Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while. Both my computers crashed simultaneously, and I embarked on a three week tour of Minneapolis, New York and Chicago, sans working computers. I took this chance to work on some unfinished schoolwork and decompress from last quarter, and I’m happy to say I’m back and ready for a fabulous 2012!
This year for Christmas, as a graduate student, I was a little strapped for cash. As such, I was searching for creative gifts that everyone I was planning on gifts would love. Due to my great love of food, I settled on one I know I do well: nut butter.
The problem was determining what kind of nut butter. I love my Almond Joy Nut Butter, but know a lot of people aren’t coconut fans. I finally settled on the main ingredient of maple, but knew something else needed to be added. I tried a few different combinations, and finally settled on maple, vanilla and cinnamon. And thus I created:
Roasted Maple Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter
- 3 cups almonds
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- pinch of coarse salt
Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet (with edges) with parchment paper or use a baking mat. Put the almonds on the baking sheet and pour maple syrup over. Mix up until the almonds are coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the sugars start to crystalize. Stir every 5-7 minutes to prevent burning.
Let almonds cool. Pour vanilla, cinnamon, salt and grapeseed oil into the food processor (you need a 6 cup + food processor, a mini one will not work).
Once the almond have cooled for about 30 minutes, add into the almonds.
Food process for about 10-15 minutes. After about five minutes, you’ll have a powder-like consistency.
Once the nut butter is ready, it should be very creamy, and spread/pour fairly easily. Once its reached the desired consistency, sterilize your ball jars and lids (you don’t need new lids as you will not be canning them.
Let cool completely in the jars, then cover with lids and store in the cupboard or fridge. In the cupboard the nut butter will last 3-4 weeks (with certainty of not going bad), in the fridge it will last up to 3 months (though mine definitely did not…).
Do you make gifts for your friends and family? If so, what have you made & for what occasion? Or do you tend to buy?