American

Banana Bread Walnut Butter

April  5, 2021
4.7 Stars
Photo by Linda Xiao. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
Author Notes

Freeze-dried bananas are the key to transforming an otherwise straightforward walnut butter into banana bread butter. The freeze-dried bananas offer a concentrated hit of banana flavor, while also absorbing some of the nut oil yielding a thick and spreadable butter. Regular old banana chips won’t work here but play around with other freeze-dried fruits to invent new flavors of your own.

By toasting nuts at a moderate temperature, we can make sure they get golden brown to the core, yielding the nuttiest flavor and deepest brown color. Take care to toss along the way, so every nut has a chance to become the most flavorful version of itself. If you only have sliced, chopped, or blanched nuts, you can use them as a one-to-one substitute by weight. Avoid pre-salted nuts and be sure to give pre-roasted nuts a short toast to freshen up their aroma.

Whenever making any nut butter, patient processing is key. The nuts will go from flour to paste to gritty butter before finally growing silky and smooth. Be patient and just keep processing. Do not add any oil or fat until you’ve achieved creamy nut butter glory, which can prevent the butter from getting totally smooth.

Really feeling like a nut? Try my Joyous Almond Butter. Or read more about this technique here, so you’ve got the confidence to take nut butter off-script. —Sohla El-Waylly

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • makes 1 pint
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (216 grams) raw walnut halves
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (45 grams) freeze-dried bananas
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Spread the walnuts onto a rimmed sheet pan. Bake until toasted all the way through, first tossing them after 10 minutes and then again after every 5 minutes as the action ramps up, about 15 to 20 minutes total. (Snap a walnut in half to check if it’s browned on the inside. We want a thorough toast.)
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet or pan over medium heat until foamy, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until sputtering subsides and the milk solids are light golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
  4. Transfer the toasted nuts, bananas, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the bowl of a food processor and process, stopping periodically to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, until the nuts have released their oils and transformed into a smooth, flowing butter. (Depending on your food processor, this can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. If the processor feels too hot at any point, take a break to let it cool down.)
  5. Add the brown butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to the walnut butter and process until smooth and combined. The nut butter will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature and 2 months in the fridge. Stir well before eating.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nalagirl1
    Nalagirl1
  • Mathieu Garcia
    Mathieu Garcia
  • Ivylee
    Ivylee
  • Alekzandria
    Alekzandria
Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

4 Reviews

Nalagirl1 August 23, 2021
I made this yesterday and followed instructions to the letter. This was so very good. My only thing was my error I should have taken out the nuts a few min earlier they got really too toasty fast. I also had it very grainy when I added the brown sugar, so I thought maybe my processor was not as powerful as need it to be but still it turned out great. I tried it cold or room temp and like it better room temp. I had trouble finding freeze dried bananas by themselves but I got lucky and found some at Big Lots. Such a delicious spread made with 5$ bag of Walnuts from Aldi!
 
Ivylee May 7, 2021
I tried doubling the recipe and going a little off script.
I tried to make a maple brown butter vanilla bean walnut butter but I brought the maple to hard ball and when it went in to my blender well it turned it to havla and separated all the oils/ butter

So I made some really awesome walnutbrownbutter oil chocolate score bar cookies aged them 2 days some of the best cookies I've ever had

Will retry to make the recipe again but not bring maple to hard ball lol
 
Mathieu G. April 22, 2021
So good! I made it without banana which as I couldn't find freeze-dried banana and it came out so rich and good. I used Guérande sea salt, it's a real treat! Thanks for the recipe!
 
Alekzandria April 5, 2021
I made this sugar-free (so no bananas) and it came out delicious, thank you!