Warning: This ain’t your kids’ Peanut Butter.
Last night, Bruce toasted some sliced almonds to sprinkle on our dinner of Chicken Coconut Panang Curry. As I nibbled the extra toasty almonds, I savored their deep, intense, smoky, nutty flavor. I looked at him, as he did the dishes (yes, I am THAT lucky) and said “You know, I bet these would make a really interesting Nut Butter.” He said. “Yeah! DO IT!”
So…I did! 🙂
This recipe sounds like a lot to do, but it’s not. It’s pretty easy. Total prep, cook & clean up time is maybe 30 minutes, start to finish. We eat a lot of peanut butter in our house. We both agreed it is not for every day of the year, like good ole peanut butter. But is a really nice, sophisticated, grown-up change of pace! Ready? Let’s get Cooking!
* Toasted Almond Butter *
Slivered or sliced Almonds – however much you want to make (I used about 12 oz)
Pinch of Sea Salt
*TOOLS: Flat bottomed Saute pan, Small Food Processor, Spatula
It’s more a METHOD than a Recipe, so I will just describe what I did.
Step 1 – Toast the Almonds: Spread slivered almonds in an even layer in the pan, over medium heat. Let sit without stirring for 30 seconds. You will actually stat to hear the oils come out & cook. Next, the aroma will come up. Start to stir the nuts around in the pan with the spatula. You will see the smaller ones turning golden brown. It does not take more than 2 or 3 minutes, so pay attention! They are odd sizes, so the key is, obviously, to get them more-or-less evenly lightly brown, without the small ones burning. When most are light brown, and it smells toasty, they are done (you will know!) Remove pan from heat, and transfer nuts to a dish to cool. The oils in the nuts get so hot they actually continue to cook, and you can hear them sizzling for several minutes. DO NOT OVER TOAST THEM! Or your nut butter will taste burnt. (I learned that the hard way 😀 )
*NOTE: You can skip Step 1 to make regular Almond Butter, or use Peanuts in Step 2 to make regular Peanut Butter. If using salted nuts, omit the salt in Step 2.
Step 2 – Make the Butter: Once cooled, transfer nuts to the food processor. Pulse 4 times. Add the pinch of sea salt. Then process continuously for 1-2 minutes. The mixture will first be crumbly, then will form a big ball, then will begin to become smooth and will get warm. Check the consistency. It will be slightly grainy, but very smooth and easy to spread when done. Let cool in processor for a minute or so, then turn out mixture into a container for storage. Leave lid off until completely cooled, at least 30 minutes.
And that’s it! You have a beautiful, Rich, Intense, Very Adult TOASTED ALMOND BUTTER!
The first thing I wanted to do was spread it with our sweet and elegant Pear, Ginger & Vanilla Bean Jam on sprouted grain bread.
So…I did! 😀
They go FANTASTIC together. No lie!!
Remember ~ Don’t be afraid to come up with your own recipe ideas, and give them a go. Like I did here. If something sounds good, try it! Some come out better than others, but hey, that’s how we learn!
Cheers, and Happy Eating!