Ginger Almond Bars

BAKE Ginger and Almond Bars small.jpg

This is a gluten-free version of my classic Chestnut Honey Squares that I have been making for years, always to rave reviews from my students and friends.

Here, fresh ginger and candied ginger team up to make an uplifting, zesty treat that can be prepared in any season. This quick yet impressive dessert lends itself to endless reincarnations, using various dried fruits and citrus zests, even a cocoa version for chocolate lovers!

Makes 16 bars



A 9 1/2  x 9 1/2-inch ( 24 cm) square baking pan; baking parchment; a 2-quart (2 l) saucepan; a baking rack.



3 tablespoons (45 g) unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups (165 g) almond meal (also called almond flour or almond powder)
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons mild honey, such as clover  
1 large egg, free range and organic, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (80 g) sliced almonds
1/3 cup (45 g) minced candied ginger
1/3 cup (80 ml) mild honey, such as clover
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Fresh Thyme Sorbet (page 92 of My Master Recipes) or Rosemary Sorbet (page 491 of My Master Recipes), for serving (optional)



1.  Center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the pan with baking parchment, letting the parchment hang over the sides. (This will make it easier to remove the dessert once baked.)

2.  Prepare the base: In the saucepan, melt the butter. Add the almond meal, fresh ginger, honey, egg, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined. The mixture should be thick and sticky.

3.  Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. To help make a level and even pastry, place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the pastry. Using a flat-bottomed glass (or your fingers), smooth out the base by pressing gently to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Remove and discard the plastic wrap. Bake until the pastry is slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In the same saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the almonds, candied ginger, honey, salt, and vanilla. Stir just until the ingredients are incorporated.

5.  Once the base is baked, spread the topping evenly over the base and bake until the topping is a dark and sizzling, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not underbake. 

6.  Transfer the pan to a rack to cool in the pan. When the dessert is completely cool, remove it from the pan using the overhanging parchment as handles and cut it into 16 even squares. Serve with fresh thyme or rosemary sorbet.

Make ahead note

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

This recipe was first published in My Master Recipes. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.