Start to Finish: 45 minutes
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Prepare natural peanut butter by grinding peanuts to a smooth paste, adding peanut oil to adjust the consistency. Many cooks add salt or sugar to enhance the taste of their butter. Create a richly flavored peanut butter with additional ingredients such as honey, cinnamon and chocolate.
- 4 cups shelled raw peanuts
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them until the peanuts glisten with their natural oil and appear golden but not brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Allow the peanuts to cool about 10 minutes. Rub the peanuts between your fingers to remove the thin, papery skins from any nuts that still have them.
Place the peanuts in a food processor or blender after you rub the skins off them.
Place the lid on the food processor or blender. Use the pulse button to chop the nuts finely until they resemble birdseed or couscous, approximately 1 minute.
Remove the lid, and push the peanuts down toward the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Replace the lid.
Blend the peanuts on a moderate speed setting. Monitor the process. The peanuts will eventually accumulate on one side of the bowl.
Stop the food processor when the nuts start to clump together after about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid, and spread the peanuts around the bowl with the spatula to redistribute them. Replace the lid and resume blending. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until the nuts start becoming a thick, dry paste, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Add 1 teaspoon of peanut oil to smooth the consistency of the ground nuts. Continue blending the mixture and redistributing it in the bowl as needed. The nuts should eventually break down into a smooth and cohesive paste.
Add more peanut oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the peanut butter reaches the consistency you desire. Process the mixture for about 1 minute before adding another teaspoon of oil.
Taste the unseasoned peanut butter. Add salt or powdered sugar to enhance the flavor as desired. Blend the mixture thoroughly to incorporate the seasoning.
Taste the mixture again. Adjust the flavor incrementally with an extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt or powdered sugar, as desired. Blend the mixture thoroughly after each addition.
Refrigerate peanut butter in an airtight jar for up to 1 month.
Select organic nuts, peanut oil and additional ingredients to prepare organic peanut butter.
Add extra ingredients while the finished butter is still in the food processor to make chunky or flavored peanut butter.
Roast an additional 1 cup shelled unsalted peanuts to prepare chunky peanut butter. Set the extra cup of roasted nuts aside after you remove the pan from the oven. Add the reserved nuts to the prepared peanut butter. Pulse the peanuts and peanut butter in the food processor to chop the additional nuts until the mixture reaches the consistency you desire.
Add 1 tablespoon of honey to the peanut butter, if desired. Pulse the ingredients until the honey incorporates into the butter. Taste the mixture. Increase the honey, if desired. Wait to add powdered sugar after you achieve the desired intensity of honey flavoring to avoid making the peanut butter too sweet.
Substitute honey for powdered sugar to sweeten the peanut butter, if preferred.
Add 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to the peanut butter to make cinnamon peanut butter. Pulse the mixture until the extra ingredients incorporate into the butter.
Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 12 ounces of melted milk chocolate to the peanut butter to make a chocolate-flavored peanut butter. Pulse the mixture until it is uniform in color and texture. Adjust the sweetness of the butter with additional powdered sugar, if desired.
Chocolate chips and chopped chocolate bars are suitable sources of milk chocolate.
Do not skip the roasting step to create raw peanut butter. Peanuts are highly susceptible to salmonella contamination. Roasting shelled nuts should kill any salmonella present, making the peanuts safe to eat.
- Photo Credit ra3rn/iStock/Getty Images
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