Winning ways to whip up wellness!

I know we are all beginning to get a little nutty from being quarantined for so long, so why not add one more recipe to your baked goods agenda. Don’t be shy, most of us are on our fifth home made baked good attempt.

Almonds are the edible seeds of Prunus Dulcis, which we know as the almond tree. The almond is often called a nut, but technically it is a drupe fruit produced by the almond tree. Although, in the United States the F.D.A considers them to be a part of the tree nut family. Almonds are native to the Middle East, but are now
predominately located in the United States.

These fruity nuts are beneficial in many ways; high in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

Almonds can be consumed raw or toasted as a snack and added to sweet or savory dishes. They are available as flour, sliced, flaked, butter form, oil form and can be soaked and blended into milk. The almond tree blossom is a great source of nectar and pollen for the honey bees, so when a honey bee and an almond meet magic happens! These trees are considered essential since honey bees are on the decline.

This recipe is a simple one and takes about 45 minutes from start to finish.
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 sticks butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds with skins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray (why not use almond oil)! In a large mixing bowl, stir 1.5 cups of the sugar into the melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour and salt onto the batter. Add the flavoring and stir well. Pour the batter into the skillet. Top with sliced almonds and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until slightly brown on top, about 35 minutes. Cool the shortbread in the skillet. When cool, use the foil to lift the shortbread from the skillet; remove the foil before serving. Top it off with fruit of your choice, I used apricots.