It wasn't long ago that buying nut butter at the supermarket meant little more than the choice between smooth or crunchy. Oh, how times have changed. On the shelves where you used to find little more than Jif and Skippy, there is now a dauntingly vast—if utterly delicious—array of spreads. In the interest of making sense out of the wide variety of nut and seed butters out there, allow us to guide you through the different kinds you can find in supermarkets, specialty stores, and online.
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Since I write a column about preserves, I always have a variety of jams to choose from. And yet I always pair them with the same peanut butter. But delicious as Skippy Creamy is, it was time to change things up. With walnuts. And white chocolate.
Untoasted walnuts have a creaminess that works especially well in this nut butter. Sweet white chocolate, hints of vanilla and cinnamon, and just a bit fleur de sel make for a spread that is worthy of a special occasion.
There is a fancy gourmet market in my neighborhood that sells the most delicious pistachio butter. Brilliant green, slightly sweet, and intensely nutty, it's easily one of the best spreads I have ever eaten. The trouble is, it's imported from Italy and costs $30 a jar. Since I just can't live without it slathered on my morning toast, I decided to see if I could make a passable version at home for a fraction of the price.
[Photographs: Lucy Baker] This pistachio butter is rich and nutty. The honey adds a mild, floral sweetness. Try it on toast, or sandwich it between two sugar cookies or gingersnaps. It will keep for up to two months in the...