Salted and Spiced Peanut Butters

two jars

I like to keep a bag of peanuts in my car. I am one of those people who can go from being not at all hungry, to slightly dizzy with the need to eat. On days when I find myself running endless errands, knowing that I have something filling and restorative within reach stops me from zipping through drive-throughs or dashing into Wawa for a bag of chips.

peanuts

Last week, as I gathered supplies and ingredients for our holiday trek to Virginia, I picked up a new bag at Trader Joe’s last week (a three+ hour drive in holiday traffic demands a fresh supply of car snacks). It was during the height of the pre-Thanksgiving frenzy and in my hurry to get in and out of a packed store as quickly as possible, I grabbed a package of roasted and¬†unsalted¬†peanuts. As it turns out, it was a grim mistake, because as good and satisfying as a lightly salted peanut can be, an unsalted one is bland and decidedly unpleasant.

spices in food processor

Not wanting to waste the majority of a one-pound bag of roasted peanuts, I brought them up from the car when we unloaded, with the intention of making peanut butter (conveniently, I had just finished a jar). Then, the thing that happens so often in life occurred. The peanuts sat on top of the washing machine, exactly where Scott put them last week during our post-trip unpacking, until earlier today.

two peanut butters

Finally, entirely tired of looking at them, I made peanut butter this morning. And like so many other long-avoided tasks, it took a fraction of the time I anticipated and was better than I remembered homemade peanut butter to be.

A pound of nuts yields approximately two cups of butter, so once I had a consistency I was happy with, I pulled out about a cup (slightly less than, it turns out) of the butter to keep it plain, and then added cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves to the balance. As much as I love plain peanut butter, it’s also fun to have some that tastes fleetingly of pumpkin pie.

spiced peanut butter

I know that some of you have had issues with some of my nut butter recipes in the past. The secret to getting a good consistency is oil. I know that most of us are loath to add more oil to nuts (because they contain so much of it naturally), but truly, these butters need a little extra lubrication. And the amount varies depending on your nuts.

This batch took just two tablespoons of peanut oil to develop the right texture. However, I’ve had some similarly scaled batches of almond and sunflower butters that needed as much as 1/3 cup. Because the age and moisture content of nuts varies, there’s no one-size-fits-all amount of oil I can instruct you to add. You have to use your eyes, nose, and best judgment. And if you feel like your food processor motor is in danger, please stop and give it the chance to cool down.

Salted and Spiced Peanut Butters

Ingredients

  • 1 pound roasted and unsalted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons peanut oil

Instructions

  1. Place peanuts and salt into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Run motor until peanuts have begun to break down.
  3. As processor runs, stream in oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired texture is achieved.
  4. See note as to how to make half the butter spiced.

Notes

To make half the recipe into spiced peanut butter, remove one cup of plain butter. To the remaining butter in the food processor, add 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Puree until entirely combined.

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42 Responses to Salted and Spiced Peanut Butters

  1. 1
    Laura says:

    How do you store this? Is it shelf stable like the peanut butter you buy in the store?

  2. 2
    Stephanie says:

    I don’t know why I’ve never thought to make my own peanut butter! This sounds delicious, and so much healthier than the stuff you buy at the store. Once I have my nice new food processor (getting it next week at the Conair Warehouse Sale *fingers crossed* they have the one I want), I’ll have to give this a try. We buy the big bags of nuts all the time, and they go rancid before we eat our way through them (if they don’t make it to the freezer).

    One question though, how do you store this after you’ve made it? Is it safe to keep it in the pantry for up to a week or two while we eat our way through it, or should it go into the fridge? Thanks!

    • 2.1
      Marisa says:

      It should go in the fridge. Just like your big bag of nuts, if it is stored at room temperature for prolong periods of time, it will go rancid.

  3. 3

    RE: Oil concerns — I’ve been having good luck using about a tablespoon of coconut oil in my 2 c. batches of peanut butter lately. Great, non-runny consistency but easily spreadable, and doesn’t separate if kept cold. I can also convince myself that coconut oil is (relatively) healthy(ier).

  4. 4
    Evalyn says:

    Have you tried Brazil nut butter? I have trouble finding it in stores and am told it goes rancid rapidly.

    And by the way: ” need a little extra lubrication. And the amount varies depending on your nuts.” is possibly the funniest sentence fragment I’ve read today.

  5. 5
    narf7 says:

    I tried to save a few dollars when I bought my food processor and should have listened to that little voice inside yelling “you are going to regret this!”…sigh…my foodprocessor processes meat and that is about all. As a vegan, I find this a particularly spiteful thing for my food processor to insist on being mono about BUT as an eternal optimist (and one loath to throw the stupid thing in the rubbish bin where it belongs…hey…it still processes meat right? ;) ) I keep it on a shelf for whenever Steve needs something meaty and processed…I have to use my large mortar and pestle to make nut butters and seed butters but I haven’t tried adding oil so I might just give it a go because it takes AGES to make nut/seed butter in a mortar with a pestle…the eternal optimist is whispering “think of those triceps!”…my inner lazy slob says “meh!” ;) Cheers for this great heads up about how to make nut butter. I might just get out that stubborn food processor and try to make this. If it burns out its meat loving motor so be it! It’s time to dance with the proverbial methinks! “Pistols at dawn processor!”

