Ditch the Store-Bought: Honey-Chunk Peanut Butter (you’re only 3 minutes away!)
February 25, 2011 § 1 Comment
There are few foods that I prefer to buy rather than make; generally, homemade stuff takes the cake, right? (A few exceptions: hard cheeses, chocolate.) Until last week, peanut butter was at the top of my “to buy” list. I’ve sung the praises of peanut butter before. Like my pops and his pops, peanut butter is my midnight snack of choice, coaxing me to sleep when I can’t turn off my brainwaves. But while I’ve made peanut butter (and other nut butters) loads of times, I’m hard-pressed to find a peanut butter — out of my kitchen or store-bought — that trumps Trader Joe’s chunky, all-natural, salted peanut butter. It’s like hot out-of-the-oven brownies: I simply can’t get enough.
But last week, as I was admiring Kath’s blog (of KathEats.com), I started ogling over her homemade crunchy, honey roasted peanut butter. It reminded me of one of my best spring breaks in college when I flew up to Alaska to cook, “ski” (in my case “skid”) and make homemade snow cones (right off the patio!) with my cousin. One afternoon my aunt blended honey-roasted peanuts to make sweet ‘n’ salty peanut butter. Not only did we devour the whole batch before I left (a mere four days later!) but we also made peanut butter milk shakes — the very best way to clean out a sticky blender, no question.
Harking back to those snowy days, I had to try it again. I scoured my supermarkets for honey-roasted peanuts with the fewest ingredients: peanuts, honey, salt. When I found the sweet ‘n’ salty legumes (technically not nuts!) that fit the bill, I bought three-and-a-half cups and drove over to my parents’ house to use their food processor. Three minutes later I had warm, gooey, chunky bliss. Three days later, I’m scraping the dregs of the jar. Peanut butter’s off the shopping list; after this, there’s no going back to store-bought.
3.5 cups honey roasted peanuts
Reserve 1/2 to 2/3 cups of peanuts and set aside (this will be the “crunch”). Pour the remaining peanuts in a food-processor/blender and blend for approximately 3-4 minutes until smooth. First the nuts will break down into little pieces; then, as the oils are released, the nut pieces will clump together in a big, wobbly ball. Keep pureeing. The ball will grow smaller and smaller until the peanuts are liquefied around the edges of the food processor. Scrape down the edges a few times and continue blending until totally smooth. When liquefied and drippy, add the reserved peanuts and pulse 8-10 times until slightly broken down, but still chunky. Try a scoop of PB warm, out of the food processor; I promise you won’t be able to keep a smile off your face.