I hesitate to call this “peanut butter” as it doesn’t have quite the same spreadable texture that most people expect from peanut butter; however, I use it anywhere I would use the regular stuff, and it is so stinking good, I don’t want nomenclature to get in the way of sharing it. Inspired by a peanut butter by Mitch Omer that I first tasted several years ago in Minneapolis and have craved like a mad woman ever since, this peanut butter possesses the flavor which all peanut butters should aspire to have: deeply roasted peanuts sweetened with brown sugar and rounded out with floral honey, then balanced with a dose of salt and just barely smoothed over with butter. Eat it on toast, make cookies with it, or just lick it off a spoon, but whatever you do, make a lot. It goes quickly.
3 cups salted Spanish peanuts, skins on
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup peanut oil
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread peanuts into an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, then roast the nuts until they are browned but not burned. This should take about 20-30 minutes, but check them often and stir them a few times. They will go from perfectly browned to burned quickly, so don’t stray far from the oven during the last bit of cooking.
2. Place peanuts in a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade and process for about 20 seconds (you are going for small, even chunks of peanuts here). Transfer the nuts into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add honey, brown sugar, and salt to the nuts and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds.
3. Add peanut oil and butter to the food processor and blend for just a few seconds until the mixture is homogenous. Add this mixture to the peanut mixture and mix on low until fully incorporated. Taste and add salt as necessary- you want the salt to strike balance with the sugar.
4. Store the peanut butter in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for a month or in the refrigerator for longer. If you keep it in the fridge, remember that it spreads best at room temperature.