While this nut butter isn’t in my Nut Butters cookbook, you should definitely check out the book if you haven’t already! It has twenty creative nut butter recipes, PLUS twenty ways to use them (more than just as a dip!). Perhaps I’ll include this recipe in the next edition!
It is COLD COLD COLD here in Bozeman! Today the high is -5F. NEGATIVE FIVE DEGREES. That does not sound like a “high” temperature to me! Yesterday when I woke up it was -22F. COLD. Cold cold cold. Luckily, we have a fireplace and a tea kettle to keep me company! It’s been pretty chilly all week, so we actually moved our bed out into the living room to be in front of the fire — really more for an adventure than for actual need of warmth. It was SO fun to sleep out by the fire for a few nights! Also, now we know we could survive living in a studio!
In the spirit of all things cold and holiday-ish, I bring you candy cane cashew butter! I was inspired to make this after having my oreo cookie butter go CRAZY on tumblr and pinterest last month. Some sort of candy-cane dip seemed appropriate, and WHY NOT MAKE MORE NUT BUTTER!? I didn’t think I’d be making more and more, but once you get on a roll it’s hard to stop!
This is essentially a cashew butter, with crushed candy canes added! Last time I used crushed candy canes in a recipe I heard that people had a hard time finding pre-crushed, so I used full candy canes this time to see how to handle them. The solution? A food processor. Pretty much my solution to everything, ever. I started with the candy canes, and processed until they were in little chunks. It won’t be homogeneous — you’ll have some bigger chunks and some powder: it’s ok!
After processing the candy canes, I set them aside and made a straight cashew butter. If you’ve read my cookbook you know that one of the most helpful tips for making nut butters is to blend the nut ALONE until it’s completely butterized (is that a word? I don’t think so) before adding any flavors. Once I had a smooth and creamy cashew butter, I added the white chocolate chips. I mainly did this for texture: if you only add candy canes, the mixture becomes a bit to thick and isn’t much of a spread anymore. I’ve learned that by adding some chocolate chips, of any flavor, you can smooth out a nut butter that would otherwise seize up and be too thick.
After adding the white chocolate chips, I finally added in the candy canes. I processed just enough to get them all mixed in and smooth — then you’re done! I made dark chocolate cookies to use as dip sticks (dunkaroos, anyone?). You could also treat this as frosting! Or just eat it on a spoon. With hot chocolate. Or on top of ice cream. I tell you, the possibilities are endless!
- 2 cups cashews, raw and unsalted
- 12 regular candy canes
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
- ½ tsp salt (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. Using a spatula, spread them around to check doneness. Bake in two minute increments until done (they will be golden and smell nutty, but not be black and burned).
- While the nuts are baking, add the candy canes to your food processor. Blend until no pieces are bigger than a pea. Set aside.
- When they're done, immediately add the nuts to the food processor and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the white chocolate chips, again blending until smooth.
- Add salt and vanilla extract to taste, then add the candy canes and pulse until incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.