[Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers' host and she challenged us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!]
I missed last month's DB challenge, so I'm making up for it this month by being extra organized. I actually made this two weeks ago (before my agonizing teeth surgery) so I could have a chance at tasting it myself.
The challenge this month was crisp crackers and flatbreads, with the chance to get creative and use any recipe we'd like, as long as the result was something hard and crispy. I'd originally set my sights on making Raincoast Crisps, but the ingredients list was long and besides, I've had this recipe bookmarked for a really, really long time.
The only slightly difficult thing about this recipe was the slicing of the actual cookie - but truthfully, it wasn't as hard as I expected. Leaving it in the freezer actually softens it a little. Granted, I didn't slice as thinly as I would have liked them to be (I'd like to keep all my fingers and my knife skills aren't that good), but they still crisped up beautifully. The thinner you slice, the crisper they will turn out to be.
What drew me to this recipe was the fact that it used rice flour. I've used rice flour in cookies before and the result was a very soft and crumbly cookie, so I was curious to see its effect here. I don't think its made a difference on the texture - no worries, still crisp and crunchy, I haven't violated the rules! - but I think it made the slices stick together a little better, made the mixture a bit more cohesive.
Despite the fact I've wanted to make this for ages, I did make some changes. The original recipe called for a mixture of nuts - pistachios, walnuts and almonds, along with the addition of candied ginger. While I think all of those together in a slice would taste pretty amazing, I was in the mood for something simpler, and I also wanted to make something similar to this, so I stuck with almonds and pistachios.
I love these slices. Thanks Sarah for a great challenge!
Nutty Biscuit Slices
Adapted from Joy of Making Cookies by Alex Goh
Makes about 2 dozen slices
Note: The original recipe made double this amount; I only had one loaf tin so I halved it. Half of this recipe already makes quite a decent amount of slices. However, if you'd like to make more, just double the recipe below.
2 egg whites
65g caster sugar
Small pinch of salt
60g plain flour
15g rice flour
100g whole almonds (you can also sub 50g of almonds with walnuts)
50g pistachios (you can also sub 25g of this with candied ginger)
Preheat the oven to 175C/347F. Line a 7inch x 3inch loaf tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with sugar and salt until stiff. Sift the flours into the egg whites mixture and combine well. Fold in the nuts.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden.
Let the loaf cool on a rack, then wrap it up and place it in the freezer for 6 hours or more.
When it's ready, preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Take the loaf out of the freezer and slice into pieces about 2mm thick. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until hard and crispy. Let cool and enjoy. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.