Nussecken, also known as traditional German Nut Corners, are one of our favourite sweets to make in December during the holiday baking season.
The popular triangle-shaped cookie bars feature layers of shortbread, apricot jam, caramelized hazelnut toffee topping and are dipped in melted chocolate.
Our homemade Nussecken recipe is easy to make at home, featuring the perfect balance of chewy and crunchy, salty and sweet.
Make this German Nut Corners recipe and you’ll see why they’re the perfect addition to a festive Christmas dessert table.
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What Is Nussecken?
Nut Corners, called Nussecken in Germany, make a delicious addition to Christmas cookie platters. The name literally translates to ‘nut corners’ (nuss = ‘nut’ and ecken = ‘corners’).
The chewy cookie bars feature a buttery shortbread bottom, sweet apricot jam layer, caramelized hazelnut topping and are dipped in melted chocolate.
Start by baking classic shortbread in a square baking tin. Slather with a layer of apricot or peach jam. Pour over homemade roasted hazelnut toffee and then bake and cool before slicing into triangle-shaped bars.
In a double boiler, melt high quality chocolate and then dip two corners of each Nussecken. Let the cookie bars rest and serve once the chocolate has hardened.
They’re the perfect sweet snack and festive finger food dessert to serve at Christmas to chocolate and nut lovers.
Travel to Germany by Baking Nussecken Cookie Bars at Home
I love traveling to Europe.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Nussecken recipe. I’ve embarked on culinary adventures at German restaurants and bakeries throughout Western Europe in Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Austria.
On a road trip of Germany, I’ve forked through sweet German Nut Corners in Freiburg, Berlin, Ahrenshoop, Hamburg, Spreewald, Potsdam, Dresden, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cochem, Mettlach, Nennig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, Koblenz and Rudesheim.
The first time I tasted Nussecken was soon after I arrived in Dresden. After checking into my hotel it was already after the lunch hour and still hadn’t had anything more than a cup of coffee all day.
I headed straight to the city’s most famous bake shop, a cute cafe overlooking the Dresden’s main square that features a massive display case with over 100 classic German cakes, cookies and bars.
I ordered an ice cream sundae as well as a large German Nut Corner, which tied me over until a beer sloshed dinner later that evening.
After you’ve enjoyed your first taste, you’ll realize why Nussecken is a must-try when visiting Germany. Keep an eye out for them when visiting German Christmas Markets in November and December as they’re a popular holiday sweet.
Where To Eat German Nussecken
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local German restaurant or European bakery that sells authentic Nussecken.
Haven’t traveled to Germany before? It may be helpful to first sample Nut Corners at a local restaurant or bakery to better understand how the cookie bars are served. You’ll get an idea for how thick to make each of the bars and how large or small to slice them before dipping the corners in melted chocolate.
In Toronto, popular restaurants serving German dishes that may bake homemade Nussecken include Country Style Hungarian, Wvrst, Otto’s Bierhalle, Little Bavaria, Cafe Polonez and Europe Bar and Restaurant.
We also suggest visiting Starsky Foods in Mississauga as they have a big bakery and are the largest European supermarket in the GTA.
My Family Loves Homemade German Nut Corners
My family loves cookies and bars, especially when they combine the best of both worlds, like these Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie Bars.
After eating my way through Germany’s best Christmas markets I thought it would be fun to celebrate the holidays at home by preparing these crunchy and chewy nut corners.
I knew my family would enjoy this recipe because they love desserts made with salty roasted nuts, decadent chocolate, and buttery shortbread cookies.
We now bake this recipe every December and often double the recipe as they freeze so well. Pack them in a festive tin as they make a great Christmas gift for the cookie lovers in your life.
If you’re hosting a large family gathering serve Nussecken on a cookie platter and place on the dessert table with your favourite holiday cakes and pies.
The chocolate and nut combination in these bars makes for a delicious pairing with a hot pot of tea or coffee.
Traditional Nussecken Recipe Baking Tips
This homemade Nussecken recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few baking tips to get you started:
- Use a non-stick square cake or brownie pan to make homemade German Nut Corners.
