Today’s Saturday, 6 November 2014. Do you know what that means? Here in Germany, at least, it’s St. Niklas. It’s a special day, particularly for children. The story goes that St. Niklas visits during the night between the 5. and 6. of December. If you leave your boot outside of your door and cookies out for St. Niklas, then maybe he will leave a little something for you in your boot. Maybe you’ll leave some nutty mini-triangles out for him next year? Don’t know “Nutty Corners”? No? Well, it’s about time! Here in Germany, we call this type of pastry “Nussecken”, which translates into “Nut Corners”. It’s usually a thick pie-crust type of basis, upon which a thick-ish layer of marzipan or jam is distributed. Then, the whole thing is topped with chopped nuts (usually almonds or hazelnuts), which have previously bathed in a mass that is made up of one half sugar and one half butter. Then, the triangle-shaped treat is dipped in chocolate on two sides. Yeah. You get it. Back during my gluten-days, I would buy a nut corner at a bakery (usually at Kamps, because they were the only ones who baked with marzipan instead of jam), and eat one half and bring the other home to share with my husband. I could never eat the whole thing on my own. And even if I could have eaten it all by myself, it’s not something I would have cared to do.Anyway, there are days when such a treat is necessary, but someone who lives gluten-free can’t just go out and buy such treats. So, we make them. And what better occasion than the pre-holiday season, when nuts, butter, chocolate and sugar flow in large quantities and you can give your mini-nut-triangles away as gifts together with all the Christmas cookies? I can’t think of any. This is my recipe for nutty corners, tried and true. Since this is such a rich thing to eat, I recommend cutting up tiny triangles in bite-size. They’ll last longer. And it’s cute! This recipe has been tested by people with and without celiac disease, who all enjoyed them in equal amounts. And yes, I made them without chocolate. I thought, it would be better for everyone’s health if I did. I found them to be really delicious nonetheless. You can obviously make these with chocolate garnish (I suggest you use dark chocolate, because all of this is so sweet already), if you want. Or cut them into larger pieces. Or into squares. You decide! No matter the shape, they’ll be absolutely delicious, I promise! Ingredients For the crust: 140g butter (at room temperature) 130g sugar 3 eggs (at room temperature) 250g gluten-free flour (I used one half Schaer Farine and one half Harina de Reposteria by AdPan) 1 tsp baking powder For the marzipan layer: 1 package gluten-free marzipan (about 200g) For the nutty topping: 200g butter 200g sugar 1 tbsp vanilla aroma 400g chopped or ground hazelnuts or almonds (You can also combined chopped and ground nuts, if you like your nut triangles to be more on the rustic side) 4 tbsp water Place all of the ingredients for the crust into a bowl and proceed to knead into a smooth, even dough. Line a baking tin with baking parchment and roll out the crust, e.g. by dusting with a bit of gluten-free flour, placing a saran wrap over it and using a rolling pin, into a rectangle or square. If necessary, cut out uneven ends and work the superfluous dough into areas of your crust that are still uneven.Using the help of a saran wrap, roll out the marzipan into a thin blanket, about the size of your crust (preferably slightly larger). You will probably end up with a round or oval structure. Place marzipan blanket onto your (still raw) crust, ensuring all of it is covered (perhaps by cutting off a bit of marzipan from spots where there is too much – no one will be able to tell later!).Turn your oven to 175°C. Melt the butter in a pot, add the sugar in about three to four batches, waiting that all of the first batch has dissolved, before you add the second. Once all the sugar has dissolved (your mixture will be boiling hot, so be careful not to burn yourself), add all of the chopped nuts and then the water. This is the nutty topping made from ground nuts only: And this is the nutty topping made from roughly chopped nuts: Once the butter-sugar mixture and the nuts have been combined well, pour them over the marzipan layer and begin distributing the nuts layer evenly, for example with a spatula. You can also use the help of a saran wrap and a rolling pin, if you like. This is how it looks with finely ground nuts: Place the giant nut bar into your oven and bake for about 25 minutes (or until golden brown). Take the nut bars out of the oven, and allow them to cool off a bit. In winter, it’s a great idea to place the baking tin outside for a while. Then, while the nut bar is still a little bit warm, proceed to cut out the mini-triangles. I do this by cutting one large bar, about five cm wide, and then cut into it vertically, creating squares that are composed out of two triangles. If you’re going to use a chocolate garnish for your nut corners, now is the time. Melt chocolate in a water bath (which should not be too hot, you don’t want your chocolate to go al matte on you!), and then dip two ends of your mini-triangles into it. Allow chocolate to harden on a baking parchment. Enjoy!
- Wilma’s Carrot Salad
- Cupcakes for Radio Shows and Birthdays