About five or six years back, I was in a Middle East specialty grocery store and found a jar of hazelnut butter. Not just the normal Nutella themed chocolate and hazelnut, but straight up hazelnut butter and it was delicious! Since that time I have yet to locate it in another grocery store and I’m too lazy and/or cheap to buy it online when it’s so easy to make!
Basically, so stupidly easy I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner, but to be fair, I was on a regular old peanut butter kick and then cashew butter – both also delicious.
Creamy Hazelnut Butter
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 pound raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 T sugar, honey, or agave
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat over to 350F.
- Arrange hazelnuts on a foil lined baking tray and roast in the over for 7-10 minutes or until a light golden brown.
- Let cool just slightly and transfer to a clean towel. To remove the skins of the hazelnuts (they’re kind of bitter), scoop the hot hazelnuts into a pile in the center of the towel (take care due to the high heat of the nuts). Bring the four corners of the tea towel together and gather it up in one hand, so that all of your hazelnuts are scooped up in the bottom of the tea towel. Using your other hand, squish the bottom and the sides of the tea towel so that all the hazelnuts are rubbing up against each other. Do this for a couple minutes until most of the skins are removed.
- Separate out the skins from the nuts. I use a slotted serving spoon – it’s big enough to get more than a few nuts at a time and the holes are small enough that the nuts won’t fall through but the skins will.
- Place warm nuts* in a food processor and grind until smooth. Add in vanilla, salt, and sweetener (if desired) and continue to blend until a smooth butter is formed – yes, it should be kind of runny. If it hasn’t yet reached that consistency, just be patient, it will get there.
*Warm nuts tend to work a little better and faster by making the oil more available during the processing.
You can keep it stored in an air tight container. I like mason jars because you can easily see through them and they store about 2 cups perfectly.
My hazelnut butter is a little on the darker side because I toasted the nuts just a bit extra. If you like you’re lighter, just watch very closely and removed when they’ve gathered just a hint of golden. You can also make the butter raw, but won’t be able to remove the skins. Just a bit of trade offs. I also added a touch of sweetness to mine because I was trying to get as close as possible to the flavor I found in that Middle East grocery (which was akin to the chocolate hazelnut without the chocolate, but still some sweetness).
Stick around for a to-die-for dessert coming to the blog in the next couple of weeks that features this fantastic spread – hazelnutty goodness.
What are your favorite nuts butters? Do you stick with the classic peanut butter or almond or branch out into walnut, pecan, cashew, and hazelnut?
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