Friday, April 5, 2013

milk chocolate pecan butter

Yesterday afternoon, Hannah came over to hang out before her meeting at seven.   When dinnertime rolled around (which is around 4:30 for me if I have nothing going on... I'm twenty-four and would like to order the early-bird special, please), I offered her some... leftovers.

I had leftovers from Easter in addition to some french onion soup and baked beans, so I gave her plenty of options.  Of course, she wanted to know what kind of Easter leftovers I did have:  did I happen to have any lamb or grits?  No, I did not.

You see, my mom swept those up and put them in the fridge and offered the rest of us the biscuits, asparagus-goat cheese tart, and spinach & sausage pie to take home.  Now, I'm grateful that I got any leftovers at all, but, given her own selectivity, I think even she would concede that the grits and lamb were by far the best leftovers from Easter.

Hannah must have let her know what I said about my Easter leftovers because I got a text from my mom this morning that read, "Mmmm.  The lamb and the grits were so good.  Sorry you didn't get any. :  )"

I started thinking about all my leftovers later last night, and it occurred to me that I haven't cooked a thing all week, unless you count heating up leftovers in the microwave as cooking (I don't really).

Given that I haven't cooked all week, it's a good that I have some recipes + photos ready and waiting, right?  Especially since today I've got this absolutely delicious chocolate pecan butter to share.

If you like chocolate and you like pecans, you'll love this.  In theory, this chocolate pecan butter is similar to Nutella (you know... the whole chocolate + nut butter), I think I would sooner liken it to a fluffy chocolate peanut butter.

Spread it on graham crackers or toast, or just eat it by the spoonful, which is exactly what happened to 80% of mine.

Regardless of how you eat it, I think it's the perfect recipe with which to wish you a Happy Friday!

Adapted from this white chocolate peanut butter and this dark chocolate pecan butter.

2 cups pecans
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (about 6 ounces) milk chocolate (I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake pecans at 325 degrees F for 8 to 9 minutes, or until fragrant, being careful not to burn them.  Every two minutes or so, give them a good shake to move them around so that they don't burn.
  2. Fit your food processor with its s-blade.  When the pecans are done toasting, let them cool for a minute before dumping them into your food processor.  Process the pecans until they are finely ground and a nut butter starts to form (about 2 to 3 minutes).  Scrape down the sides and the bottoms of your food processor several times during the process.
  3. Melt your chocolate using the microwave (microwave for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until melted) or in a double boiler.  When your chocolate is melted, pour it in to the food processor with your vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and salt.
  4. Process for another few minutes until you have a smooth mixture, scraping down the food processor several times while processing.  The nut butter will be liquidy at first, but will firm up as the chocolate cools down.
  5. Pour into an airtight container and store sealed until ready to use.  You can store it at room temperature for a few days on in the fridge for a even longer.  It's definitely best and most spreadable at room temperature.
Makes a little under 2 cups.

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