Thursday, April 4, 2013
Cinnamon Sugar Almond Butter
I am engaged. I know that I kind of threw that tidbit of information in at the bottom of a random post about some yummy lemon chicken soup quite some time ago, but really it probably deserves a little more attention than just a emboldened line at the very end of a post. So in fairness, it now gets to start it's own post. Here we go:
We're engaged! Like, to be married! Living happily ever after with lumberjack Ben!
That was our first official picture as an engaged couple. In true scatter-brain form, I of course forgot to post with my left hand (now sporting the gorgeous diamond ring) in front. And Ben forgot to put down our shopping bags with the fresh asparagus for Christmas dinner and my cranberry cream loose leaf team. Preferably, I would have made Ben take off his bulky Northface winter coat and maybe even have tied the belt of mine. I know it's not perfect. It may not be black and white/surprise hidden photographer/Pinterest worthy, but to me, it is one of the best photographs out there. Because it's the first of many happy, silly scatter-brain pictures for years to come.
There is no segue from engagement and couple pictures to almond butter, or if there is my poor brain is too tired to be creative enough for it. But, seeing as it is inevitable that wedding stress will start creeping in here, as it has in all other facets of my life, it seemed I should give you all a fair warning. But I refuse to give you a post simply bragging about engagement. Seeing as we are pretending, just as well as we can here, that this is a cooking blog. So now it is almond butter's turn in the lime light (which I will give up begrudgingly).
Almond butter is a few things. 1, it is absolutely delicious, spread on bread, plopped in morning oatmeal, scooped from the jar and eaten from a spoon while standing in the light of the still open refrigerator. 2, it is adaptable. I haven't actually tested this theory yet, but from what I hear, you basically add what you want and run with it. Personally, I can't wait to run with it in this direction. And finally, 3, it is dead simple to make. Don't get me wrong, you will think you've screwed it up at least 7 times before the nuts actually come together as butter, but as soon as it's scooped in a jar and tucked away in the fridge, you'll look back and realize there was never any reason to worry. The food processor will run for at least 8 minutes. The almonds will become smooth as butter. I promise. I'm pretty sure it's science.
The batch I made for Ben and myself last in the fridge about 3 weeks. I caught Ben several times sneaking the same spoon back into the jar for just another taste. He was promptly scolded. When I was home in AZ a few weekends ago, I made a batch for my mom. Less than 2 weeks later, the household of 5 (minus one very cute, now over ONE YEAR OLD, nephew) had taken the jar down. There's your proof. It is good. It is really good. Buy the Costco sized bag of almonds. You're going to need it.
And just in case you were wondering, the beard/lumberjack look is a relatively new one for Ben. He's been sporting it since Thanksgiving. Personally, I love it, but I appear to be in the minority. He keeps threatening that he will shave it off though. I told him I would need at least a week's notice in order to properly mourn the loss.
Cinnamon Sugar Almond Butter
Adapted from a Full Measure of Happiness, my latest blog crush
2 c. almonds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. On a rimmed sheet, spread out the almonds. Toast in the oven until fragrant, 8 - 10 minutes.
Dig out the food processor. When nuts are done roasting, dump in. It's ok if you don't let them really cool first, just be aware that there's going to be some heat and steam coming out the top of your food processor. Don't rest your hand there, it's going to get hot. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn the sucker on.
Don't bother pulsing. You're going to have to run your food processor about 8 - 10 minutes before the almonds become almond butter. It's ok if you freak out and think it will never happen. It will, have some faith. Keep going until you what you have looks like smooth peanut butter. Stop every other minute or so to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
Once smooth and dreamy, pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep refrigerated Enjoy on everything--or straight from the spoon, no judgement here.