These posts while we’re settling in to our new house are bound to be a little shorter and sweeter than usual. I’m having trouble getting into a rhythm…still tripping over boxes and spending way too much time searching for the daily necessities that got tossed willy-nilly into random boxes at the last minute on the other end. My wide tooth comb that I cannot wash my hair without…my camera battery charger…coffee filters…the dog’s special breath bones…utter necessities, and it irks me that we can’t locate them.
But on a more positive note, one of the pleasures of moving, even if it’s only a few miles away, is discovering a whole new neighborhood of shops, restaurants, markets, etc. We stopped into a new food market other day and found a treasure trove of unusual foods, like tamarind pods, yucca, and butter from at least ten different countries… Lithuanian feta, anyone? Anyway, I picked up a bag of fire roasted peanuts in their shell, and then, serendipitously passed through the peanut butter aisle where I noticed that the major brands now make a chocolate version. How did I miss that? Well, I’m glad I already unpacked my little food processor because I went right home and made it myself.
It all starts with roasted unsalted peanuts. Fresher peanuts make fresher tasting peanut butter. I love to buy all kinds of nuts in their shell, even if it does require a little extra effort. And the health news on nuts keeps getting getting better and better — basically if you eat more nuts you’ll be skinnier, healthier, so, yeah, let’s find as many ways to eat nuts as we can.
This recipe requires just two ingredients: peanuts and chocolate, with a smidge of salt. If you’ve ever doubted the power of salt to transform the flavor of food, swipe your finger into the finished peanut butter before you add the salt and then give it a taste after. Just that tiniest bit brings the flavors to life.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter
- 1 heaping cup roasted peanuts, without salt or skins
- 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- a pinch, about 1/8 tsp salt
- Put the nuts in the bowl of a small food processor. Blend for about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the peanut butter is smooth and has a thick liquid consistency. When in doubt, keep processing, it will be very dry and crumbly at first, and will eventually break down into a glossy thick liquid.
- Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir, and microwave for 10 to 15 more seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the heat of the bowl do some of the work while you stir, and don't overheat or the chocolate will seize up.
- Pour the chocolate into the bowl of the processor and process until everything is well mixed and smooth. Add the salt and give it one last whiz.
- Pour the peanut butter into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, and set aside. It will firm up as it comes to room temperature. If you decide to keep it in the refrigerator, you will need to let it come to room temperature before using so it will be easier to spread.
With just peanuts and dark chocolate as ingredients, this stuff is actually healthy, and yet it tastes like a candy bar. Pretty good for somebody who’s still living out of boxes, wouldn’t you say?