This week, for the second round (of the second round) of D is for Dark…Chocolate in Heather’s Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge, I was inspired not by a recipe from a magazine or another blogger (or myself)–
–but a “recipe” on the back of a KIND Bar.
Specifically, the Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Kind Bar that, upon consumption, I declared–in my mind and via Instagram*–
–the best KIND Bar in the world!** [I hope you said "in the world" in a deep, disaster movie preview voice. Because that's definitely how I thought it.]
**I’m not sure you can really trust me on this…as I’d only had one or two KIND Bars before this one, unlike my more-then-blend Lauren, who actually gave me the bar originally. But it IS really good.
Maybe it’s because when asked whether I prefer sweet or salty, I usually say, “I prefer ALL the tastes!” (or I say ‘umami,’ just to be difficult) but something about the combination of the crunchy nuts, slightly sweet chocolate, and sudden hit of saltiness was fantastically satisfying.
Regardless, I knew I had to take the combination and turn it into something.
Honey roasted peanuts.
–the most important piece of advice I can ever give to a newbie nut butter maker is to maintain extreme patience in the face of
evilfood processing. Seriously, just walk away for a minute (or 15).
(It also always seems to make the texture of the nut butter change initially. I don’t know why. But it rights itself quickly if you just let the machine run.)To be completely truthful, you could stop here and be pretty darn happy with the nut butter you’ve got on your hands. [And yes, I do mean that literally. Don't try to tell me you've never just taking a swipe at it with your finger.]However, I’ve gotten so carried away with my nut butter pontification that I almost forgot the purpose of this post: D is for Dark Chocolate.
Not gonna lie, at first I thought I had finally failed* in a nut butter experiment.
*OK, so I had a few texture problems with Sticky Toffee Pudding Nutty Butter…and the the nutmeg in the Eggnog might have become excessively potent after a few months of storage…
But then I realized that I wasn’t happy with the super salty surprises that jumped out at me rather abrasively because I was practicing my normal method of nut butter consumption: straight from the jar.
…but this is KIND* of amazing.
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Butter
[Makes 1 1/2 cups...or so]
- 1 1/2 cups dry roasted, unsalted almonds*
- 1 1/4 cups honey roasted peanuts
- 3/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted walnuts*
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- sea salt
*If you can’t find dry roasted almonds or walnuts, toast in a toaster oven for no more than five minutes to bring the flavor out a bit and get the oils flowing.
Combine nuts in a food processor. Turn on food processor.
If you are an impatient person, physically walk away.
Otherwise, allow food processor work until nut butter forms.
Add vanilla. Process again until smooth and creamy.
Add cocoa powder. Process well to incorporate.
Transfer nut butter to a (reused) jar.
Sprinkle in sea salt, stirring well.
Try to prevent yourself from eating the entire jar in one day.