This Recipe Collection focuses on “Party-Häppchen,” formal canapés that make great appetizers or nutritious finger food for dinner. You’ll find many authentic German ingredients ideal for shaping into dainty bite-sized finger food. Thinly sliced cold meats are easy to fold or roll; cheeses can be cut into neat squares or rounds; “Vollkorn” (whole grain) rye and Pumpernickel breads can be stamped into shapes using small pastry cutters; Quark (or a mix of greek yogurt and créme fraiche) is ideal for flavoring and piping into swirls, while cornichons, red beets, and relishes are idea as toppings and garnishes. It’s all so easy!
Remember to keep the canapés (called “Häppchen” in German) bite-sized so that each canapé can be popped into the mouth quickly. Garnishes should be subtle.
Here are some serving suggestions:
Smoked Herring Canape: Pumpernickel rounds with creamed horseradish, slice of pickled red beet, canned smoked herring mixed with German mayonnaise and cilantro, topped by a candied walnut.
Matjes-Shrimp Canapé: Pumpernickel rounds with Matjes herring flakes, thinly sliced onion, cooked shrimp, mayonnaise and dill garnish
Smoked Salmon Canapé: Toasted light rye bread with lettuce shreds, smoked salmon with horseradish cream and caviar
Bavarian Emmentaler and Rye Häppchen: Whole grain bread with sliced Emmentaler cheese and halved or chopped black grapes
Spring Cheese & Herb Canapés: Pumpernickel rounds with Bavarian Emmentaler cheese, cucumber, Quark, topped with fresh herbs and thin red onion slices
Bavaria Blue Pretzels: Cocktail pretzels or sliced pretzel buns with thinly sliced Bavarian blue cheese
Black Forest & Asparagus Toast: rounds of toasted rye-wheat bread with folded and rolled slices of Black Forest ham, topped with green asparagus tips
Quark-filled Tomato Halves: Cherry tomato shells filled with piped Quark and topped with finely chopped chives and tiny herb sprigs
Prepare these ahead but don’t heat until your guests are about to arrive. Otherwise, they will dry out if kept warm for too long
Apple Bavarian Camembert Slices: Thin fresh apple slices (brushed with lemon juice), deep-fried Camembert wedges, topped with cranberry relish
Potato Pancakes with Salmon: Baby potato pancakes (or Rosti) with hot pan-fried salmon filet
Black Forest Triangles: Toasted whole grain bread triangles baked with shredded Black Forest Schinken, pitted red grapes and grated Emmentaler cheese
Canapé ideas courtesy of Roz Denny, Modern German Cooking.