Okay, this one requires a food-processor, which is the only reason I didn’t put it under my “Student-Approved” category – it is otherwise SO low-maintenance to prepare.
Basically, all you need is some almonds, a food processor, and the secret ingredient… Patience. Loads of it.
I used almond pieces instead of whole almonds, for three reasons: One, I try to go easy on Elvis (my food-processor) whenever I can since he treats me so well. Two, pieces are cheaper than whole almonds, and cheap is better than expensive. And three, pieces normally have less of the filmy brown skin of the almonds, which I thought would give a clearer, more uniform result. *Edit: I have since yet to see pieces sell for cheaper than whole almonds – it must have been a one-time fluke of the store. Fortunately, I found that I actually prefer the taste and consistency of almond butter made from whole almonds. I now use it all the time, and never skip roasting them until they are fragrant.*
A word of caution: I really do mean that about this recipe requiring patience! I almost gave up several times but since I had stuff to do in the kitchen anyways, I just left Elvis running. It’s not that it takes such a long time – more that it just doesn’t give any sign of “getting there” – until it gets there.
In the beginning, the almonds just get crushed until they hold a crumbly texture. After a few more minutes, it gets the consistency of marzipan. It slowly becomes more and more shiny until finally all the oil breaks out and it becomes smooth and creamy.
It’s so incredibly easy to make that I’m not even going to include the In-A-Nutshell section this time.
**Note: You can do this with pretty much any nut, so go crazy experimenting which one you love the most! And as a friend mentioned in one of the comments, it is nice to sometimes roast them beforehand (this also cuts down processing time considerably).
Here’s the same process with oven-roasted peanuts:
Serves: makes about 1.5 cups if using pieces, about 1 cup if using whole almonds
Estimated Time: 15 minutes total (will increase if your food processor needs humanitarian breaks). About half that time if you roast your nuts beforehand.
Kosher Classification: Neutral
2 cups almond pieces
Place almonds in the food processor.
Blend until it reaches a creamy consistency, about 15 minutes (not including breaks).
In the beginning, some of the almond meal may stay on the the sides and not get blended. Stop blending and scrape them down, the continue.
Sometimes, during the chunky marzipan stage, the chunk might stay on top of the blade. If this happens, stop blending, break it apart with a spoon and scrape it towards the bottom, and then continue.
Transfer to a jar and enjoy. Keeps in the refrigerator for two months.