I am not a big fan of peanut butter. I have experimented a lot of recipes using almond butter instead of peanut butter. You can check these recipes if you like almond butter as much as I do - Almond Joy Cookies,
Chocolatey Almond butter bars,
Vegan Almond Cookies.
Peanut butter is very cheap compared to almond butter. That was one of the main reasons for me to try to make almond butter at home. It is very simple process and I can get a jar of almond butter for half the price with almost no effort whatsoever. You'll realize how easy it is by the end of this post.
Almonds - 2 cups
Olive oil or almond oil - 2 - 3 tsp
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet with edges (jelly roll pan). I used 2 cups of almonds in a 15 X 10 pan. If you use smaller size, use less almonds so that they are in a single layer. Bake for a total of 15 - 18 minutes stirring half way once. Every oven is different and the pan you use also makes a big difference in how fast it gets toasted. Keep an eye on it till you figure out your equipment. You could roast them at higher temperature but you'll have to stir often. You could even roast them in a skillet instead of using the oven. Goal is to get nicely toasted almonds. Let them cool down, but not to room temperature. It is easy to grind them when they are still warm. Place them in a food processor and start grinding the almonds. They'll make lot of noise and in 2 - 3 minutes, you'll start seeing fine crumbs. When it is getting difficult for the blade to move easily, add olive oil or almond oil one tsp at a time. Do not go more than 3 tsp for 2 cups of almonds. (See my notes at the end of this post)
When they come together into a smooth paste, almond butter is ready.You need a very powerful motor to get it as smooth as what they sell in the store. You can take it out early if you like the crunchy texture. If you run the same for longer, you will get a smooth almond butter. You could add seasonings like salt or sugar when they are done and run the machine for couple more minutes. I kept them natural. These need to be stored in the refrigerator and will last up to 3 months. The store bought almond butter doesn't have any preservative and can stay in the refrigerator up to its expiration date. I am saying use within 3 months to be on the safer side.
Not everyone has a food processor, so when I was making almond butter today for the purpose of this post, I actually used a blender.
If you use more than 3 tsp oil (to facilitate the processor) for 2 cups of almonds, don't use it right away. Just leave it in the refrigerator undisturbed for a day and the oil will float. You can discard the oil then. When I was making this, I got an idea to make the nutella equivalent with almonds. I'll make that a different post but the result is amazing. I guess I can make nutella at home now.