Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nuts, Nuts, Nuts

I love unexpected snow days! I love snow mornings, too, even if this snow morning was capped on both ends by frustration. I got to stay home and relax most of the morning due to the weather, even though I had already driven in to work first thing this morning, taken off my coat and boots, and had started opening emails in my office when I got the call saying that the office was going to be closed for the rest of the morning due to the inclement weather, which resulted in me having to drive all the way back home again on the treacherous snow-covered roads, and then drive back to work again only a few hours later on still-treacherous roads when the office reopened. But that’s winter.

And according to some optimistic groundhogs, this winter might end early. I can’t believe it’s Groundhog Day already. Christmas seems like only a distant memory or a dream, something that never really happened. Seriously, though, where did January go? I’ve been so busy that I didn’t even notice it passing. Despite the occasional messy, blustery day, winter has been good so far, and I’ve been making and baking a lot of nutty things the past few weeks.

Like mixed nut butter. I didn’t follow a recipe to make nut butter but there are plenty online. I didn’t blanch the nuts to remove the skins beforehand, however, which is what most recipes seem to recommend. I wanted to keep the fibre in there. Plus, I was too lazy to fuss around with blanching. I used brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts, all toasted in the oven, about 2.25 cups total, and then buzzed them in the food processor until they resembled a course, grainy flour, making sure to stop before they turned into nut butter. I also added some ground almond meal that I had bought at Bulk Barn.
Ground nuts and almond meal

I didn’t use all of the ground nuts that you see above, just a fraction. I then added a small amount of salt and icing sugar to taste to the ground nut mixture in the food processor and let it all whiz together until it turned creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula occasionally. And here's what I got:
Mixed Nut Butter

The nut butter was so good. I only made a small batch, enough to equal about 1 cup, because this sort of thing probably goes bad quickly.

The rest of the ground nuts were used to make cookies.
Spiced Nut Cookies

I decided to pipe the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet using a Wilton disposable plastic piping bag because it was kind of gloopy. I added raisins to some cookies. I modified this ground almond pie crust recipe  (which I made into a pie crust, as well, but I forgot to take pictures!) to make the cookie batter by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, approximately 1/4 cup of brown sugar instead of sweetener, an extra tablespoon of margarine, one beaten egg, and 1 tsp of vanilla. They were delicious and chewy.

Speaking of delicious and chewy, I also made some coconut macaroons.
Coconut Macaroons

My favourite coconut macaroon recipe is one from, but I can't seem to find the exact one that I always use as I didn't bookmark it and only have the printed version. These are addictive, though.

And finally I made baked doughnuts!
Doughnuts - 1
Doughnuts - 2
Doughnuts - 3

Ha, I tricked you. Doughnuts aren't made from nuts or coconuts. I made them using my new Wilton doughnut pans (one regular sized pan and one mini pan) that I got for Christmas, and the recipe for the doughnuts was on the pan's package. The trick with using the doughnut pans is not to fill the round cavities too full so that you can get the hole in the middle once the doughnut is baked. Naturally, I filled the cavities in the mini doughnut pan too full and ended up with little one-bite cupcakey things rather than little doughnuts, but they tasted like doughnuts. Some doughnuts I topped with pink royal icing glaze, and the rest were topped with melted chocolate. And lots and lots of sprinkles, of course.

Anyway, I have plans to spend the rest of the winter (which could be six weeks long or six months depending on which groundhog you follow) planning and baking cakes and sewing some little things. Or maybe sewing cakes and baking little things. Either or.

No comments:

Post a Comment