Hazelnut Butter

 photo 2016-03-11-871_e_zpsu3sanxpv.jpgThey do darken a bit, but don’t worry too much. Taste test as you go.

I’ve actually made nut butters before, but the nuts I can eat are usually prohibitively  expensive, it’s easier to just buy the nut butter directly.  The one thing is I can’t get is a smooth hazelnut butter and these were cheap, so here I am. Let me tell you: This is really great. Hazelnuts are a firm favourite of mine, though I rarely get to eat them, I had nutella sure, but no chocolate put that out a while back. You could also make that, this is just a basic butter. I used the guide from Easy Homemade Hazelnut Butter which does feature variations, so check that out if interested. I used this right way in cookies and I nearly lost the plot when it went awry. You see this is runnier than your usual nut butter, more akin to a smooth nut butter, so when I used it in my Peanut Butter Cookies it didn’t go as smoothly as usual. See, puns! *Groans*

 photo 2016-03-11-872_e_zpsnh5nsdaz.jpgI left off the skins as advised. They do feel really gritty.

So what happened is the next part right? It turned to glue, that’s what happened! Usually you can handle it fine, but this needed wet hands and a wet spoon to scoop up and mould. Then they baked, ugly but perfectly. they did take longer, an extra five minutes. Keep that in mind if you do try it. They actually resemble the cookie made with smooth peanut butter a bit in that they have a crispy shell, but the inside was more of the crumb that, what I now assume, skin brings. The taste, oh my, it was amazing. My Mother even ate a few and she usually hates nuts. They didn’t last long.

 photo 2016-03-11-873_e_zpsepvlvu7n.jpgI’ve seen smoke pour out of this and it still runs after years of abuse.

Not much to say here, they blend really fast. Usually you end up with a thick mush that needs constant scrapping, a pleasant surprise. This can be made slightly chunky if you’d like, just don’t blend it as smooth, test as you go. Nut butters are pretty easy to make, they take time, but you can do a lot with them and you can adapt it to suit yourself. Worth a try if you’re feeling adventurous. I’ll probably do this again in a few months, maybe I’ll try hazelnut meal rather than butter. I’m not sure yet. All depends on if I can still get the nuts. Thankfully I seem to be able to tolerate them fine. I may try some savoury recipes, if anyone knows any please let me know, don’t worry about matching my dietary requirements, I can adapt and if nothing else it may inspire a new recipe. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m planning out my planting for the promised heatwave. Which I’ll believe when I’m sunburnt. Until next time.

 photo 2016-03-11-874_e_zpskxovlqjp.jpgUgly, but so tasty. Oh, why did I eat them all….or share them. Kidding….

Ingredients

200g Hazelnuts

Yields about 175g Butter.

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 175c (Fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Spread the Hazelnuts out and then bake for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and dark brown.

3. Spread out a tea-towel and spread the hazelnuts in the centre, fold over all corners to the centre and roll the Hazelnuts to remove the skin. Remove skinned Nuts and repeat until as much skin has been removed as possible.

4. Add the Skinned Nuts to a food processor, while still warm, and blend until a smooth glossy paste has been formed. Butter will be spreadable.

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