Homemade Nut Butter & the Holidays

It’s getting real cheery up in here. Annie Lennox is earnestly urging merry gentlemen to God rest themselves, the mini-tree is decked out in kitschy colored lights, seasonal cider is being imbibed, and nuts are a-roasting (for the biweekly batch of nut butter that Matt makes, but let’s consider it part of the holiday melange).


After a few attempts at shopping more than three days before Christmas – responsible! foresight! we’re grown-ups! – we soon realized that a lot of people do this and perhaps we’re better off waiting until the mad Eve dash when the eggnog overdose aggression kicks in, and instincts for gift-finding and crossing names off lists are honed as razor sharp as the end of the candy cane you’ve been whittling down for the better part of an hour.  I’m quickly realizing not to discount the wonderful thing that is online shopping, especially when wandering around Bed Bath & Beyond means encountering this:

That’s right. Snuggies have somehow generated enough revenue for offshoots and ripoffs. Such as the “Forever Lazy,” the “one-piece lie around, lounge around, full body lazy wear that covers you from head to toe!”…. HuffPost beat me to this scoop by about 11 months, but I bet they never expected to see the miracle display of displays that some enterprising employee cooked up with a Forever Lazy and 27 foam-stuffed soccer balls.  But I like lounging around and being warm. And if I hadn’t been so afraid of the creature becoming dislodged and suffocating the fifteen small children gaping up at it, I just might have grabbed one of the boxes for a closer look.

All in, this display has nothing on the one that Eggton saw in Home Depot. Try reading that post without shooting milk through your nose. The milk that you’re drinking while eating a Fuji apple spread with Matt’s homemade nut butter, of course.

Al-hew Nut Butter
By The Mr. but tweaked off of Alton Brown’s recipe for cashew butter

8 oz. raw almonds
8 oz. raw cashews
1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Put half the almonds and half the cashews on a cookie sheet. Roast at 350 degrees, keeping a close eye on them, until the oils start to appear on the nuts and they just start to turn brown on the edges.

As the other nuts are roasting, put the remaining almonds in a food processor and pulse until they create a coarse meal. Add the cashews and process these for a few seconds. Let the processor run while you add a tablespoon of walnut oil, then a tablespoon of honey. Once these are mixed in, stop the processor and with a spatula, clean down the sides of the bowl.  Put the lid back on, turn the processor on and while it’s running, add the second tablespoon of walnut oil and then the remaining honey.

Once the other nuts are finished roasting, turn the processor back on and add them to the mix. Process this, cleaning down the sides of the bowl from time to time, until you have the approximate consistency you’d like for the nut butter.  We process it until the butter starts to “glisten” from the oils coming out.  We’ve never tried to go all the way to really creamy because we like the crunchy consistency.

Once you’ve reached the consistency you like, pour in the salt, pulse a few times, then stir the mixture by hand. This means that some of the salt crystals don’t melt in, making for little bursts of saltiness when you eat the butter. Which is delicious.

2 thoughts on “Homemade Nut Butter & the Holidays

  1. Ha! I just saw this for some reason. I really wish you and I could monetize our ability to spot and elaborate on weirdo store displays. I had a friend once who traveled around Europe taking pictures of obscene gargoyles. He got a book deal out of it. I’m thinking of something along those lines (but a dumber, non-gargoyle version would probably be appropriate).

    • That’s a wonderful idea. I’m going to start actively scouting weird store displays instead of just running into them randomly. Nothing beats your Home Depot experience though. Just haven’t seen anything like it, ever.

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