Making Peanut Butter
I've been using the "grind your own" peanut butter option at my local natural grocery store (it's cheap, no added sugar, less packaging) -- but it just doesn't taste good and is TOO stiff. I was thinking I would just put it in my cuisinart, add some salt & peanut oil and see what happens. Anybody ever try this? How much oil & salt per cup of peanut butter? I'm happy to experiment, but I thought I'd first check to see if there's any advice out there. Thanks.
Peanut butter, the homemade kind, is definitely a mixture that needs to be controlled by the "salt to taste" - "sugar to taste" rule. Same with the amount of peanut oil. Once you've got the peanuts broken down into something resembling a past, add a little salt and sugar and allow the food processor run and slowly, very slowly, drizzle in the peanut oil until you achieve the consistency that pleases you. I'd recommend starting with a measured amount peanuts (weighed - be sure to make a note of the weight you use) and a measured amount of peanut oil (weigh it too) and when you get the consistency you want weight the remaining peanut oil and do the math. Now you've got a recipe that is personalized to your own taste. Whether you measure the salt/sugar by the pinch or use 1/8 tsp. increments you'll be able to complete that personalized recipe and duplicate it perfectly every time.
Alton Brown has a great basic recipe that should give you a general idea of where to start with ingredient amounts:
as todao said, it's all about tweaking it to your personal taste, so just use AB's recipe as a guideline and adjust accordingly...if you like your PB very creamy/spreadable, you'll probably want to add a bit more oil because his formula turns out a pretty stiff product. you can also reserve some extra peanuts to blend in at the very end for "chunky" PB; and play around with the type of honey you use - or try maple syrup or brown sugar; or add vanilla, or cinnamon, or cayenne...you get the idea :) have fun!
It is very easy to make, and satisfying, since you know exactly what went in. I just dove right in when I wanted to try. I roast my peanuts in the toaster oven first, don't know if you're using raw peanuts at the store or not.
I'm not precise like todao, so my peanut butter is a bit different each time. You can't remove oil or salt once added, so go slow and add less than you'd think. I use honey, maple syrup, or sometimes agave syrup for a bit of sweetness (and the thick liquid helps reduce the 'stiffness'). Taste frequently as you process. Save a few peanuts and add at the end if you like crunchy spread.
And do try variants: cinnamon; ground black pepper; chocolate chips.