    • 5.1
      lesley says:

      not sure what size your FP is, but my cuisinart 11-cup makes nut butters. i blitz for a minute, pause, then repeat until it hits the right consistency. i did, however, almost burn the motor out on my 4-cup processor…

  6. 6
    Jess says:

    Spiced peanut butter sounds absolutely fantastic! Have you ever made peanut butter cookies with homemade peanut butter? I make mine with commercial natural peanut butter and it works fine, so I figure it’d *probably* work… but I won’t have the time to make peanut butter OR cookies for a few days.

    • 6.1
      Marisa says:

      I’ve never made peanut butter cookies with homemade peanut butter (though I imagine they’d be delicious). But I’m sure it would work, because really, it’s no different from the natural peanut butter you buy at the store (and I’ve used that plenty of times).

  7. 7
    Pamela says:

    Would you be able to use a vitamix?

    • 7.1
      Betty says:

      Vitamix cook books have recipes for making nut butter. It works great but not fun to clean out around those blades. I like Ninja Pro better for this but I am just lazy about cleaning the Vitamix. It makes good almond, peanut, walnut butter, but you really do need to add the extra oil.
      Do a web search for Vitamix nut butter recipes if you do not have the cookbook. I have their old one & new one & find the old one easier to find things in.

    • 7.2
      Mrs H says:

      I use my Vitamix for nut butters; it works brilliantly. Check your Vitamix cookbook for instructions on blend speeds.

  8. 8
    Mrs H says:

    I’m so excited. I’m driving up to Williamsburg (we live not far away) to pick up tons of peanuts in a week … This is happening in my house.

  9. 9
    Diane says:

    I can see my daughter putting some curry in her peanut butter and hubby would definitely go for some sort of hot pepper.

  10. 10
    Aura says:

    I just tried making almond butter the other day for the first time, and I could not get it to turn into butter, although I added quite a bit of oil as well as honey to the food processor as it was running. And I processed it all for ages and ages- probably 15 minutes or more altogether. Now I’m afraid to waste any more nuts. Why do you think it didn’t tun out right? My processor is new and it seems to function otherwise. Would the Vitamix work better?

  11. 11
    Aura says:

    Whoops, I just noticed the Vitamix comments above.

  12. 12
    meg says:

    Love homemade nut butter! Walnut butter is a special delight, especially with a little cinnamon and honey. Thanks for the great post!

  13. 13
    Diane says:

    Almost finished with my jar of Heidi Swanson’s cinnamon vanilla sunbutter, your spiced peanut butter is next on my list! Thanks!

  14. 14
    Allison says:

    I have to put a shout out there for the roasted unsalted peanuts. They are my favorite. The salted ones seem to make my mouth sore. I am going to try this it sounds great!!

  15. 15

    I heartily agree with you about the splash of oil making all the difference– we make a pistachio butter at work to put into the pistachio ice cream, and although pistachios are naturally quite high in oil, I find a splash of oil really goes a long way into making a wonderfully smooth paste.

    I love the idea of adding pie spices to your peanut butter… I’m thinking I might try mine with a little 5 spice powder so I can use it in my savory Asian dishes as well as my sweet treats!

  16. 16
    Caroline says:

    What food processor do you use? I would never invest in a vitamix, and my food processor right now is a 12-cup one, wayyy too big to process a small amount of nuts. From the picture, yours looks a lot smaller. Looking to get a 4-cup one, but I don’t know if the motor would be stronger enough? Thanks

  17. 17
    Mimi says:

    I just became a canner this summer. And I’m old! Can’t believe what I’ve been missing! I’ve just ordered your book. Thank you for your blog.
    Ps: have you ever heard of an aigre- doux ?

  18. 18
    Teresa says:

    After reading this post, I was inspired to make my own nut butter! I used half peanuts and half almonds, with a tiny bit of sea salt and some orange blossom honey. It definitely took more oil than I thought it would need, but it turned out delicious! I don’t think I’ll ever buy pre-made nut butter again, even the kind that comes out of a grinder at Whole Foods.

  19. 19
    Teri says:

    Marisa, which jars are these? Are one piece lids that you featured some time ago? Thanks for the info and I am thinking peanut butter for Christmas presents. :)

  20. 20

    […] Holiday Knitting! This is what I will be doing today. If I had a cuisenart blade, I would be making spiced peanut butter as well. I’m pretty interested in giving little things in jars as gifts this […]

  21. 21
    Nancy Dudley says:

    Is it regular table salt, canning salt or kosher salt?

    • 21.1
      Marisa says:

      It’s been awhile since I made this, but I probably used kosher salt. Definitely not canning salt in this application.

  22. 22
    Nancy Dudley says:

    I’ll never buy peanut butter at the market again. Your spiced peanut butter with the strawberry and vanilly jam in your book is my new favorite. Thanks!

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  1. Wreath « Good Wool Hunting - December 16, 2012

    […] Holiday Knitting! This is what I will be doing today. If I had a cuisenart blade, I would be making spiced peanut butter as well. I’m pretty interested in giving little things in jars as gifts this […]

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