Summer coming early is always a good thing, but this also means that I am now a 20 minute drive + hour long train ride away from the city - and more importantly, Cady, instead of being just a 25 minute leisurely walk away from her beloved kitchen. Now, we must perfect the art of a semi-long distance relationship and collaborate from separate kitchens.
These pecans immediately drew my attention because they're not a nut I usually keep in my kitchen when not living at home. That, plus my love affair with nut butters, naturally meant pecan butter was in my future.
If you've never made homemade nut butter before, you really should start. It's simple to make if you have a food processor, and there really isn't anything quite like fresh nut butter still warm from the machine. Try it with pecans and you'll be overjoyed you did.
Toasted Pecan Butter
16 oz pecans, raw or roasted (4 heaping cups)
1 tbsp cinnamon
Sea salt, to taste
If starting with raw pecans, toast them in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they become fragrant (about 3-6 minutes). Alternatively, you can roast them in your oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. Transfer into your food processor.
If starting with already roasted pecans, skip the toasting step above and put them straight into the food processor.
Process nuts until they turn into a runny liquid, pausing as necessary to scrape down the sides of the food processor. The pecans will go through three stages: ground nuts, a slightly wet looking crumbly paste, then finally a smooth butter. This can take anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes, so do not get discouraged if the pecans don't break down right away.
With the machine still running, add cinnamon and salt and process for a few seconds longer. Stop the machine and taste, adding more cinnamon or salt as necessary. Remember that you can always add more in later, but it's not too easy to take any out (I learned that the hard way)!
Transfer to a sealed jar and store in the fridge.