cinnamon hazelnut butter and apples
cinnamon hazelnut butter and apples
22 Oct 2013

Roasted hazelnut butter

Forgive me because I’m about to get all Portlandia on you, San Francisco-style of course. Yesterday I went to BiRite and was immediately wooed by their abundant assortment of beautiful farm-direct apples. After a lengthy discussion about said apples (yes, we talked about the apples) and lots of tastes from one of the insanely friendly associates I decided to focus my efforts on the Oz Farms Cox Orange Pippin (those are the red and green apples pictured here). Besides being a major mouthful, the Cox Orange Pipin is quite a special apple and deserves an equally upstanding accompaniment. Luckily, the answer was only a few feet away, for on the BiRite nut shelf I discovered Freddy Guys orchard fresh hazelnuts. I couldn’t believe my luck! Heirloom apple, meet New York Times chronicled hazelnuts – a match made in pedigreed food heaven!

Now for the fun part: I decided to take those beautiful hazelnuts, roast them until they were golden brown and then grind them into a rich and flavorful nut butter. If you’ve never made nut butter, don’t worry, you don’t need a churn or any other antiquated flea market gadgetry. All you need is a way to roast the nuts, and then a food processor to break them down. That’s it. I added some salt and cinnamon to my concoction because I thought it would be tasty with the apples (it was). I’ll include my recipe below but you should riff on yours and let me know what you come up with in the comments!

Another couple of things to mention –  if you aren’t near a BiRite don’t fret. Apples are plentiful this time of year so you’re bound to find something delicious. Same with the hazelnuts; Freddy Guys are tasty, but so are most hazelnuts. Just try to get some that haven’t been sitting around for too long as they can become rancid. Last, if you don’t like hazelnuts (and you’re still actually reading this) you can substitute with almonds.



Roasted hazelnut butter recipe 


2 cups roasted hazelnuts

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat your oven to 300. Roast the hazelnuts at 300 degrees until they turn golden brown and their skins darken, about 30 minutes. Let the hazelnuts cool to the point that you can handle them and use a cloth the remove what you can of the skins – don’t stress if not all of it comes off. Add the nuts, salt and cinnamon to your food processor and grind away. You’ll see that the nuts start to break down into a fine crumble and then all of the oil will release and create the butter consistency.


cox orange pippin heirloom apples
before and after roasted hazelnuts
hazelnut butter in progress
cinnamon hazelnut butter
hazelnut butter and apples

7 Responses to “Roasted hazelnut butter”

  1. From the health nuts in SoCal (pun intended), I’ve heard that the quality of almonds by the time they make it to our plate are pretty poor. Sunflower butter seems to be an option with increasing popularity. As far as quality, taste or texture, do you have a preference?

    • wegolden

      Hi Dustin! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I’m not surprised to hear that about almonds. It’s impossible to know how old packaged almonds are no matter what the expiration date says, and all nuts are susceptible to going rancid (almonds are no exception). I buy my almonds from a trusted source (in SF Massa organics almonds are available fresh from the farm at BiRite and at the farmers market) and then I refrigerate them to keep them at their prime for as long as possible.

      As far as sunflower (seed?) butter goes, I haven’t tried it but I suspect the same rules apply. If it’s been sitting around it might not be great so try to find out what you can about who is making it and whether you like what they’re up to. Let me know what you find!

  2. This looks great! I tried making hazelnut butter before, but ended up wit a hazelnut-crumbly-kind-of-a-paste-mixture, next time, I’ll keep on grinding! thanks for the recipe!

  3. I’m making macadamia nut butter tomorrow… lemme know if you have any tips. I will definitely let you know how it goes… (PS: have I sent you and lilikoi curd/butter yet? I think I’m remiss…)


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