- California Wine Month begins
Almond Ginger Toasts
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon mild molasses
- 1/8 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 Cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/3 Cup mixed nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts
- 1/2 Cup mixed dried fruit, such as apricots, raisins, and cranberries
- 1/2-1 Tablespoon chopped candied ginger
While testing recipes, this recipe became my favorite. It’s less rich than the others, but just as satisfying. I like to use a combination of almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts, but using a single type of nut is just fine. I buy candied ginger in the bulk bin of my grocery store and use it judiciously, as it’s pretty sweet.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center. Line six muffin cups with paper liners and spray the paper liners with flour-added baking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is glossy. Beat in the molasses, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla. With a large scraper or mixing spoon, fold in the flour. Fold in the mixed nuts, fruit, and candied ginger.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups about three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Let cool slightly in the pan, then remove from the muffin cups and pull off the paper liners. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then wrap loosely in foil and chill for about 4 hours or overnight, or until very cold. This makes them much easier to slice.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and have ready an ungreased baking sheet.
Lay the cold “muffins” on their sides, and using a large serrated knife, slice them into thin rounds. You should get at least three rounds and one stubby-looking top per muffin. Arrange the rounds in one big layer on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until dried out. They’ll dry out even more as they cool, so if the centers aren’t completely firm after the full baking time, take them out anyway. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in a tightly covered container.