February 2013
The Herb Lady

Almonds and Amaretto, The Beverage of Lovers

Since it’s February, "THE MONTH OF LOVERS," I think this is a good time to share this recipe containing amaretto, "THE BEVERAGE OF LOVERS."

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur which is flavored with almonds. Almonds are a very health-beneficial and tasty nut. Almond trees are native to the Middle East and South Asia. The almonds we enjoy eating are their seed pods.

Almonds are now grown in a number of other areas in the world. Spain produces a large part of the world’s supply. However, California can claim the largest world production. (I keep hearing California will someday drop off the earth and be swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean. Won’t that be a great loss for the world though?)

Almonds are low in saturated fat. They contain no cholesterol. They are very low in sodium. They are very low in sugar. They are high in manganese and also high in magnesium. In fact, it is impossible for me to list here all the wonderful benefits of almonds. By eating a handful daily, you will possibly lower your level of LDL cholesterol (known as "BAD" cholesterol). In fact, almonds are known as one of the world’s healthiest foods.

You can easily find whole, sliced or slivered almonds. Other almond products are available such as milk, oils, syrup and flour.

If this Valentine’s Day you are not in the roses or chocolates mode, you might bake your sweetheart an Amaretto Cake and toast each other with amaretto. I wish my sweetheart of over 57 years was here for another Valentine’s Day.

Amaretto Cake

1 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese
2-2/3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1½ teaspoons almond extract
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
¼ cup amaretto

Mix cake batter in the usual manner. Place in prepared 12-inch Bundt pan. Bake at 350° for one hour.

Meanwhile prepare the glaze:
¾ cup amaretto
1/3 cup sugar

Place in sauce pan. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

After removing cake from oven, prick it well with a toothpick and pour the glaze over it. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before inverting cake to a plate.

Nadine Johnson can be reached at PO Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..