Simple and delicious. What I appreciate most about attending cooking classes or exploring a new cookbook is the opportunity to explore recipes I may not have chosen on my own, but upon tasting, I discover a new favorite and expand my personal recipe book.
Such was the case for many recipes being introduced when I had the opportunity to attend Patricia Wells’ cooking class – Cooking with Patricia Wells in Provence – in 2018.
One of the desserts we made is what you see on the left in the picture below – Ginger and Almond Bars. Simple, gluten-free and scrumptious. From the crunch of the almonds to the buttery crust to the short prep and baking time, these were added to my personal recipe book tout de suite!
Fast forward to returning to Bend and last summer I made them for a dinner party upon which they received a great positive response. I tend to cut them up in fairly small bites (two bites approximately), so that you want more, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the deliciousness.
The balance of crunch due to the texture of the toasted almonds and the buttery ginger-infused crust is a beautiful marriage of tactile experiences along with a wonderful combination of flavors that offer subtle sweetness and satiation.
I recently made the recipe again for an upcoming Book/Reading Club meeting at my home (Lydia Denworth’s new book is highly fascinating as it is about the neurological and immune benefits of friendship – I discussed it in episode #274) and am looking forward to serving them tonight. While I hope everyone enjoys them, I am also secretly crossing my fingers that a few remain so I can indulge. 🙂
Below is the recipe. I do hope you enjoy!
Ginger and Almond Bars
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter high quality
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 3 Tbsp mild honey
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter top quality
- 1 cup sliced almonds untoasted (raw)
- 1/3 cup candied ginger sliced finely
- 1/3 cup mild honey
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).Find a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper be long on two sides to create handles that will enable you to lift out the bars when they are done being baked.
- In a saucepan over low to medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, remove from the stove or turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and stir until well combined. You will find a mixture that is thick and sticky. That is perfect!
- Put the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan. Using your fingers spread out evenly from corner to corner so that the entire floor of the pan is covered. You may use plastic wrap to place on the base and then place a glass bottom dish to flatten the base gently. But don't be afraid to get your fingers dirty.
- If you used plastic wrap to flatten (and the glass pan), remove and bake the crust that is now evenly distributed. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the base is slightly firm.
- While the crust is baking, make the topping. Using the same saucepan, place the butter over a low-medium heat to melt. Add the ingredients - almonds, candied ginger, honey, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir only enough to combine the ingredients.
- Once the crust is done baking, spread the topping evenly over the crust and bake until the topping is dark brown and sizzling, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not be tempted to underbake as you want the almonds to be crunchy and crispy.
- Once done baking, let cool completely then remove from the pan by lifting the parchment handles you have made that run underneath the crust. Then cut into small squares for a simple and delicious two bite dessert.
- You may store in an airtight container for up to a week.