You’ve probably noticed by now that you don’t see any recipes using cake mix or crescent roll dough or store bought pie crust on my blog. That’s because you won’t find them in my kitchen. I understand the lure of these ingredients. Though I’ve never made donuts with biscuit dough and have never bought pie crust, I have many a fond memory of baking a cake from a box with Mom. But now Mom and I make memories baking from scratch, using as many homemade things as possible. And though sometimes it is more time consuming, the end result is always worth it.
Things that are homemade taste homemade. The natural flavors of the natural ingredients sing and are unhindered by an artificial aftertaste. The end result that comes after an hour or two of time in the kitchen making something from scratch, is a sense of accomplishment, a huge smile, and a happy and full tummy. It may also bring memories, as it often does for me, or happiness shared with family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors. Cooking from scratch is an amazing thing.
That’s not to say I don’t love Biscoff. I haven’t yet made my own vanilla extract. And sometimes I don’t feel like pulling out the food processor to make peanut butter. I recently wanted to make a recipe calling for almond paste, which you’ll see soon (it’s a fabulous recipe). I’d never bought it before but soon realized it is most commonly packaged in a can. It’s been the better part of a decade since I’ve opened a can of anything to eat. With all the chemicals and who knows what else lurking in them, I do my very best to steer clear, and I simply wasn’t sure I wanted to break my streak now with an unknown ingredient that could turn a recipe from success into disaster in an instant.
So I did what any crazy foodie would. I Googled a recipe for homemade almond paste. The good news was much like peanut butter and my recently posted Golden Oreo Cookie Butter, it takes just a few ingredients, even fewer minutes, and a food processor to make almond magic.
The end result is surprisingly tasty and nearly as addictive as the much more politically correct to eat by the spoonful almond butter. A little grainy from the almonds, with their great flavor shining through, sweetened, but not masked by, the sugar. I’m glad I made it, as it’s super tasty and is the star of the cake recipe for which I made it.
The next time you’re about to reach for a store bought something or other, think about making it yourself. You’ll be thrilled with the results.
- 1 ½ cups almonds (I used Blue Diamond Whole Natural)
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg white
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Place the almonds, confectioners’ sugar, egg white, and extract in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the almonds are finely ground and a fully incorporated dough is formed. It should come together in a ball. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.