How great are these Halloween treats? One year I will have a big Halloween party and make all kinds of creepy foods. This year, all I made was hazelnut butter.
When Bethany and I went to DC earlier this month, we enjoyed a really incredible breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien in Georgetown. We ordered a massive bread basket for the sole purpose of consuming as much Brunette Belgian Praline as possible. That stuff was like crack.
many things), "I could probably make this myself."
In fact, I came home and bought several pounds of hazelnuts with the intention of making hazelnut butter right away, but then got busy and distracted. As I cleaned out my pantry yesterday, I found the hazelnuts and was inspired anew.
I would probably cook with hazelnuts more often if shelling them wasn't such a pain in the you-know-what. But in researching hazelnut butter, I realized there is a better way!
Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil and add 2T baking powder and 1/2 cup of nuts (I did 1 cup of nuts in two 1/2 cup batches because they foam like crazy). The water will turn purple (??) and the skins will turn black.
Let the nuts boil for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water.
Use your fingers to remove the skins; they should slip right off.
For my first batch, I slipped the skin of each nut individually. This wasn't so bad, but I figured there must be a better way. For the second batch, I just grabbed a bunch in my hand and rubbed them all together under the running water. Then I just picked through each one and gave them a quick rinse.
A few might be a little stubborn and some might split in half. No biggie. The more skin you remove, the lighter in color your nut butter will be. A few errant skins won't ruin the whole batch!
After your nuts are skinned, dry them in some paper towels and spread them out on a baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes at 275. You could roast them at a higher temp for a shorter time, but they burn very quickly, so be watchful.
Toss them in your food processor with about 1/2t sugar and let them process past the point where the butter forms a ball.
You will think this is as butterized as your nuts will get. You are wrong! Keep processing until you get this:
Smooth and creamy! A little bit of graininess will remain, but I kind of like it this way. I probably could have gotten a smoother consistency had I used more nuts and my high-powered food processor (this was just my little Mini Prep).
I did not find that I needed to add any oil, but you might like your butter creamier. I also did not add any salt, although some recipes call for it. I like my hazelnut butter a little sweet, but it's also good with a bit of salt (~1/4t), especially if you like it to taste a little more like peanut butter.
I packaged this batch up in these cute little acrylic canisters that I found at Target (I've also seen them at Storables, but they were more expensive).
1 cup of hazelnuts made enough butter to fill two 3.5 oz canisters. Perfect for gifts!