Winter Snowflake Nutty Butter

by Sarah on December 16, 2011 · 16 comments

What does one do when faced with empty jars?*
*Aside from eat out of them, obviously.
Fill ‘em up, of course!

[The astute among you will note that one of the jars above has changed, as in a Highlights--or, oddly, People Magazine--"Can you spot the difference?" game. We'll discuss what happened to the other jar later. In fact, we'll discuss two out of three later. For now, let's focus on one.]

And when you’ve been collecting assorted nuts that didn’t quite make it into the amount required for a recipe, well, there’s really only one thing to make:

Nutty Butter!

For the uninitiated, Nutty Butter^ is my term for “mixed nut butter” a la Nuttzo. Same idea, but for a fraction of the price.
^And yes, I am considering saying ‘T.M.’ after the phrase like Phil does throughout the ‘Express Christmas’ Modern Family episode.

Although at one time, I crafted the perfect proportion of each nut and seed in the mix, I will also happily settle for just using up odds and ends of nuts that I can scavenge from around the house.
This might mean grabbing 1/4 cup from each of Papa Smart’s nearly-empty nut cans, and a 1/3 cup from the random bag of bulk bin hazelnuts I found in a food box packed in the car from my move.
I also thanked my lucky stars for my October Foodie Pen Pal, Jordan, who gave me a bag of roasted North Carolina peanuts, which I saved and were now functioning as a perfect addition to my nuttiness.

As long as you have between 2 1/2 and 3 cups of nuts, you should be good to go.
And then the processing begins.I’ve said it five hundred times, and I will say it five hundred times more:*
*If The Proclaimers can walk it, I can talk it.^
^Horrible grammar, but please just go with it.
The key, my little chickadees, to making your own Nutty Butter (TM) is patience.
Just let the processor do its thing. Walk away. Grab a cup of coffee.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can think about what flavor you might want to make your Nutty Butter (TM). In this case, I was inspired by a cookie mix I had seen while working at Central Market. These “Winter Snowflake” cookies featured white chocolate and cinnamon chips.

I, however, think coconut looks a lot more like snow.

I also added vanilla for kicks. If your nuts were unsalted, you might need a dash of that to further enhance the taste. I thought about adding some cloves and nutmeg…but I figured I’d show some (uncharacteristic) restraint.
I did, however, decide to make the ‘snow’ visible in the final product, so I added a final tablespoon or so after I had adjusted the cinnamon to perfection. Pulsing the processor just once or twice let the coconut mix in without turning into butter.

And then, the filling of the jar!*

*It’s truly a grand event in The Legend of the Nutty Butter (TM).It’s also a bit of a mess. But just like a slightly disastrous classroom indicates work being done, a slightly disastrous kitchen shows signs of great achievement. (And a little bit of fun, too?)Don’t forget to leave some in the bottom of the processor bowl for scraping directly onto your tongue.
But take caution with the blade. I’ve cut many a spatula on sharp edges. [And I'm not saying I've cut my tongue...but I'm also not going to deny that all that Nutty Butter in all those crevices can be very tempting...]

The whole “making cute labels” step is totally optional.
Winter Snowflake” Nutty Butter
(When it’s not winter, we can call it “Cinnamon Coco-Nutty Butter”)

2 1/2 cups mixed roasted nuts [peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts...]
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. flaked coconut, separated

1. Put nuts into food processor and process until smooth and nut butter-y. [This will take awhile. Be patient. Drink some coffee.]
2. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut. Process until smooth.
3. Add remaining coconut and pulse two or three times, just until coconut is mixed in.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Fran@BCDC December 16, 2011 at 6:44 am

I LOVE Modern Family! Ralph hated it at first, but I've gotten him to liking it! My sister and I were just talking yesterday about making our own nut butters. I need to haul out my food processor and get to work! Not till after Christmas I asure you! Do you need to refrigerate this after you make it? Thanks, Sarah!

Reply

Kath December 16, 2011 at 6:54 am

How long has it been since I've made nut butter?! Gotta get on it!

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Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free December 16, 2011 at 8:06 am

It looks great, but you left me wondering about the mexican hot cocoa jar! Ack! You tease!

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Lauren December 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

Yum! I love the name! Hahah :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

Can I be your permanent foodie penpal?! I love the names you use too. Mixed nuts make the best nut butter – I made one almost like this with cacao nibs. With I'd had coconut too!

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Tricia @ saving room for dessert December 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

I have a jar of assorted nuts so now I know what to do with it! Or I could give it to a smart foodie as a Christmas present :) Have a lovely weekend.

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Emma @ Getting There & Going Places December 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Honestly, I would kill to taste one of your nut butters sometime! :P
The things you come up with.. :O
I've been wanting to make one sometime, but I can't pick! :P
What if your most favorite homemade nutbutter recipes of all? :P

Reply

Emma @ Getting There & Going Places December 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Honestly, I would kill to taste one of your nut butters sometime! :P
The things you come up with.. :O
I've been wanting to make one sometime, but I can't pick! :P
What if your most favorite homemade nutbutter recipes of all? :P

Reply

Emma @ Getting There & Going Places December 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Honestly, I would kill to taste one of your nut butters sometime! :P
The things you come up with.. :O
I've been wanting to make one sometime, but I can't pick! :P
What if your most favorite homemade nutbutter recipes of all? :P

Reply

Emma @ Getting There & Going Places December 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Honestly, I would kill to taste one of your nut butters sometime! :P
The things you come up with.. :O
I've been wanting to make one sometime, but I can't pick! :P
What if your most favorite homemade nutbutter recipes of all? :P

Reply

iheartvegetables.com December 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

Time out. What are these cinnamon chips you speak of?! And do they have them in other stores, say, in the VA area?!? I want some.

Ok BOTH of those butters sound heavenly. And I love that you TM'ed it a la Modern Family.

So are you all settled in Charlottesville??

Reply

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean December 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

i KNEW there was gonna be coconut in there! how about some white chocolate chips next time instead?!

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sarahlearns December 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm

i love how you make your nut butter labels – too cute!! :)

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teabagginit December 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

thank goodness! i'm making nut butters as gifts and i needed one last flavor! hooray for you. i'm taking all the credit, though… as usual. :)

Reply

Christin@purplebirdblog December 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I have yet to venture into the world of the homemade mixed nut butter, and I have no idea what the hell I'm waiting for.

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Baking Serendipity December 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Such a smart idea! I have so many half open bags and jars of nuts from holiday baking. This is seriously fantastic :)

Reply

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