California Walnut Butter

California Walnut Butter

Walnut butter is easy to make, and offers a variety of convenient applications. Spread on crostini and garnish with a slice of fruit or fresh herbs for an elegant appetizer, or use it as a dip for crisp vegetables for a quick snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons walnut or vegetable oil (or as needed)

Optional, to taste:

  • A little honey
  • A little cinnamon

Directions

You can make walnut butter using raw, soaked or toasted walnuts. Here’s how to do all three, and why they’re different.

Raw walnuts: 

Use raw walnuts for a very creamy and smooth texture that tastes like a just shelled walnut.

Soaked walnuts: 

This method will remove some of the tannin from the walnut skin, and offer a more textured walnut butter. Soak walnuts overnight, drain and discard the water. Then, toast the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350°F for up to 15 minutes to dry them out (don’t let them get dark!). Cool the walnuts before making them into butter.

Toasted walnuts:

To enhance the sweet, nutty flavor of walnuts, toast them before making them into butter. Walnut butter with toasted walnuts will provide a coarse textured finished product. Toast walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350°F for 8 to 10, or until fragrant. Cool the walnuts before making them into butter.

To make the butter:

Make walnut butter by putting the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and grinding them until they become sticky or paste-like. Add the salt. Add the oil, a little bit at a time until the walnut butter binds together. If you like, add small touches of honey and/or cinnamon to taste.