Posts Tagged ‘Almond’

Amazing Adjectives, Number Nine!

December 5, 2016

I remember first encountering this word while reading a book (unfortunately, I don’t remember which book).  And while I should have been able to figure out the meaning just from context, I looked it up nonetheless.  “About all he remembered of the lovely woman were her dark amygdaline eyes . . . ”


uhmig-duh-lin, -lahyn \, adjective;

 1.  of, relating to, or resembling an almond.

This word is from the Latin amygdalinus  and the Greek amygdálinos, menaing “of almonds.”

Some related adjectives include: amygdaloid, amygdalate, amygdaliform, and amygdalaceous.

Source: and The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Cheesecake of the Month — April 2016!

April 15, 2016

This month I will highlight a cheesecake for all of the chocolate lovers out there.  This one has two separate chocolates and is sure to be a hit.

Double Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of butter, melted

2 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup (8 ounces) of sour cream
1/4 teaspoon of baking cocoa
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

1.  In a small bowl, combine the crust ingredients (reserve 2 Tablespoons for the garnish).  Press the remaining crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan.  Chill.

2.  For the filling, in a large bowl beat the cream cheese and the sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream, chocolate, and extract.  Add the eggs and beat on low speed just until combined.  Pour into the crust.

3.  Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (the filling will NOT be set yet).  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients and gently spread over the filling.  Sprinkle with the reserved crumbs and bake for 10 minutes longer.

5.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Cool on the wire rack for an additional hour before refrigerating overnight.

Tantalizing Tart!

February 6, 2015

Here is a simple and quick recipe for a deliciously sounding tart that I’m sure will become a mainstay of my holiday baking for years to come (hmm, there is some kind of “holiday” every month: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas . . . and then there are always birthdays and anniversaries . . . you get the idea).

Almond Toffee Tart

2 cups of flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 cup of cold butter (1-1/2 sticks, cut in chunks)
2 eggs

1-1/2 cups of heavy cream (whipping)
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of sliced almonds or coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  For the pastry, in a large bowl combine the flour and sugar.  Work the butter into the mix using your hands until the mixture resembles  fine crumbs.  Add the eggs and stir with a large fork until the dough holds together.  If you have a food processor, you can pulse together the flour, sugar and butter and then add the eggs and pulse again, but be careful not to over-mix into a wet ball.  Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a greased and floured 11-12″ tart pan with a removable bottom.  Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it is pale gold.  Remove the tart shell from the oven and set aside.  Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

For the filling, in a 2-3 quart saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, lemon peel, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, about 5-8 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook , stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, vanilla extract, and almond extract.  Spread the mixture into the pastry shell.  Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned, about 35 minutes for a 12″ tart and 40 minutes for an 11″ tart.  Cool in the pan  on a wire rack just until warm to the touch.   Remove the sides of the pan, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Source: recipe courtesy of Lisa Wells as published in Penzey’s Spices catalog (

Cheesecake of the Month – September 2014!

September 15, 2014

Here is a recipe that I found for a crustless cheesecake that sounds simple, delicious, AND is gluten-free.  I can’t wait to try this one!

Almond Cheesecake with Champagne-Honey Sauce

2 bricks (8-ounce) of cream cheese, plus 2 extra ounces
1 cup of sugar
3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) of crème fraîche
3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) of heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup of honey, plus 2 extra Tablespoons
1 cup of Champagne
1 sprig of fresh mint, slice the leaves into thin strips
Fresh strawberries or raspberries for the garnish

1.  Preheat your oven to 210 degrees.  Line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap.

2.  Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.  Scrape the bowl and add the sugar; mix again until smooth.  Scrape the bowl again and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and creamy.

3.  On low speed, add the crème fraîche and heavy cream.  Scrape the bowl and mix for 30 seconds.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix just long enough to incorporate the ingredients.

4.  Pour the batter into the cake pan.  Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top.  Place the cake pan on a baking tray, place the tray in the oven, and fill with as much boiling water as possible.

5.  Bake for 90-100 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is firm  Remove from the oven and cool.  Refrigerate for several hours before attempting to de-pan the cheesecake.

To de-pan, carefully invert the cake pan and remove the pan.  Remove the plastic wrap and gently invert the cheesecake again onto your serving plate.  Top with the Champagne-Honey Sauce and garnish with the fresh berries of your choice.

Champagne-Honey Sauce

Heat 1/3 cup of honey in a small saucepan over medium heat.  When the honey begins to bubble, add the champagne and reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup.  Cool slightly and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of cold honey and the mint (if desired).  Pour into a jar and refrigerate until you are ready to serve (up to one week).

Source: Cooking from the Heart, Chef Christopher Gross.

Meat, Nuts, and Fruit!

March 25, 2014

Here is a fabulously quick and easy appetizer that is sure to please . . .  the meat: bacon (of course), the nuts: almonds, the fruit: apricot . . . the end result: delicious!

Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Apricots

24 dried apricot halves
24 whole almonds, lightly roasted
8 bacon slices, cut into thirds
¾ cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Fold each apricot half around 1 whole almond. Wrap 1 bacon piece around each stuffed apricot. Secure with wooden picks. Place on a wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined-jelly-roll pan.

2. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is crisp, turning once.

3. Microwave preserves, soy sauce, and pepper in a small microwave-safe bowl at medium 1 minute or until preserves are melted.

4. Serve dipping sauce with stuffed apricots

Cheesecake of the Month — March 2012!

March 16, 2012

In all my years of baking cheesecakes, I find it hard to believe that I had not attempted an Amaretto cheesecake prior to last week.  Apparently, I have access so many wonderful cheesecakes recipes that without a specific request, it had never before crossed my radar screen.  Well, it was finally requested . . . and the result?  Fabulous, of course!  And, while I had three or four separate recipes within my personal collection of cookbooks and such, I still did a quick search on the internet and found the following recipe (courtesy of   I tweaked this recipe a bit by garnishing it with whipped cream and topping it with sliced almonds.  Positively delicious!

The below recipe also sounded really good (mostly because of the ground almond crust), so I will have to try this one as well some time in the future.