Monday I'm heading back home for all of 12 hours and then tuesday morning I'm leaving (FAR too early) for Vermont for what has become my annual crew friends ski trip. We stay with our friend Alexis, ski all day, and hang out in the hot tub all night sipping her family's infamous camtinis (I can't for the life of me remember everything that goes into them but I know it's something like champagne, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and a couple other things in a large martini glass).
Anyway, food on the mountain is less than desirable and about 12 dollars per greasy chicken finger. Yuck. Needless to say we pack our own lunch, usually peanut butter and jelly. I've been thinking about making my own nut butters for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I've really never been in love with almond butter and it's usually about 1.5 times the price of peanut butter but almonds are a healthier nut so I figure a nice compromise is to make my own. First I made a small batch to taste it and it was delicious, so I packed up a jar for my mom and proceeded to make a large jar to bring to Vermont.
This is SO simple I really don't think I can call it a recipe. You need 3 things: 4 cups of organic raw almonds, 1-2 tsp kosher salt and an 11 or 14 cup food processor. Put the almonds and salt in the food processor and process for some ridiculous amount of time (15 minutes or so). The poor machine will shake, shudder, whir and get really hot and just when you think nothing is happening and you are stuck with 4 cups of crumbly, warm, almonds, it will magically smooth out and turn into wonderfully creamy almond butter. That is, of course, assuming you are scraping down the sides every few minutes and breaking up the large stiff clumps that form and make a horrible racket as they thump around in a circle. Makes about 16oz.
*Note: If you are using an 11 cup food processor I suggest doing only 2 cups of almonds at a time otherwise there is just too much bulk to get the right consistency. The first time I made this with just 2 cups and had no problems. When i doubled it to 4 it just wouldn't smooth out until I finally took half out and processed it in two batches. If you're using a 14 cup processor you are good to go. If all you have is a mini-chop (that's all I have when I go back home), then try maybe 1/2 cup at a time and a 1/4 tsp salt (and let me know how it works). If you prefer you could totally use any nut instead of almonds.