Archive for May, 2011

Dessert for Breakfast? Why not?

I am a dessert queen.

Just ask anyone who knows me.

My sweet tooth tends to override even my most sensible food morals.

True story.

I lick every mixing bowl clean. Every time. And yes, I scrape down every last morsel, whether I’m at home or out in public. Sometimes I get weird looks and sometimes my family begs me to stop. But you know what, I can’t help it! Why ever waste such goodness? It is my sweet tooth duty!

Getting to the point. One of my first dessert loves was cookies. Wait no sorry, cookie dough. I can’t get enough of the stuff! I tend to eat a third or so of the batter raw while the rest is cooking. (Of course, I try to only eat raw cookie dough when it’s vegan or has no eggs in the batter). So, when one of my favorite blogs posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough almond butter, you know I bookmarked it and made it that night…and then made my own spin off version a week later :) Yes, I am talking about the incredibly gifted Ashley over at The Edible Perspective! Well, as much as I enjoyed her version of this healthified classic, I couldn’t help but try out my own version, a la hazelnut aka the best nut in the world aka crack.


The ingredients! Quick, check your pantry!

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookie Dough Almond Butter [original]

  • 2 c raw almonds
  • 2 t pure cane sugar (yes, here you need the real deal!)
  • 2-3 t canola oil (or any other neutral flavor oil)  [may not be necessary]
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/3 t hazelnut extract
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Toast almonds until golden brown, turning 3-4 times, for about 12-18 min. total. **Watch carefully so they don’t burn!
  3. When browned, take out and let cool for 5 min.
  4. Put almonds in a heavy-duty food processor and turn on, scraping down the bowl often to keep things moving.
  5. Process until it finally starts to “butterize,” should take 6-10 min. hopefully.
  6. Keep scraping down and processing until smooth. Remember to be patient. **If after 10 min. things still aren’t forming together then add the 2 t of oil.
  7. Add in sugar, salt, vanilla, and hazelnut extract. Process again until smooth.
  8. Taste and add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough for your liking, but don’t forget, the chocolate chips will add a bit more sweetness too.
  9. Once it is nice and smooth, empty into a bowl and put it in the fridge for about an hour. **The processed nut butter will probably still be quite warm prior to the fridge and if you add the chocolate chips before the fridge time, the chocolate chips will melt, which could be tasty, but that’s not the goal of this recipe.
  10. Once the nut butter has come to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips and try not to let your saliva fall into the bowl. ;)
*This recipe is intended for a 7c or larger food processor, but I was able to halve the recipe and it fit perfectly in Sunny… Remember? My 4 c bright yellow food processor! Duh!
*As much as I try to limit my intake of refined sugars, this recipe calls for and demands the real thing! So bring out that cane sugar! (You know you’ve got it). Supposedly liquid sweeteners (i.e. honey, agave, maple) make nut butters extremely thick and cookie dough is not meant to be thick gosh darn it!
*You may choose to refrigerate or not refrigerate this nut butter. I left mine in a cupboard and it was fine. I mean, none of the ingredients need to be refrigerated so there!
Side Notes:
  • The original recipe called for almond extract, but me being the hazelnut junkie I am decided to try out my own spin. I tried both the almond extract and the hazelnut extract version and really loved them both. While the almond extract version had more of a marzipan sort of flavor, I found the hazelnut to be more reminiscent of cookie dough, which I of course loved! So, needless to say, I prefer the hazelnut version, no surprise! But by all means, try out which ever one calls to you more! And seriously, you much try out this nut butter recipe! Your taste buds will be oh so sorry if you don’t! I’m warning you! 
  • If you’re sitting there, thinking, why would I ever make my own nut butter when grocery stores already sell nut butters? I challenge you to ask yourself this: have you ever, in your whole life, seen such a luscious, scrumptious, decedent nut butter on your grocery store shelves? …I didn’t think so! Plus, this way you know and can control EXACTLY what ingredients are really in your food!

Sorry Almond, Hazelnut rules! Bow down!

Well, I hope I’ve convinced you!
Raid your pantry or go to the store, grab these ingredients, and get crack-a-lackin!
Then, enjoy one of the following ways:

  • By the spoonful straight out of the bowl!
  • Dollop atop your bowl of morning oats!
  • Serve it as a dip alongside fresh fruit, such as apples!
  • Slather some on your morning toast! (Alongside a nutrient packed [spinach] berry smoothie I may add!)
Shalom and good eats!

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