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Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Butter [#MMAZ]

Posted May 20 2013 9:13am

This week, for the second round (of the second round) of D is for Dark…Chocolate in Heather’ s Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge , I was inspired not by a recipe from a magazine or another blogger (or myself)–

–but a “recipe” on the back of a KIND Bar.

Specifically, the Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Kind Bar that, upon consumption, I declared–in my mind and via Instagram*–

*Where else would you get your news and declarations from?

the best KIND Bar in the world!** [I hope you said "in the world" in a deep, disaster movie preview voice. Because that's definitely how I thought it.]

**I’m not sure you can really trust me on this…as I’d only had one or two KIND Bars before this one, unlike my more-then-blend Lauren , who actually gave me the bar originally. But it IS really good.

kindsnacks.com

Maybe it’s because when asked whether I prefer sweet or salty, I usually say, “I prefer ALL the tastes!” (or I say ‘umami,’ just to be difficult) but something about the combination of the crunchy nuts, slightly sweet chocolate, and sudden hit of saltiness was fantastically satisfying.

Regardless, I knew I had to take the combination and turn it into something.

The most obvious choice was nut(ty) butter.

Using the ingredient profile for inspiration, I combined almonds, walnuts–toasted for just 5 minutes in the toaster oven–

–with peanuts.

Honey roasted peanuts.

I won't tell if you eat some on their way to the food processor.

You’ve got to really know what you are doing to sweeten nut butter with honey and not change the texture too much.

Since I wasn’t sure how practiced we all were in that field of culinary creation, I left the honey-fication to someone else.

Although making smooth, creamy, nut butter does involve a little more than just luck

–the most important piece of advice I can ever give to a newbie nut butter maker is to maintain extreme patience in the face of evilfood processing. Seriously, just walk away for a minute (or 15).

i'm not saying your processor will start smoking or anything. but i'm also not saying it won't.

Vanilla makes every nut butter better.

(It also always seems to make the texture of the nut butter change initially. I don’t know why. But it rights itself quickly if you just let the machine run.) To be completely truthful, you could stop here and be pretty darn happy with the nut butter you’ve got on your hands. [And yes, I do mean that literally. Don't try to tell me you've never just taking a swipe at it with your finger.] However, I’ve gotten so carried away with my nut butter pontification that I almost forgot the purpose of this post: D is for Dark Chocolate.

So we should probably add some of that shouldn’t we? Again, you will find yourself thinking, “Wow. That’s good just like it is.”

But why stop there?

Even if it DOES have the silky sheen of a perfectly blended homemade creamy nut butter.

After all, the inspiration was a dark chocolate sea salt nut bar, wasn’t it?

Not gonna lie, at first I thought I had finally failed* in a nut butter experiment.

*OK, so I had a few texture problems with Sticky Toffee Pudding Nutty Butter…and the the nutmeg in the Eggnog might have become excessively potent after a few months of storage

flavor fail. clearly not texture.

But then I realized that I wasn’t happy with the super salty surprises that jumped out at me rather abrasively because I was practicing my normal method of nut butter consumption: straight from the jar.

This is a nut butter that requires pairing for perfection.

Slather this on strawberries and you won’t even know what to do with your taste buds.

Pair it with a light, doughy pita and some oranges?

Sweet, salty, savory succulence.

Not to nominate myself for nut butter knighthood or anything…

…but this is KIND* of amazing. :)

*See what I did there?

 Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Butter

[Makes 1 1/2 cups...or so]

  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted, unsalted almonds*
  • 1 1/4 cups honey roasted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted walnuts*
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • sea salt

*If you can’t find dry roasted almonds or walnuts, toast in a toaster oven for no more than five minutes to bring the flavor out a bit and get the oils flowing.

Combine nuts in a food processor. Turn on food processor.

If you are an impatient person, physically walk away.

Otherwise, allow food processor work until nut butter forms.

Add vanilla. Process again until smooth and creamy.

Add cocoa powder. Process well to incorporate.

Transfer nut butter to a (reused) jar.

Sprinkle in sea salt, stirring well.

Try to prevent yourself from eating the entire jar in one day.

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