Halva or fah sang peng?

Whole wheat almond butter fah sang peng
I’m really having trouble naming my latest creation. You see, I intended to make an almond butter bar but ended up with something else…something BETTER. I really couldn’t put my finger on it, didn’t even really know how to describe it but it seriously reminded me of halva.

Halva is a popular dessert paired with tea and coffee in the Middle East. It is a dense mixture of simple syrup, flour and/or tahini, and butter. It’s halva-nly (no?). With this recipe, I included ghee, whole wheat flour, graham cracker crust, icing sugar and almond butter so not so traditional.

So I went on my merry way and took this to work and it was a total hit. I kept on calling it halva until the executive sous chef tried one and told me it reminded me of this Chinese peanut cookie that was typically served around Chinese New Year. Of course, I have never had the luxury of having this cookie due to my lovely allergies but thanks to a quick Google search, found it online: fah sang peng. The ingredients I used were eerily similar and, in my opinion, more fitting, so I think I’ll have to call this experimental baked good whole wheat almond butter fah sang peng. Thanks James!!!

Again, I am caught baking with ghee again. I am just so intrigued by the ingredient! It not only lent a nutty, buttery flavour to this dessert, but also, left me once again wondering if my cookie was underbaked.

When baking with ghee, especially in cookie or bar recipes, I find that top part of whatever you’re baking feels a bit wet and in turn, may make you think that it is not yet finished baking. It will require a longer baking time but won’t burn the edges, which is nice. What you’ll get is a nice crisp, but not dry, exterior with a soft or airy inside. It’s quite nice actually. Might sound more confusing than it actually is but it does work.But honestly, you don’t even have to bake this at all (just substitute the flour with more graham cracker crust – will alter the texture, however). Or, change the recipe completely and substitute butter with ghee and it’ll yield a product that is more solid and chewy (like the almond butter bar I was originally aiming for).

Whole wheat almond butter fah seng peng Whole wheat almond butter fah sang peng Whole wheat almond butter fah sang peng Whole wheat almond butter fah sang peng
Whole wheat almond butter fah sang peng

What you’ll need:
– 1 cup ghee, melted
– 2 cups icing sugar
– 1 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
– 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
– 1 1/2 cups almond butter, creamy

What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack set in the centre.
2. In a large mixing bowl/stand mixer, combine all of your dry ingredients (icing sugar, flour, graham cracker crumbs) and mix with the whisk attachment.
3. Slowly dribble in your melted ghee and once incorporated, add the almond butter. Mix until it is thoroughly combined. The batter should be slightly crumbly and a touch sticky.
4. Line a 9×9″ square baking pan with parchment paper and pour the batter into it. Press the mixture down until it is compact. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until desired doneness. Cool and refrigerate. Cut into 40 small bite-sized squares.
5. Serve with tea and coffee. Makes 40 small squares.

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