There is nothing easier than making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Except maybe making the peanut butter yourself.
Okay, I’m exaggerating by about thirty seconds, but seriously, it’s super simple and inexpensive. Nut for nut, less than what you pay for at the market. Plus, it impresses the hell out of folks when you come to their house for dinner and hand them a jar with a hand scribbled label of nut butter.
“The Bee’s Knees?” they read and look at you quizzically.
“Oh that,” you wave off. “That’s just a little something I whipped up at home. A few bits from the pecan trees in the orchard—they’re tricky to grow, don’t get me wrong–but if you have the right touch, it’s nothing, and then a little honey from those government protected hives I’ve been cultivating for the last few years. Once you get used to the stings, you hardly notice the swelling and pain any longer. Just part of harsh country life. Enjoy.”
Yeah, say something like that and see what happens. Report back.
Anyway, making nut butter is as easy as tying your shoes–even if you’re a Velcro user.
Pick your nuts.
Roast or keep raw.
Add your secret spices.
Today, I’m revealing only to you the secret of three pie-hole popping butters. And one nut cream.
We’re making Roasted Hazelnut Brown Butter Butter (not a typo), Roasted Pecan and Sweet Swirl Molasses Butter, and Roasted Cashew Maple Butter. Lastly, we’re whipping up a Sweet Cashew Cream.
Roasted Hazelnut Brown Butter Butter:
3 cups toasted hazelnuts (spread on half sheet/cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes at 325 degrees, or until brown and fragrant. For hazelnuts, immediately chuck on a clean kitchen towel, wrap up the ends and rub like crazy to remove skins. Burn a few calories. Go at it.)
2 – 3 Tblsp of melted brown butter (pop your butter in a small saucepan and place on low heat until frothing and bubbly. Remove from heat after the milk solids have browned and the butter smells nutty. Watch your butter carefully or you will shortly have black butter.)
Salt 1tsp or to taste
Roasted Pecan & Sweet Swirl Molasses Butter
3 cups toasted pecans
1/3 – 1/2 cup Blackstrap molasses
1 – 2 Tblsp honey
Salt 1tsp or to taste
Roasted Cashew Maple Butter
3 cups toasted cashews
1/2 cup maple syrup (grade B)
Salt to taste
Simply grind the nuts in your food processor and add your additional ingredients once the nuts begin to crumble and turn into paste. Adjust your salt by taste. Place into glass jars or Tupperware and label to avoid confusion.
Eat with abandonment or only a spoon. Your choice.
Sweet Cashew Cream
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
½ cup honey
Pinch of salt
Rinse cashews with cold water, place in a bowl and cover with water. Refrigerate overnight.
Strain and rinse cashews. Place in food processor and just about cover them with cold water. Puree.
Add honey and salt and puree until super smooth.
This is great for drizzling over fruit, roasted chicken, swirling into soups. Live it up.