i eat a lot of peanut butter atop ritz crackers and apples dipped in peanut butter. one of my all time favorite snacks is to melt equal parts peanut butter and chocolate - the darker the better - in the microwave until smooth. while it's nuking, core and slice a crisp, juicy apple. dip until your heart's content. that was one of my favorite snacks when i lived alone and something i still eat relatively frequently now. until i made this chocolate peanut butter. i think of it as a much better tasting version of my bachelorette snack.
my first foray into homemade peanut butter was about a year and a half ago when i made this white chocolate peanut butter. it is so unbelievably easy to make and tastes so much better than store bought, the only thing you'll regret is not making it sooner.
peanutella [chocolate peanut butter]
adapted from smitten kitchen
30 minutes, 2 cups
if you can't find skinned peanuts, buy them in the skin. roast and let them cool in step 1 and then rub a small handful between your two palms. the skins - at least a majority of them - will slip right off. it's a messy job, but it took me about 5 minutes to do it.
if you can only find roasted peanuts, give them a very short roast, maybe 2-3 minutes in the first step. watch so they don't burn.
2 cups skinned raw peanuts
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- preheat your oven to 400F. spread peanuts evenly on a cookie sheet and roast until they start to darken, about 5-7 minutes. stir them about every 2 minutes. watch for the nuts near the corners of the pan - those started to darken the fastest and i even had to pick out a few burnt ones. if any look too dark or smell burnt, throw them away. let the nuts cool at least 10-15 minutes.
- transfer the nuts to a food processor and process until very smooth, about five minutes. you may need to take a couple breaks - your processor might get too hot, the nuts may form a large ball that needs to be broken up, and towards the end, the mixture may splash up the sides. the peanut butter will go through a couple stages - crushed nuts, start to form small balls, form one large ball, and finally smooth out to peanut butter. these are all normal. if you think yours isn't coming out right, just process it some more.
- add the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about half of the oil and grind until blended, another minute or two.
- check the consistency. if it's too thick, add another tablespoon of oil and blend another minute or two. check again and keep adding oil until it's the consistency you like. i added all 4 tablespoons of oil.
- store in the refrigerator. delicious on toast, scones, over ice cream, and with apples, pretzels, and anything else you can dip into it.