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…