While you’re all in the kitchen preppin’ lovely Christmas treats you might as well spend an extra hour or two making awesome Christmas giveaways. Those of you who have followed me since last Christmas know that I am all about the homemade and very importantly edible giveaways. I think they add such a cute and personal touch to the ‘real’ christmas present and in my opinion these small homemade jars filled with love, flavour, thoughts and hours spend in the kitchen remind me more of what was the intention with presents, rather than all of the expensive store bought stuff we give to each other. I really do get excited about a truffle oil (yeah I have that on my list this year), homemade cookies and bags of special granola made with love wrapped and packed under the tree and luckily my family do as well.
My thing is to make one or two special treats that I give away together with one of those store bought presents, cause let’s face it we all want that certain new sweater to go with our homemade cookies. Last year I made these Chocolate Treats & Glögg and the year before that I was all about homemade granola – and to those of you who are interested I will post a recipe on a special grain free Christmas Granola later this month.
As you might have guessed I am planning on making various batches of this creamy & dreamy chocolate flavoured almond butter. It is absolutely wonderful and I use it for everything from topping on yoghurt, as a spread, to fill in my chocolate cups and just as a snack having it smeared on banana or apple slices. You need a food processor to make this, but I promise you it will be worth it and you can still add one to you wish list. You can make nut butter of all kind of nuts, same procedure, and then add the flavours you prefer or keep it simple. I have chosen this chocolate edition since everybody seems to love chocolate. And I am thinking that a little orange zest might be perfect as well since it is Christmas after all, need to try that next time. I know that my mom is gonna love it and my sister as well and probably darling little Verona (the cutest niece on this planet) if she is allowed a spoon and half an hour on her own. And this very moment I am very aware that they now will know what they will be getting, Oops!
DIY Crunchy Chocolate almond butter
Makes around 2 cups (5 dl)
Notes: You can vary your almond butter as you please, you can even make it with different nuts. As long as you roast the nuts until golden and blend until you have a smooth texture you can spice and flavour it with whatever you please. I always add salt and sweetener to the base, and here it is important to use a granulated (dry) sweetener or you’ll end up with a firm ball of nutty dough instead of a spreadable butter (some food chemistry thing, I do not know exactly what happens).
500 g almonds (around 4 cups)
2 tbsp coconut sugar (or another granulated sweetener)
2 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional)
2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp ground vanilla
A generous pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 150 C. Roast almonds in a tray for 20-30 min until slightly golden inside, watch out not to burn them.
Transfer the cooled almonds to a foodprocessor. Run on high speed for 3-4 min, while you scrape down sides when needed. At first the nuts will become ground, then they will transform into a firm doug and after a few minutes the oils will be released and you’ll get a smooth texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined – adjust flavours after your preference.
Transfer into 1 or several jars and keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.