This is one of the recipes that I really wanted to include in my Top Ten Favouriterest Recipes of 2010.
It’s my homemade Walnut, Coconut, and Cinnamon Butter. My Sweet Walnut, Coconut, and Cinnamon Butter, if you will.
While I do love the maple macadamia butter I mentioned in my Top Ten post, I must admit that the above nut butter surpasses the macadamia butter in terms of snackability. The macadamia butter was subtle enough to perform as part of the corps de ballet in my kitchen productions, but this walnut, coconut, and cinnamon butter is more like the prima ballerina. It wants to be eaten straight with a spoon. It wants you to close your eyes as you taste, so that each lingering jeté of coconut, each graceful pas de bourrée of cinnamon, each giddy pirouette of walnut can be appreciated with utter clarity.
In other words, this nut butter is so good that I completely forgot I used to hate both walnuts and coconut.
Yep, you read that right. I made something comprised of two ingredients which, for years, I’ve shied away from.
And you know what? Two wrongs do make a right.
Here’s how the nut butter went down:
After Conor suggested adding coconut to my macadamia butter (and I poo-pooed her suggestion in my mind), I suddenly found myself unable to stop thinking about it. So I went to the supermarket and stared at the coconut shelf, unsure what to buy. I ended up picking the bag of coconut that heralded itself as “moist”*, unaware that this variety of coconut was, in fact, sweetened.
Thus the “sweet” in my alternative recipe title. After discovering that the coconut was sweetened, I turned to the serious-almost-bitterness of walnuts in order to balance the two flavours. To ensure that the walnuts weren’t acrid, I gave them a quick roast and then rubbed the majority of their papery skins off with a clean kitchen towel. If, however, you’d rather keep your nut butter raw, I’m sure you could skip this step.
If you’d rather not use sweetened coconut, you could certainly opt for unsweetened coconut and then either enjoy a more savoury nut butter or add a few extra tablespoons of maple or agave syrup.
Whatever you do, though… make this.
Because while I had every intention of taking photos of this walnut, coconut, and cinnamon butter in guises other than In A Bowl, I couldn’t.
I ate it all too quickly, you see. And then there wasn’t anything left to photograph.
Poor Prima Ballerina Nut Butter. I promise to give you more time in the limelight in future.
Homemade Sweetened Walnut, Coconut, and Cinnamon Butter
- 1 1/3 cups (130g) walnuts
- 2/3 cup (70g) sweetened moist coconut (or unsweetened. If your coconut is completely dried rather than “moist”, you might need to process it for longer to reach your desired consistency)
- 2 tsp maple syrup (for flavour rather than sweetness. If your coconut is unsweetened, increase the maple syrup)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), and roast the walnuts on a baking tray for about 8 minutes. Wrap walnuts in a clean tea towel and rub to remove most of their papery skins.
2. In a food processor or high-powered blender, process the walnuts, coconut, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt until the nut butter has reached your desired consistency. (I left my nut butter rather chunky, because I was scared of overheating and breaking my parents’ food processor. Now that I have a fancypants strong blender, I intend to let my nut butters whirl for longer and get them to a smoother, softer, more cohesive stage. Adding a tablespoon of neutral oil (actually, walnut oil would be brilliant) could help too.)
3. If you manage to eat a spoonful of this and not go back for seconds immediately… well, imagine me looking at you with a very perplexed expression right now. Because the richness of the walnuts, the sweet unique flavour of the coconut, the warmth of the cinnamon, the buttery, heavenly, addictive, sweet and nutty splendour of this nut butter is tolerable (bathos! Gotcha).
4. And it’s even better spread on pain d’epice, if you were wondering.
* Dear heavens, I abhor the word moist.