Sunday, September 9, 2012

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Honey Almond Butter with Golden Raisins


This weekend, my sweet boyfriend took me on a surprise trip to New York City for my 24th birthday. We started our Saturday in Greenwich Village at one of my absolute favorite spots in the city: Peanut Butter & Co. 

If only that intellectual man behind the tree were my boyfriend.

Impromptu photo shoot, while waiting for our sandwiches.
And the real Frankie comes out. 
My sweet tooth required that I order the Cookie Dough Surprise, a creamy combination of peanut butter, vanilla cream cheese, and chocolate chips. I ordered it toasted, which made it so deliciously melty that I ate the entire thing. My belly was both satisfied and horrified.

Cookie Dough Surprise
Frank opted for the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Sandwich, featuring PB & Co.'s to-die-for cinnamon raisin peanut butter, vanilla cream cheese, and apple slices. He's less of a peanut butter fanatic than me, but he still devoured it (and berated his mom for depriving him of such decadence in his school lunches).

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Sandwich

Since I don't live in the city, I'm forced to recreate the magic of PB & Co. in my own kitchen. Which is why I eat peanut butter every day, without fail, for breakfast. I toast a whole-wheat English muffin, apply a generous layer of creamy peanut butter, and sprinkle golden raisins on top. I've been mocked for my odd breakfast, but I don't care. I'll eat it every morning until I die. 

Or until something better comes along.

Like Honey Almond Butter with Golden Raisins. 

My trip to PB & Co. got me thinking: Why not make my own nut butter, with golden raisins already folded in? I decided to use almonds, instead of peanuts, since they have a Mediterranean flavor that pairs well with honey and golden raisins. 

First, I roasted the almonds at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Then, I chopped them up in my food processor for several minutes, until the oils that make nut butter creamy were released.

Early in the process.

Creamy, creamy.
Then I added sea salt...

...and honey. 

Finally, I stirred in cinnamon and golden raisins.

The cinnamon's warmth is the perfect accent to the roasted richness of the almonds, while its subtle sweetness is a delicious backdrop for the raisins and honey. The sea salt awakens the flavor of the whole thing. 

Smear it on toast, add it to your oatmeal, or eat it by the spoonful. You'll love it regardless.

Honey Almond Butter with Golden Raisins

What you need
2 cups almonds, raw
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup golden raisins
2 tsp cinnamon

Put it all together
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the almonds on a foil-lined cookie sheet, and roast for 10-12 minutes. 
  2. Grind the roasted almonds in a food processor for several minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides, until the consistency is thick and creamy.
  3. Transfer to a glass jar, and stir in the sea salt, honey, golden raisins, and cinnamon until evenly combined.


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