There is a peanut butter company in Durham that sells peanut butter nationally, primarily in local businesses but even through Food52. The products are awesome.They have your standard peanut butter, but they also have variations and mixtures with different types of nuts, some with chocolate, and a couple other flavors. I’ve only tried one type, chai spice peanut butter, and it is to die for. But a small jar of it costs $13.
$13 peanut butter is an expensive habit, so although I couldn’t resist buying one, I savored my little jar. No delicious chai peanut butter sandwiches graced my lunch routine; I only ate a smear on a small slice of bread after meals. I wanted to eat so much more though. I wanted to eat the whole jar in one sitting, and I easily could have done that. Two or three sittings might be a more reasonable approximation than one, but Ben would have polished it off at one time without a second though. Therefore, he wasn’t allowed to eat any of the special nut butter.
I really, really like this chai peanut butter, which is warm, slightly spicy and completely chai-like, and now that I’ve had it, I want more of it, but my wallet really can’t spring for peanut butter that costs that much. So I did some reverse engineering, using the choosy mom’s favorite, Jif, and my spice drawer. If it’s okay to say so myself, the results are fabulous.
Now, I know that you can make peanut butter at home pretty easily by sticking nuts in a food processor, but I’m not up to that task. Peanut butter is a humble food, and adding spices to store-bought peanut butter takes seconds whereas completely homemade would be a bit more involved. This is easy, good, and cheap, and you’ll be able to be generous with it. Ben can even eat as much of the homemade version as his stomach desires.
Note: I tested with Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter. Others, particularly natural peanut butters or the peanut butter you make in a store with peanuts, may need some salt.
This can easily be made in a normal sized food processor. I think it’d be best to double it, since a food processor is much larger than a mini one.
Chai peanut butter makes a great sandwich with apricot preserves (as pictured above).
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Measure all of the ingredients into the bowl of a mini-food processor. Pulse until combined. The peanut butter will still have some texture, but it won’t be crunchy any more.