Chocolate Dessert DIY

Chocolate Almond Butter Throwdown

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I know, Trader Joe’s has already done it.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it better.  For instance, the first ingredient on TJ’ label is sugar.  The second is palm oil.  The View from Great Island’s  label would read deep roasted almonds first, then top quality cocoa powder.   Just saying.

I’m a huge believer in roasting nuts whenever possible.  Deep roasting the almonds first gives this butter a more layered, complex flavor than Nutella could ever dream of.

And I blend them with top quality cocoa powder.  I love it when my box of cocoa powder runs low so I have an excuse to experiment with a new brand.  This time I picked up Droste, a Dutch processed cocoa from Holland.

Nut butters fall into the same category as pestos, in my opinion— they’re so easy to make, why buy them ready made?  This takes just a few minutes to whip up, and you can tweak it any way you like.  Different kinds of cocoa powder will lend their own distinct chocolate flavor to the butter.  When you consider the combined health benefits of almonds and chocolate, this spread is a nutritional powerhouse!

Chocolate Almond Butter
oven to 350

1 cup raw almonds, skin on
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp almond extract
a few grains of sea salt to taste

  • Roast the almonds on a dry baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes.  Shake the pan once or twice and stir the nuts to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Cool the almonds and then put them in a small food processor.  Process until the nuts break down into almond butter.  This will take just a few minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.  When in doubt, keep processing.  The nuts will start out with a coarse grainy texture, then gradually they will break down and release their oils.  The butter will become glossy and fluid.
  • Add in the cocoa powder, sugar and extracts.  Process until smooth and creamy.   Add the salt to taste.
  • Pour the butter into a small container with a tight fitting lid.   Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.  If at room temperature, eat within a couple of weeks.

Note:  If your butter seems too thick after adding the cocoa powder, try adding a little coconut oil or almond oil to thin it out.

Have you tried the Trader Joe’s version?   I’m pretty confident I’ve got this throwdown in the bag.  I’ll await your decision…


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Natural Skin Whitening
    January 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Almond butter is so underrated, it’s the greatest stuff ever!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Can you tell me what I did wrong? … Tired this recipe this morning twice. Both times the almonds blended up beautifully. But as soon as I added the dry ingredients it chunked up and looked like ground beef. I kept processing and processing (all morning, it seemed) but it would not smooth out. I even dried softening it up in a double boiler after so long but it didn’t change the texture at all. The only way I was able to salvage my second attempt was to add about a tablespoon of coconut oil to it. It tastes delicious, but I can’t help but wonder what went wrong? The sugar I used was TJ’s organic raw sugar- a little more grainy than regular sugar, but would that have caused this much trouble?

    • Reply
      September 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Courtney— It’s been a while since I’ve made this so I made a batch this morning after seeing your comment. I didn’t have a problem so I’m thinking maybe your almonds may have had less oil in them than mine. I did run the machine quite a while to ensure that the almonds released their oil. The mixture should look shiny and glossy before you add the other ingredients. Is it possible you didn’t process the almonds long enough in the first place? Hope you give it another try, and hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    January 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    This looks delicious!! I am adding this to the list of a hundred other things you’ve made that I want to make now too. I love it as an apple dip especially. My kids and my husband eat apples and peanut butter almost every day. This would be a fun way to switch that up!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    January 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I haven’t tried the Trader Joe’s version but yours looks SOOOOOOOOO luscious!
    Mary x

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Hey Mary—I’m assuming you don’t have Trader Joe’s in the UK? They are good for cheap prices and creative foods, but at least you don’t need them for this almond butter!

  • Reply
    Brownieville Girl
    January 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    This would be fantastic for a lunch box treat – sneaking in some health food!!!

    Looks delicious, waaay better than any bought variety.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      It would be great in lunchboxes. I was surprised at how fluid the butter remained. Other nut butters I’ve made, especially with the addition of cocoa powder, have stiffened up quite a bit. This is perfect for dipping.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2013 at 1:48 am

    What a great idea… and the green apple slice slathered with the better version is a great someone dropped by dessert.
    You are inspiring!
    Plus… I love this bloggers real food attitude instead of throwing us under a buckwheat and bulgur stew as a New Year’s eating healthier resolution 🙂

  • Reply
    January 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Don’t know the Trader Joe’s version – but yes, you did it better. Opening up show anytime soon? Luscious!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      I just read an article about California being the latest state to loosen its restrictions on home cooks selling food made in their home kitchens. Maybe the time is right!

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    January 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    This looks really really good…I have some of that cocoa powder…if I had the rest of the ingredients, I’m not sure if I would get dinner on the table because i would be making and eating this instead! Yum!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      I’ve been interested to see how each cocoa powder, especially the premium ones, differ in color and taste. I just finished up a box of Valrhona, which was incredible!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    January 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    It looks amazing. I love making nut butter and have a nut butter recipe for next week that I just made and pretty much ate the whole jar the first day. Going back to TJs later to pick up more nuts. So I can make more. I love that you made yours chocolate! And that you talk about it’s health benefits. I’ll go with that 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      I like making small amounts. Just a cup of nuts makes a nice little pot of this stuff so I can’t really overindulge. And I do believe that it’s healthy— it’s only raw nuts and unsweetened cocoa powder, both of which are super foods.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    January 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    We don’t have a Trader Joe’s but I would take your version any day – and twice today! Yum – it looks amazingly delicious. Love almond butter!