Cardamom Hazelnut Butter
A while back I attempted making my own almond butter. The final result was amazing; much tastier than the store bought version, with just a hint of marzipan (which is of course, made of almonds). I could spread that stuff on anything. However, getting to the final product was, well… an endeavor.
The food processor – which is not up to par with the heavy duty Cuisinart that I left on the other side of the Atlantic when I moved – had a rough time of it all, and to prevent overheating it (since I was afraid it was about to spontaneously combust and erupt into flames throughout the entire process and potentially burn down the kitchen) I had to grind the almonds in increments. A few minutes of grinding, many more minutes for a break while the food processor cooled down. And so on. For essentially an entire evening. While I am all for cutting down on the amount of storebought items and making more of these kind of things at home, this was just a little extreme. I accepted that until I am graced with a heavier duty food processor, homemade almond butter is not meant to be. You only have so much time in the day.
This all being said, I really like making nut butters myself, and the one that I have found isn’t such a workout for the food processor is hazelnut butter. Homemade Nutella is a regular staple in my pantry – I even like to add coffee to mine – and even when there isn’t any, making it goes quick enough that you can do it in a short amount of time. The same cannot be said for that almond butter.
And I am going to let you in on a little secret: if you skip the cocoa powder, just simple hazelnut butter is pretty amazing as well. With a little honey and a little cardamom, the result is like a jar of cookie dough. Except that there is absolutely no part of you that feels bad if you happen to do like I did and eat half the jar. It’s just hazelnuts (well, mostly)! These are the kind of justifications that I live for.
I prefer to make this with honey, but you can of course switch out for cane sugar, or any other vegan-friendly sweetener out there .
Cardamom Hazelnut Butter
1 cup (5 ounces, 140 grams) toasted hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (or sweetener of your choice)
3 to 4 tablespoons walnut oil (you can also use any a lighter, more neutral, tasting one, like safflower)
Optional: 1 tablespoon dried citrus peel, crushed
You can buy toasted hazelnuts, but I always buy raw ones and toast them myself. I toast them at about 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes or so, until they are a dark brown and the skin is cracking. Shake the pan you are toasting them in a few times while toasting, to get them evenly toasted.
Remove the hazelnuts from the oven, let cool for a few minutes.
In a food processor combine all the ingredients and puree until smooth. Note that it might take a little bit longer than you think for it to final puree down into a spreadable consistency.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Spread on everything in sight. Literally, everything. Or eat it by the spoonful.
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