Patience has not been one of my virtues lately. As April 1st approaches, all I can think about is college acceptance notifications. In all honesty, I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was in elementary school. Everything I’ve done since then has been preparation for college. Now that it’s almost here, it’s kind of surreal.
Needless to say, I’m one of those super-planning, over-acheiver, type A students. I’m also a cronic worrier, so knowing that admission decisions are now completely out of my hands is absolutely nerve-wracking. Fortunately, I’ve found a solution to my impatience… a way to channel my stress, if you will.
You know what they say: when life hands you lemons, make
lemonade hazelnut butter. Okay, maybe that’s not what they say, but they definitely should. It’s certainly a delicious alternative, especially when enrobed in chocolate. But not too fast; we were talking about patience, right?
However, I should warn you. This recipe is test of patience for just about anyone. (Unless, of course, you use hazelnuts without skins; if you can get your hands on some, by all means, USE THEM!) BUT, it is totally worth it regardless of what method you use, especially when making this nut butter allows you to make homemade nutella butter cups (like peanut butter cups, but BETTER). And all you really need is a kitchen towel and little time. Oh, and some patience. Definitely a lot of patience.
Fortunately, while taking the skins off the hazelnuts, I was so focused on my job that my college worries naturally melted away. At the end of the process, I was left with deliciously creamy and carmel-like hazelnut butter. Both my tasting spoon and mind were emptied! I’d say that was quite a win-win situation.
Maybe patience isn’t so hard after all…
Homemade Hazelnut Butter
Makes ~3/4 cup
- 1-1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
- brown rice syrup, to taste (I used ~1TBS)
- safflower or other light oil (used to achieve desired preference; optional)
- tiny pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Spread hazelnuts out on a baking sheet (preferably with sides!) or brownie pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the most of the skins have blistered and a nutty aroma fills your kitchen.
Vigorously rub hazelnuts in the kitchen towel to separate them of their skins. You will definitely need to put some muscle in it! (*Word to the wise: make sure your towel remains closed while you rub or else the hazelnuts will roll all over your kitchen.)
Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Peeling hazelnut skins definitely taught be about patience and the limits of perfectionism.
Once most of the skins are off (it’s virtually impossible to get them all off), transfer the “naked” hazelnuts to a food processor. The blending process will be easier if they are still warm.