These almond things are so unbelievably addictive! I fought so hard to refrain myself from nibbling on them the moment they are out of the oven. I went all "Hmm, this looks a little too brown for the jar of cookies. Mine it is! And that too, I think... nom nom nom" lol. At the end of it, each hue of brown just seems like they fit my appetite much better than they fit the final jar. Seriously! It is that bad! Totally unusual! Other times of any usual day, I would have spent so much time working on it and seeing it I hardly would have any appetite left for those baking stuff, at least not until the next morning. This is such an exceptional case!
I have never been a real big fan of this. I like having them when I actually have them, not particularly missing them when they have gone missing lol. But this time around, I think I am pretty sure that I'll be adding this to my list of favorite cookies. And the fact that it's one totally doable at home - that is a huge plus! A little patience and a little time if all that you need to get these crisps done. The credit goes to Lee Ping from Stream in the Hip Desert 新荒漠甘泉. Simple ingredients with just the almond flakes, egg whites, oil, sugar and flour, you'll be amazed with how well they blend with one another to give you a batch of relatively healthy, crispy and totally addictive almond thins. A snack simply made perfect for the festive season!
My two cents' worth:
- Fresh! Fresh! Fresh! Get real good quality of almond flakes with freshness at their best! That being the key ingredient to these almond thins, a good batch will have won you half the battle.
- Get it buttery! If you wanted them a little buttery (ooooh butter is yummy lol), have the oil substituted with melted butter instead. I may just do this the next time I'm at this again.
- Spread it thin! I had to make this twice before I managed to get hold of the flow in its making and got myself to the right thickness (or thinness lol). The first time I had the batter spread out on one single 10"x5" baking sheet. It seems to fit just so perfectly. But nope. As little as the batter seems, it needed a lot more space than that. This second time, I divided the batter into two batches. That gave me plenty of space to spread them really thin, paper-thin! Voila! Perfect almond thins, brittle, crispy, you name it! Double time needed yes, but the pleasure at the end of it had also more than doubled! lol.
- Single layer of flakes. As much as a mouthful of almond flakes in each bites seems like a big WOW, limit the flakes. Almond flakes spread out evenly in a single layer gives you a real thin layer, a little more elegance in its final appearance and of utmost importance, a more even color and time needed to bake them in general.
- Protect the sides! The sides and corners of the batter will be first few areas to turn brown. Don't let them go to waste (they are so precious! lol). Cover it up loosely with strips of aluminium foil before you put them into the oven.
Let's yummmmmm away....
Almond Thins 杏仁片脆饼
Adapted from Stream in the Hip Desert 新荒漠甘泉
1½ cups almond flakes
3 egg whites
2 tbsps canola oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1. Bring the egg whites, oil, sugar and flour into a mixing bowl. Mix them up using a whisk. The batter will appear a little lumpy in the beginning. Keep the mixing going, it will smooth out in the end.
2. Add in the almond flakes. Gently stir to mix them well with the batter.
3. Line a baking sheet with a piece of heavy duty aluminium foil (its durability makes it easier to remove the almond thins post-baking). Grease it lightly (I used the PAM spray). Bring in half the batter.
4. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter out as thinly as possible. Try to have an even distribution of the almond flakes in the process.
5. Fold in the sides of the aluminium foil (if the foil's large enough to begin with). Or cover the sides with extra strips of aluminium foil. I tend to get a little too protective over the sides and thus the HUGE strips (5a) covering them lol. Just be sure to not let the aluminium foils come into contact with the batter or they will end up sticking to it making their removal difficult later.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 16 minutes. At the end of it, the sides will appear to be a lot browner than the center (despite all the cover-up work!). Well the good news is that they are good to go!
7. Carefully peel the large almond thin off the baking aluminium foil and transfer it onto a cooling rack (or another baking sheet). Let it cool for about a minute.
8. It should have hardened considerably by now. Break the sides off. They should be all so crispy and brittle it feels almost effortless. With the sides, let them cool completely before storing them away. The remaining center piece? Place it back onto the baking sheet with the aluminium foil and bring it back into the oven uncovered this time. Close the oven, turn off the heat and let the remaining heat in the oven do its wonders.
9. Check on the center piece 5 minutes later. Remove from the oven if they looked done, leave it for another 5 minutes otherwise. I work with a real old oven. Took me another 15 minutes before they get to the right hue.
10. When done, let them cool slightly before breaking them down into smaller pieces. Now you can move on and reheat the oven to 350°F to work on the second batch in similar manners!
ONE LAST NOTE: If you prefer a perfectly shaped almond thins, cut them into smaller pieces using the scissors. You may have to do it fast and as soon as they are out of the oven in one soft piece still before the air hardens them up. It's just a personal preference that I like mine free style lol.