Vegan Nussecken - this vegan version of the classic German treat are easy to make and perfect for Christmas.
Consisting of a light shortbread base topped with apricot jam, hazelnut caramel and chocolate, these nut corners are irresistibly delicious!
These vegan nussecken are a delicious treat that, while wonderful all year round, are particularly good at Christmas time.
They are rich, buttery, sweet, crunchy, gooey and very, very moreish! Perfect to have to hand for guests.
What Are Nussecken?:
Nussecken are a popular baked treat in Germany. The name nussecken literally translates to 'nut corners'.
They consist of a light, buttery shortbread-like base which is spread with apricot jam and topped with a crunchy, gooey caramel hazelnut mixture.
Once baked, they are cut into triangles and the corners are dipped in chocolate.
What Do I Need To Make Vegan Nussecken?:
Nuts: Traditionally these are made with hazelnuts, but because hazelnuts are quite expensive in the UK and ground ones aren't readily available, I use a mix of hazelnuts and almonds.
Really any kind of nut will work, or a mixture. But the flavour of hazelnuts really works well with the caramel and chocolate!
You will need both chopped and ground nuts, I use chopped hazelnuts and ground almonds but feel free to mix it up.
Apricot jam: A good quality one will give you a better flavour and less excess sweetness. I used Asda extra special apricot conserve which although a bit thick in texture had a nice tang to it and wasn't overly sweet.
Vegan block butter: Please, for the love of holy baking, use a block butter/margarine to make these cookies, not the spreadable kind in a tub.
Spreadable will likely make the dough too soft, and the base may be more tough as it contains more water. I recommend Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Butter.
Rum: A bit of rum added to the caramel topping really elevates the flavour. Once cooked, the bars don't taste like rum, and the alcohol cooks off, but it just adds a bit of extra depth of flavour.
You can use water instead, but I really do recommend using rum if possible.
Sugar: You will need light brown soft/muscovado sugar for the caramel topping and caster or granulated sugar for the shortbread base.
Don't swap these for other types of sugar or sweeteners, you will not get the same delicious result.
Plain flour: Just regular plain (all-purpose) flour is best here. I haven't tried making these gluten-free but I suspect that they should work ok with a gluten-free plain flour blend plus ¼ tsp xanthan gum. They may be a bit more crumbly and difficult to slice however.
Baking powder: A bit of baking powder added to the shortbread base lightens it up a bit.
Vanilla: Use extract rather than essence for the best flavour.
Milk: A bit of non-dairy milk replaces the usual egg in the shortbread base and helps to bind it together. Any kind will work but I use soy.
How To Make Vegan Nussecken:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
To make the shortbread base, mix the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the cold butter with your hands until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and no lumps of butter remain.
Stir in the sugar, then the vanilla extract and milk. The dough should be starting to clump together.
Tip the mixture into a greased and lined 23 x 33 cm tin and spread it level. Pack it down as firmly as you can. I use the base of a glass to help. Prick all over with a fork.
Chill for 20 minutes then bake until firm and pale golden.
To make the topping, melt the butter, sugar, rum and vanilla in a pan. Bring up to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped and ground nuts.
Spread the base evenly with apricot jam.
Pour over the nut mixture and spread it level.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Let the nussecken cool completely then lift the slab out of the tin and use a very sharp knife to slice it into 12 squares.
Slice each square in half to make 24 triangles.
Dip two corners of each triangle in melted chocolate and place on a sheet of baking parchment to set.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
I prefer to wait until the nussecken are fully cooled before slicing them into triangles, so I bake them the day before cutting them up and dunking them in chocolate.
If you want the chocolate to be shiny and have a nice snap then you will need to temper it. (I don't bother).
I just coat two corners in chocolate but you can do all three if you want, or dip the sides, or just drizzle it over the top. Up to you.
You can make your own ground nuts by blitzing them in a high speed blender or food processor. Be careful not to go too far however or you will end up with nut butter.
You can cut the bars into whatever size you like. I made 24 triangles, but you could even cut those in half again to make 48 mini ones!
How To Store Nussecken:
These vegan nussecken will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple of weeks.
They can be frozen - cool completely then wrap well, placing a piece of greaseproof paper between each layer. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Allow to defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving.
More Vegan Bar Recipes:
- Vegan oatmeal cookie bars
- Vegan stollen bars
- Vegan lemon bars
- Vegan peanut butter chocolate chip pecan bars
- Berry crumble bars
- Pumpkin chocolate chip bars
- Vegan fruit and nut flapjacks
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Vegan Nussecken (German Nut Corners)
- 300 g (2 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 150 g (½ cup + 2 Tablespoons) vegan block butter (NOT the spreadable kind. I use Naturli Vegan Block) cold and diced
- 100 g (½ cup) caster (or granulated) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons non-dairy milk cold
- 175 g (⅔ cup + 1 Tablespoon) vegan block butter
- 175 g (1 cup) light brown soft sugar
- 3 Tablespoons rum (or water)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200 g (7 oz) chopped hazelnuts
- 200 g (7 oz) ground hazelnuts or almonds
- pinch salt
- 6 Tablespoons apricot jam
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) dark chocolate finely chopped
- Grease a deep 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 in) tin and line it with baking parchment, making sure that you leave some overhanging on either side.
- To make the base, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the cold butter and rub it in with your hands until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and no lumps of butter remain.
- Stir in the sugar, then the vanilla extract and milk. The dough should be starting to clump together.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it level. Pack it down as firmly as you can. I use the base of a glass to help. Prick all over with a fork
- Pop the tin in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Bake the base for 15-20 minutes until it is firm and pale golden.
- While the base is baking prepare the topping. Place the butter, light brown sugar, rum and vanilla extract in a pan and stir until melted. Bring up to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped and ground nuts and a pinch of salt.
- Spread the base evenly with the apricot jam then pour over the nut mixture and spread it level. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave the nussecken to cool completely in the tin. I leave them overnight.
- Once cool, use the overhanging baking parchment to lift the slab out of the tin. Use a very sharp knife to slice the slab into 12 squares. Cut each square in half to make 24 triangles.
- Melt the chocolate, either in short bursts in the microwave, or over a pan of gently simmering water.
- Dip two corners of each triangle into the melted chocolate. Shake off the excess then place them on a sheet of baking parchment until set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
- See post above for tips, details, storage instructions and step-by-step photos.