For many kids, Monday marked the dreaded, exciting, pencil-biting first day of school. After long summers of beach time, cookouts and vacation, it's back to the grind in those "new school year" kicks. In celebration of teachers, books, and proudly being a "bringer", we've dubbed this week Nut Butters Week. Each day we will show you how to make a different kind of nut butter and give you recipes for 4 sandwich combinations, so there's no excuse of letting it sit in the back of your fridge. Almonds are a great pantry staple that make an accessible nut butter for even the pickiest of palates. One of the original alternative butters, roasting the almonds helps deepen and sweeten their flavor, which is enhanced by a little vanilla extract (you can also use whole vanilla beans if you're feeling fancy). It's great with jellies and fresh fruits; basically, in any application you'd use peanut butter, although Red's favorite is definitely "The Spainard" with fresh sliced Manchego cheese.
Homemade Almond Butter 1 1/2 Cups Almonds 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp Coarse Salt 1/4 Cup Safflower Oil
Preheat oven to 350. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast almonds until golden and aromatic.
Once toasted, remove from oven and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until crunched, about 1 minute.
Scrape down the sides and add oil, vanilla extract and salt. Process until smooth.
Place almond butter in an airtight container and store in refrigerator.
The Italian: AB + Apricot Preserves
Family Tree: AB + Sliced Plums (editors' fact: almonds are a part of the plum family)
Old Fashioned: AB + Strawberry Jelly
The Spaniard: AB + Sliced Manchego + Sliced Figs