It is really hard to find an English equivalent for the German word “Versöhnungsstangerl”. Reconciliation Sticks? Appeasement Strips? I went for Peace Pastry. I think it is closest to what the German name wants to express.
I do not know how the pastry got its name. Maybe because the pastry tastes so good that you will forget about any fights and arguments when you have one? Or maybe because the wife would serve them to her husband if she wanted to apologize for whatever she did wrong? I have no idea. Whenever I make them, we keep wondering and guessing.
I discovered the recipe in the Sacher baking book many years ago. I cannot remember anymore why I tried it. The recipe looked so simple and not spectacular at all. There was also no picture. I assume I just had all the ingredients at home and felt like trying something new.
It was definitely worth the try. This pastry is really easy and quick to prepare, and the result is heavenly. You could really forget about arguing when eating them!
10 oz. (270 g) puff pastry, lactose-free (e.g. “Tante Fanny´s Blätterteig”)
3.5 oz. (100 g) marzipan paste
2 tbsp. rum or 2 tbsp. milk, lactose-free
1 ½ cup (150 g) ground hazelnuts
2 egg yolks
½ cup (50 g) ground (or chopped) hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
Put baking paper on two baking sheets.
About ten minutes before you start baking, take the puff pastry out of the package. It will thus get a bit softer and easier to handle.
Roll the pastry into a rectangle.
Cut the marzipan paste into small pieces. Add the rum or the milk and beat with a hand mixer or a kitchen machine until smooth. There might still be small lumps of marzipan, but do not worry about those. It is not really a problem.
Add the egg and beat it in well.
Add the ground hazelnuts.
Spread the nut mixture on the lower half of the puff pastry rectangle. Fold the upper half over the lower half. Go over the pastry dough with a rolling pin once.
Cut the pastry dough into strips of a bit more than half an inch. Twist each strip twice and put them onto the baking sheets.
Chill in a cold place for about 20 minutes, if you have the time for it. I usually skip this step.
Whisk the egg yolks. Brush the pastry strips with the whisked yolks. Sprinkle the strips with the ground (or chopped) hazelnuts.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy. The pastry tastes warm as well as cold.
I have also tried baking the Peace Pastry with walnuts, which I usually like better than hazelnuts. I would not recommend it. With walnuts, the pastry does not get as crunchy and crispy as with hazelnuts. I definitely prefer the hazelnut version.
This recipe will make about 20 pieces of pastry. If I have friends over, I usually make the double amount. The pastry is so light and good that people usually have at least three to four pieces. 20 pieces will rather not be enough if there are more than five people.
Adapted from: Kellermann, M. (1994), Das große Sacher Kochbuch. Weyarn: Seehamer Verlag GmbH.
- Mandelhörnchen (Marzipan crescents), American style (mojocentral.wordpress.com)