On a whim, I bought some hazelnuts at the store. Normally I try to only purchase things I have plans for (see my post about zero-waste grocery shopping for more about that), but I saw them in the bulk bin during our monthly stock-up trip, and I knew I just had to have them. I figured I would use them eventually.
I’m happy to say that “eventually” has arrived. It actually didn’t take that long. Hazelnuts, of course, put me in the mood for Nutella, but we stopped buying Nutella when we realized palm oil is a primary ingredient. These days, I make most of my own nut butter and spreads anyway.
So, when the chocolate-hazelnut craving hit, there was only one thing to do: figure out how to make it at home...and we did thanks to my food processor and my trust assistant (my six-year-old son and taste-tester-in-chief).
It was so easy, it literally came out perfect on the first try, and only required two ingredients: hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
Here’s what you need:
*2 Cups Hazelnuts
*½ Cup Chocolate Chips
*Parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet (optional if you’d like to toast your hazelnuts first).
Tip: To make the batch larger or smaller, simply use a ratio of ¼ cup chocolate chips to 1 cup of hazelnuts.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread your hazelnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them into the oven until they are lightly toasted (they will turn a deep brown). 20 minutes in my convection oven was perfect, though depending on your oven, the time may be a bit more or less. You can skip the toasting step, but I highly recommend it because toasting adds such a wonderful flavor.
Tip: To save energy, toss the hazelnuts in the oven while you’re baking something else! I tossed these in the oven alongside zucchini bread.
Allow the toasted hazelnuts to cool completely. You can even toast them a few days ahead of time and store them in an airtight container. Warning: Toasted hazelnuts are delicious and if you do this, you may not have any left to make your hazelnut butter because your family will eat them.
Add the toasted and cooled hazelnuts to the food processor. Run-on high until the nuts achieve an almond-butter-like consistency. I’ll be honest, if you don’t want to add the chocolate, the hazelnut butter is delicious without anything added to it, and you can use it plain if you’d like.
Soften the chocolate chips in the microwave. You don’t need to melt them completely (so messy to clean up!) Just give them 45-60 seconds to become soft enough to easily incorporate into the hazelnut butter.
Add the chocolate chips and run the food processor for another 30-60 seconds until the chocolate is fully incorporated. As with all nut butters, run the food processor longer for a smoother consistency, and use less time if you prefer more texture.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. This hazelnut butter will keep for a few weeks, though I doubt it will last that long.
Enjoy on toast, with fruit, or anywhere else you would eat Nutella. It also tastes excellent with this 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread.
Not a big chocolate fan? Plain toasted hazelnut butter is equally delicious without the chocolate. You can also try adding 1-2 tablespoons of honey in place of the chocolate to make honey hazelnut butter. I promise you won’t be disappointed.