Posts Tagged ‘butter’

It may be a busy summer, even for updating my blog, but it’s never too busy for food making (almost). This time, I decided to make some time, and post an easy peasy recipe.

While due to my Paleo nutrition I keep most nuts to a minimum (I usually stick to macadamia nuts), my kids are not whole Paleo. The transition is slow. They would still take sandwiches to school (summer camp) for lunch, along with some veggie snacks or fruit.  To spoil them a bit, and to get them off of peanut butter, I have decided to make hazelnut butter/spread.

an all natural roaster hazelnut chocolate butter, diy

a wee scoop of hazelnut-chocolate butter on celery

Without further ado, I would like to introduce … The Hazelnut Chocolate Spread.

you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of raw hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp 100% cacao powder (or more)
  • 4-5 pitted dates

how to:

1. Heat oven to 350°f.

2. Spread the hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Check on them occasionally, and make sure they’re not burning.  Wiggle the baking sheet if needed.

3. Transfer the roasted hazelnuts onto a clean towel, even if they’re still a bit hot. Wrap them and rub them, until most of the skins come off. These will produce a creamier butter. Oh- of course not all skins will come off 🙂

roasted hazelnuts, skins removed

roasted hazelnuts, skins removed

4. Place the hazelnuts and the rest of the ingredients in the food processor, and process in pulses (watch out, you don’t want to over heat the machine), until you get a nice, smooth, creamy consistency. All you need is patience.

on the way to becoming a hazelnut chocolate butter

roasted hazelnuts + chocolate powder + dates + sea salt

an all natural roaster hazelnut chocolate butter, diy

roasted hazelnuts n’ chocolate butter half way through

an all natural roaster hazelnut chocolate butter, diy

roasted hazelnuts butter- done!

5. Transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Place in the refrigerator.


Just like any kind of sauce, salsa, or smoothie, nut butter recipes are always open to suggestions, trials, and imagination. Explore and add: vanilla extract, chilli powder, maple syrup, honey, another kind of nut, more chocolate powder, coconut shreds, and cinnamon.

You can also play around with the consistency. Go for crunchy if you like (less process in the machine).

Ta- Dam

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To have such a good friend as Meenakshi , one cannot avoid sweetness, as well as the sweet taste of Ghee.

You see, Meenu is Indian, and many many dishes made in beautiful Meenu’s kitchen, are made with the aromatic Ghee.

To me, coming from Israel, Ghee is not that unfamiliar, as it is used by Israelis of Yemenite decedents, but it’s called Samna.

first jar of Ghee, almost all gone

Indeed, Ghee, just like butter, contains high percentage of saturated fats. Yet, it is the clarifying process, through heating, that the milk solids are removed thus leaving the ghee lactose free. The web is also full of articles of Ghee’s nutritional value due to its vitamins and antioxidants. I will just add my own 2 cents: it’s yummy, easy to handle and make, and use it in moderation, just a you would butter.

for two jars of Ghee you’ll need:

  • 8 sticks of unsalted butter. for best results, use the organic kind;
  • non stick, clean pan;
  • 2 empty and clean glass jars (10 to 12 oz each).


drop all the butter sticks in the pan, place on stove top uncovered, turn on medium heat.

melted butter, starts to turn into foam

the butter will start melting and form a white foam. that’s good! you can occasionally stir gently with a wooden spoon.

white froth

at this point, lower the heat and keep on simmering for additional 10 to 15 minutes. The liquid is now being divided into 3 parts: the moister on top, the golden clarified butter in the middle, and the milk solids on the bottom. As it simmers, you will be able to see, between the bubbles, the sediment settling on the bottom.

bubbly Ghee

Once the bubbles come down and the kitchen is filled with a great sweet smell, a deep golden color could be viewed on the bottom of the pan. The moister, water from the top, have evaporated. At this point, turn off the heat, and let the liquid cool down. You want to watch out for burning the Ghee, so don’t over heat.

After cooling the Ghee (for 20 minutes or so), you can use a strainer or a sieve, and carefully pour the liquid into your jars. The Ghee will transform from liquid to soft solid with cream like color.  Tighten the jars. You can keep them on the shelf, not need to refrigerate. Isn’t that awesome? whenever you need, you just coop out some Ghee with a tea spoon or knife and use it.

cooling the beauties

one of the simplest yummiest things to do with Ghee, is just to spread it on top of whole grain wheat toast. nuff said!

more is less

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Weather is certainly cool enough to make me long for a sweet smell in the house, the smell that goes with… cookies of course (and coffee).

choco-butter cookies

they are easy to make (ahem.. if you have a food processor), and kids love helping. notice that we don’t like the cookies to taste too sweet, but sugar can always be added as desired.

you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 TS sugar
  • 2 TS powdered sugar
  • 1 TS ground flax seeds
  • 2 TS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

put all dry ingredients in the food processor and … process on high-speed, until all powders have unified nicely. all the processing stages need to be quick, only a few seconds.

dry ingredients for choco-butter cookies in food processor

dry ingredients for choco-butter cookies

add chunks of butter and process until the mixture looks somewhat like crumbs. don’t over do it-  the butter has to remain cool.

added butter to choco-butter cookies

add eggs and vanilla extract and process until the mixture builds up into a dough-ball.

choco-butter dough

separate dough into two balls. plastic wrap them. into the fridge they go to rest for 1 hour.

two nice choco-butter paper weights

warm the oven to 410F. when you’re ready for some fun, and the dough has been cold in the fridge for at least an hour, take it out, spread/flatten on your best kitchen table – use some flour so it doesn’t stick to the rolling-pin, and cut out circles or any other cool shape.

cut out choco-butter cookies

as you can see, I use parchment baking paper instead of greasing the pan. once the oven is 410F, put the baking pan in the oven, set your timer to 13 minutes, and start working on your next batch of cookies – different baking sheet. of course, each oven is different, so you’ll have to watch the first batch, so not to burn the cookies. after 13 minutes, take out the pan and let it rest and cool down a bit (5-7 minutes). sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and transfer to a cookie dish.

having fun with dough

these are the same kind of cookies- only without cocoa and without the ground flax seeds. instead, add 3 more TS of flour.

just butter cookies

bon appetit !

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