April 07, 2012

Nutty About Butter: Easy Homemade Walnut Butter

I am a firm believer that everything's better with butter.  No, not margarine, or butter substitute (do you remember I Can't Believe It's Not Butter? Yep, they still make it).  The soft creaminess, the rich flavour, the inimitable depth that even a small pat of butter can impart cannot be replaced. 

The amazing thing about this most elemental of ingredients is just how easy it is to make at home.  I did just that for first time a couple of years ago and it opened my eyes to a world of possibilities.  If cream alone could be transformed by some strange alchemy into butter, what else might I make? 

If you've bought anything like a nut butter lately, you'll know what a pricey proposition that can be.  Make it organic and double the price.  So why not make nut butter at home?  The possibilities are as endless as the diversity of nuts available.  Almond butter seems like the obvious choice, so I decided to try something a little more out of the ordinary. 

What about walnuts? Raw walnuts have a hint of tannic bitterness, and I wondered if toasting the walnuts would take the edge off.  To smooth it off even more, and add a bit of buttery creaminess, I mixed in a handful of cashews.  The result is a deliciously different nut butter, perfect for a just toasted piece of dense nutty German bread, such as those made by Mestemacher.

Easy Walnut Butter
makes approximately 2 cups

3 c walnuts
1 c cashews

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Spread the walnuts and cashews evenly on a baking sheet.  Toast for five to seven minutes, or until colour is slightly darkened and nuts are fragrant. 

3.  Blend for threee to five minutes in food processor, or until creamy smooth.

Toast your favourite bread, spread lavishly and enjoy a bite of healthy and delicious goodness