Vanilla Cinnamon Espresso Hazelnut Butter

This recipe meets all the criteria (and more) of a great nut butter. It’s creamy, salty, nutty, and a little crunchy. It’s also subtly sweet with added elements of cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla. The coarsely ground coffee is what adds the slight grainy texture and crunch, and it’s magnificent. All in all, it’s a match made in heaven. I think it might be the best nut butter I’ve ever tasted — not even exaggerating. It’s out-of-this-world good! Enjoy it straight off the spoon or spread on apples, pears, bananas, or in my sunny cinnamon sammie recipe (instead of the sunflower seed butter). It’s also delicious drizzled into plain yogurt.

Also, note that I used decaf beans in this recipe, but you can use regular as well. I don’t like to consume caffeine after 12-ish p.m. and don’t tend to eat nut butter in the morning, so opted for decaf beans. Use whatever you like.

On another note, I’m off to NYC early this morning with my close friend, Heather. We have been looking forward to this trip for months and it’s finally here! We’ve got some fun things in the works, but are leaving plenty of room for trekking and exploring. We’re kicking off our trip this evening with, Sleep No More and I’m super excited…a little scared too! Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you want to see what I’m up to (and eating) in NYC!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • Heaping 2 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely ground high-quality coffee beans (I used decaf beans from a local roaster)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (use 1/4 tsp if you want it less salty)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast hazelnuts in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and light golden brown. Give pan a shake halfway through roasting time.
  2. Once hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, remove some of the skins (doesn’t have to be perfect!). It’s up to you how much you want to remove, but less skin will result in a creamier consistency (the skins can also be bitter). You can also place the hazelnuts on a damp kitchen towel, fold it over, and rub the skins off inside the towel.
  3. Next, add hazelnuts (minus the skins) to the food processor. Blend for about 5-6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Once creamy, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as you like.
  4. Store in a glass jar at room temperature and use within a week. Will last a week or so longer if you store it in the refrigerator.
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Vanilla Hazelnut Ice Cream

vanilla hazelnut ice cream

In lieu of Fat Tuesday, I have a fatty (good, healthy coconut fat!) and delicious treat for you all. No, it’s not a paleo-fied paczki either. I really have no desire to try and replicate those. I do recall eating them on Fat Tuesday during my childhood though, and they were okay, but I never really thought they were that awesome. Sure, I still ate them because grandma offered me one every year, but I think I would have rather eaten a plain glazed doughnut. Oh, how times have changed.

Anyway, the idea for this treat all started with Jesse. You see, I haven’t made ice cream in a while and apparently Jesse noticed, or had a craving at the very least. I say this, because he came home from Food Front Co-op the other day with two boxes of coconut cream, which is what I use to make ice cream sometimes (combined with coconut milk). He said, “Look, I bought you something!” What he meant was, “I bought you this, so you can make me ice cream!” Or in other words, “Make me ice cream, woman!” Okay, I’m exaggerating because the ice cream is for me too and I enjoy it just as much as he does, but I like to tease him. It’s all out of love.

Jesse and I love my plain vanilla ice cream recipe (everything below, minus the hazelnut butter), which is what I was going to make, but then I got the idea to add fresh hazelnut butter. I was shopping at the Alberta Co-op on Friday, and spotted it in their bulk section. They have a big bucket of it and you can scoop out as much as you need, whether it be a lot or just a few tablespoons. I appreciate this because hazelnut butter is spendy and even though it’s still expensive in bulk, I can buy just a little bit, making it pretty affordable. This way too, I won’t go hog wild and eat it all. I don’t know about all of you, but nut butter is super addicting for me, so for this reason, I only occasionally buy it. I generally turn to coconut butter over nut butter anyway.

If you can’t find the coconut cream, don’t fret! Just replace it with more full-fat coconut milk. It’ll work just fine. I know, because I make ice cream this way as well. It really just depends if I have coconut cream on hand or not. The coconut cream makes the ice cream a bit thicker and richer, but it’s still fantastic and creamy with more coconut milk in its place. Additionally, you can use a different nut butter if you can’t find hazelnut butter in the store and don’t have the availability to make your own. This recipe would obviously be awesome with unsweetened cocoa powder added to the mixture too. I actually contemplated doing so, but we decided we wanted the vanilla base, so the hazelnut flavor could really shine through. Maybe next time.

Happy Fat Tuesday! And happy birthday to my dear Dad who turns 63 today! Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand or this one)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (I used this)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 – 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened hazelnut butter (this brand is really good)

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Directions:

  1. Add the coconut milk, coconut cream, vanilla, honey and sea salt to the blender. Don’t use a food processor for this — you’ll end up with a mess if you do. Blend on high for a couple minutes, until the mixture is smooth. If your coconut cream is cold because you already had some open and stored it in the fridge, it may require more blending. Just keep blending until it’s smooth!
  2. With your ice cream maker turned on, pour the mixture into the freezer container. Let churn for about 18 minutes. Then, add the hazelnut butter and continue to churn for another 3-5 minutes or until hazelnut butter is mixed through and ice cream is thick.
  3. Scoop ice cream into a container that can be stored in the freezer. Serve some up right away or place in the freezer to firm up a bit more, if desired. I didn’t do so, but feel free to garnish with some chopped raw hazelnuts.