Tag Archives: sea salt

Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Seasoned to Taste - Almond Butter with Sea Salt

My mom got me this awesome cookbook from America’s Test Kitchens –  the DIY Cookbook, showing you how to make everything from your own Sriracha to Worcestershire sauce to candied ginger. I will soon be trying the bacon jam recipe, but before that I went for the almond butter, because I had been wanting to try making its sibling, peanut butter.

For something so expensive in the grocery store, the two-ingredient, two-step recipe seemed unbelievable. I guess I just assumed you added oil or sugar or SOMETHING else to get that great spreadable consistency.

On the contrary, all you need is nuts and salt, and the process of grinding the almonds  pulls all those rich oils out and blends the pieces into a smooth butter that sticks to the roof of your mouth. I added more salt than the recipe’s 1 teaspoon, because I liked the flakes of sea salt breaking through the rich butter. Bigger salt crystals always hit your tongue after a few chews, so they don’t overpower.

I have tested this recipe once, but feel it will be emerging again around the holidays – it’s a wonderful hostess gift or present, as it stores well and will impress your friends. I have consumed and given enough away that I already wish I had made a double batch.

Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Ingredients (makes 2 c.):

  • 4 c. almonds, whole
  • sea salt

Heat oven to 375. Spread almonds evenly on baking sheet and roast on middle rack until slightly darkened, 10-12 min. Let cool until just warm, 20 min.

Add almonds to food processor and blend, scraping down sides to help it along, about 7-10 min. total. Puree until the oils release and it becomes the consistency of peanut butter. Add 1 tsp salt and process. Taste for seasonings. Add more salt if you prefer.

I was concerned multiple times that mine was not coming together – you feel like you are grinding and grinding and it’s just a mess of crumbs. So I kept mixing the puree from the bottom to the top to distribute the pieces, and processed until finally, it started to become smooth. And became this:

Seasoned to Taste - Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Transfer to jars with tight lids. The almond butter can be stored in fridge for up to 2 months.

I have been snacking on crisp Gala apples dipped in my almond butter – just how I used to eat peanut butter as a child. It’s wonderful and such a healthy, filling snack for work.

Seasoned to Taste - Almond Butter with Sea Salt

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Parmesan Shortbread with Black Pepper, Fennel and Sea Salt

This is a cookie so unique that I think tasters are perplexed into thinking they are in love with it. Here is the experience …

First, the smell – Parmesan, nutty and warm. Second, you get the sea salt, crunchy and ripe with minerals. Then, the butter, as the shortbread begins to melt in your mouth. Next, your first bite breaks apart the fennel seeds, releasing a soft anise flavor. After swallowing, the black pepper blooms with heat down your throat.

I just love savory cookies. I’ve made blue-cheese shortbread crackers and had all sorts of cheese coins since living in The South, and these little darlings make me think I’m on to something.

So delicious, especially in the afternoon, with a nice cup of tea. I prefer Earl Gray.

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Parmesan Shortbread with Black Pepper, Fennel Seed and Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or pounded with mortar and pestle
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I used fleur de sel)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a medium bowl on low speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, pepper, and kosher salt. Reduce speed to medium and beat, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 4–5 minutes. Add flour and cheese. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat mixture just until dough comes together.
Wrap dough in plastic or parchment paper and shape into a long cube. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 5 days ahead. Keep chilled. 

Stir together fennel and sea salt. Set aside.

Arrange a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Cut dough into cookies 1/4 inch thick.
Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush cookies generously with oil, then sprinkle with fennel salt.

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are golden brown (flecks of cheese will be slightly darker), 20–24 minutes.

Let cool on sheets for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room tem-perature. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo