As this posts I’ll be sitting on a dirty metro north train headed into NYC for Blogher. It’s my first blogging conference and it’s a big one. There are facebook groups filled with people who have been flipping out, talking about swag, private parties, elevator pitches, companies/brands/sponsors for months. If I can be honest (and when am I not?), it’s slightly insane and it completely overwhelms me. Elevator pitches? I mean really. I do that for my day job, not for blogging. Swag’s cool, but it’s just another thing to carry back home with me on subways and trains. And private parties are probably my worst nightmare. I’m in sales for my real job so you’d think I’d be that super outgoing, introduce myself to everyone kind of person. Oh, no. No, no, no. When I’m forced to go to conferences for work, I spend the entire time pretty much wanting to hide in the corner rather than introduce myself and talk about my company. But at least that’s work and there’s some separation between work me and real me. This is full out real me. A private party filled with people I don’t know (or do because I read their lives online but they have no idea who I am) and big time companies makes me want to vomit. So yeah, this should be interesting. I’m psyched and freaked all at the same time with butterflies in my stomach that make me feel like I’m 16 waiting to be kissed on a date.
The awesome people at California Walnuts are making this conference possible for me because apparently putting yourself in highly awkward, want to crawl and hide situations all weekend is expensive!
I’ve made my share of nut butters at home since getting a legit food processor but the one I hadn’t attempted was walnut butter. Probably because Ulysses is a little walnut fiend and they always seem to be disappearing into morning bowls of oatmeal and salads as I watch him like a hawk cringing at the fact that he’s literally crumbling $5 worth of nuts onto his meal. Moderation is not his strong suit. This time, I was explicit. Do not use the walnuts this week, I’m MAKING something with them.
And so we have spicy chocolate walnut butter. What’s better than nut butter? Chocolate. What’s better than chocolate? Spicy chocolate. Et voila.
You’re welcome. I did it for you. Now please say a prayer that I survive this weekend.
And a major thanks to California Walnuts for their sponsorship. I’m incredibly grateful.
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1½ tablespoon dark unsweeteend cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for about 7 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don't burn.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer walnuts to a food processor and process for about 2-3 minutes until they start forming a butter like consistency.
- Add cocoa powder, cayenne, salt, vanilla and maple syrup and process for another 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be slightly drippy but still hold shape.
- Transfer nut butter to a small bowl and top with chocolate chips if using.