- Nussecken are traditionally made with apricot jam but you can substitue for peach jam if you prefer.
- We like to dip these cookie bars in bittersweet chocolate but can use dark chocolate if you prefer.
- The easiest way to cut them is to refrigerate the cake pan for a few hours and then use a sharp knife. First cut the bars into squares, then cut the squares across the diagonal into triangles.
- Use a ruler when cutting out the squares and triangles, this helps keeps the edges straight.
- You can cut nut corners into different sizes. Mini ones (2-inch) are a great fit for cookie platters but because Nussecken are a year-round treat in Germany you can also cut them into larger triangles (4-inch), how they are sold in German bakeries.
- To dip the corners in chocolate: pour the melted chocolate into a small, deep bowl. Dip one 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.
- We suggest preparing these cookie bars days or weeks before Christmas as they keep well in the fridge or freezer. They can freeze for up to 6 months.
What To Serve with German Nut Corners
Chewy Nut Corners are a popular German cookie bar recipe often enjoyed during the holiday Christmas season.
We typically like to serve Nussecken on a festive dessert table with coffee and tea.
You can easily serve them as part of an ice cream sundae by placing one of the cookie bars in a bowl with your favourite scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with caramel or chocolate sauce and top with chopped roasted hazelnuts.
If you’re hosting a German or Eastern European themed dinner party you might like to serve this Nussecken recipe as a dessert alongside:
- Maulwurfkuchen German Mole Cake
- Cherry Lovers Black Forest Tiramisu
- Schwäbische Käsespätzle German Cheese Noodles
- Speckknödel German Bread Bacon Dumplings
- Semmelknödel German Bread Dumplings
- Kartoffelknödel German Potato Dumplings
- German Pork Rouladen with Bacon, Apple & Pickles
- Flädlesuppe German Pancake Soup
- Älplermagronen Cheesy Swiss Alpine Macaroni
- Gianduja Lindt Lindor Chocolate Cake
- Crispy Gruyere Grilled Cheese
- Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies
- Tartiflette Reblochon
- Ogorkowa Zupa: Creamy Polish Dill Pickle Soup
- Polish Sour Rye Zurek Soup
- Mizeria Creamy Polish Cucumber Salad
- Homemade Pierogies
- Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
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How To Make The Best German Nussecken Recipe
Nussecken German Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie Bars
- Square Baking Pan
- mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- French knife
- Double boiler
- 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup White Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter plus 3 tbsp, softened
- 1 Egg
- 1/3 cup Peach or Apricot Jam
- 150 g Unsalted Butter
- 150 g Hazelnuts toated, skinned, chopped
- 3/4 cups White Sugar
- 2 tbsp Water
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 150 g Hazelnuts toasted, skinned, ground hazelnuts
- 300 g Bittersweet Chocolate
- Preheat oven to 370 F. Line a metal baking pan with parchment paper, letting the sides hang over the edge. Use a 9 x 9 inch pan for a thicker and chunkier cookie bar or a 9 x 13 inch pan for a more traditional thin Nussecken.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into cubes and add the egg. Using your hands, knead the ingredients together until you have a smooth dough. It will be on the sticky side. Quickly press the dough evenly into the prepared pan.
- Spread the peach jam evenly over the cookie base.
- Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat to melt. Add the chopped hazelnuts and cook until toasted, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, water, vanilla extract, and salt to stir. As soon as the mixture combes to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the ground hazelnuts until well combined. Spread this mixture evenly over the jam.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is deep golden brown and the edges are caramelizing. Take the pan out of the oven and let cook on a rack for 15 minutes. Then cut the mass in the pan into thirds lengthwise, and then into quarters crosswise, and finally cut each piece in half diagonally, forming triangles. Leave in pan to cool.
- When the bars have fully cooled, remove from the pan using the parchment paper as a sling, and cut through the slice marks again to separate the bars fully. Return the parchment paper to the baking sheet.
- Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until tempered. Dip two sides of each triangle into the chocolate about 1/2 inch deep. Return the bars to the baking sheet, allow the chocolate to set 2-3 hours.
- When the chocolate is fully set, transfer cookies to an airtight container, where they will keep for up to a week.
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