm (3.15" x 2.95") (rough guide – see below for more detail on cutting) squares, then cut each of these in half diagonally to make triangles.
- Leave to cool completely in tin.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or in the microwave, and then pour into a small deep bowl.
- Take a nussecken triangle and dip a tip in the chocolate, hold for a second or two and then dip the other one in. Place on greaseproof paper until set completely.
- Use a 70% chocolate, and the best quality chocolate that you can. I like to use Lindt.
- To dip all 3 edges of nussecken in chocolate, you will need 200g chocolate.