Peanut butter is a delicious and versatile ingredient that we can spread on sandwiches, mix into cookies and use as a base for all kinds of savory sauces. Most of the time, we buy our peanut butter and choose from one of dozens of varieties available at the supermarket. If you have a food processor, you can actually make your own peanut butter very easily at home and gain the ability to control what goes into your butter and control the texture.
You can make a huge batch of peanut butter, but I would actually recommend starting with this recipe of halving because it is easier to keep and use in the fridge. It is also easier to tweak the recipe in the future if you decide that you like a little more salt, a little more sugar or some other element. The process is simple: place roasted peanuts in the food processor and whiz with a bit of salt, a bit of sugar and a bit of oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You can vary the seasoning to your taste and the amount of oil to the consistency that you like best, but no matter what you’re going to end up with a very fresh tasting peanut butter.
Homemade peanut butters are almost never as smooth as store-bought peanut butters, which utilize much heavier duty equipment for crushing peanuts into a paste than a counter-top food processor. My peanut butters have a very slightly sandy texture by the time I’m done with them. I add back in chopped peanuts for “chunky” peanut butter.
Now, while I like homemade peanut butter for sandwiches and toast, I still prefer brands like JIF for baking because they give a more consistent – and sometimes better – result. You can certainly experiment with the homemade nut butter for baking, but keep in mind that most recipes are written for national brands (regular and “natural” with their creamy consistency). This means your result may be different with homemade butter, so don’t worry if you need to do a little tweaking to get the cookies with homemade peanut butter turn out like the cookies made with a national brand.
Homemade Peanut Butter
15 oz roasted peanuts
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp peanut or canola oil
Combine peanuts, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food process. Whiz until well combined and mixture looks sandy, about 1-2 minutes.
With the motor running, stream in the peanut oil until peanut butter comes together and is smooth. Blend for about 2 minutes to smooth the peanut butter out as much as possible. Add in additional seasoning to taste.