Here's something friends and family can't get enough of: homemade Almond Butter. It is all about technique and patience.
- Roast a cookie sheet full of raw almonds--about a pound. 350 for 10-15 minutes. You can smell it when they're done.
- Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
- Put them in a food processor or a blender (food processor probably better if you have one). Process them until they go from floury to crumbly to dough-like. Don't freak out. This takes a long time. Maybe 30-45 minutes. Anytime the machine gets too hot and makes you nervous, take a break and let it cool.
- When you get to the dough-like phase add a tablespoon or so of maple syrup and vanilla and a teaspoon or so of salt and cinnamon. Then, get back to processing until it gets creamy. Again, this can take awhile. Another 15-20 minutes or so.
- Variations: If you want some crunch you can chop up some roasted almonds and add them at the end. Or add sesame seeds. Try different kinds of nuts and flavors you like--you can use honey or agave instead of maple syrup, you can leave out vanilla and/or cinnamon. But don't leave out the salt.
- You can keep it in the fridge or leave it on the counter. It won't last long enough to go bad.