Saturday, October 31, 2015

Peanut and Hazelnut Butter

I have been meaning to make homemade nut butter for a while now, thinking about it... but it didn't happen until just recently. I don't know why it took so long. It's relatively simple and you can have some fun with it.

This one has a bit of cinnamon and a hint of sweetness from honey. It's nice with apples, on toast, and it might be great swirled into a bowl of hot oats. Or maybe in the center of a homemade peanut butter cup? Though not really peanut butter...

Since I've made it, I've been imagining other versions I might try. Cashews processed with some coconut oil and spiked with cardamom. Pecans with apple pie inspired spices. And why not a version of Nutella- hazelnuts and cocoa powder? Of course, it might not be a bad idea to go basic and try out some plain peanut butter. I suppose I just went and jumped ahead there.

The point is that there are so many combinations that could be tried... maybe try mixing dried fruit and seeds into nut butter, bits of chocolate, coconut, different spices... start with a base and go from there!

Peanut and Hazelnut Butter
makes about 2 cups (around 500 ml amount)

1 c (130 g) hazelnuts
1 1/2 c (225 g) peanuts, without skins, dry roasted and unsalted
3 T (45 ml) honey
1/4 c (60 ml) peanut, sunflower, or another neutral oil
1 t (3 g) ground cinnamon
1/4 t (large pinch) fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan a few times during the bake to toast evenly. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool slightly. If the hazelnuts have skins, place the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub them to remove the skins. Let the hazelnuts cool completely.
Place the cooled hazelnuts and peanuts in the bowl of a food processor. Process/pulse until the nuts resemble coarse sand. Add the rest of the ingredients. Continue to process until the mixture resembles nut butter (this will take a while- maybe up to 15 minutes total). Give the food processor a 5 minute break once or twice during this process as this is a lot of work for the machine- you do not want to burn out your food processor.
If you like it a bit smoother, sweeter, or saltier, add extra oil, honey, or salt and process to incorporate.
Remove the nut butter to a covered container and enjoy within a couple weeks.

*Yes, it is drier than standard versions of peanut butter, but I prefer to use less oil. 

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