Nut butters are one of those things that seem more difficult to make than they really are. All you need is nuts and a little bit of oil to help the nuts blend together smoothly - anything beyond that is up to your personal tastes. Instead of using peanuts to make mine, I opted for cashews, which have a richer and slightly sweeter taste. I also added a fair amount of salt to mine to give it a more savory taste that works great as a dip or spread on a sandwich. The overall effect is similar to peanut butter, but much milder. If you're looking to try something even more different, take a look at all the different flavors that Style adds to their peanut butters for inspiration.
The butter may appear to be slightly grainy, but it actually tastes very smooth because the tiny, tiny pieces of nut that my food processor had a difficult time blending are so soft. If you want to try for a "chunky" nut butter, finely chop a handful of cashews beforehand, then stir them into the butter once it is ready.
2 cups unsalted roasted (or dry toasted) cashews
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
In the food processor, combine cashews, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, sugar and salt and blend until smooth. Add in some of the remaining oil if the mixture comes together into a ball instead of smoothing out into a paste. The whole process should take only a few minutes. Store in the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature for easy spreading.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
[Recipe by Nicole Weston]