I found a recipe for Nutella cupcakes with Nutella, Almond Butter, and Vanilla Cream Cheese icing, but before I could make these cupcakes I had to buy and decide if I like almond butter. I had heard of almond butter before and I’m not sure why I waited so long to try it since I love almonds. I read some reviews online of different brands before I went to the store and Blue Diamond and Barney seemed to be the front runners. The raw almond butter had terrible reviews so I opted not to try it. I went to Kroger first and bought Blue Diamond brand, but they didn’t have the Barney brand so I headed to Earthfare where I bought the Barney and Justin’s (which happened to be on sale). Almond butter is more expensive than peanut butter and I am a conservative spender (ok, ok…according to Jordan I’m a tightwad) but not really when it comes to food. I mean I look for the best deal, but basically if I think it will be good and I will eat it, I buy it.
Since I basically bought this for use in icing, I wanted the almond butter to be smooth enough to pipe through a large tip. But somehow, even after standing in the isle for 5 minutes debating which brand to buy I still managed to buy crunchy Blue Diamond instead of the smooth. Luckily, it doesn’t have huge chunks in it. The Blue Diamond does have to be stirred each time, just like natural peanut butter. It has a nice almond flavor, fairly smooth texture, and was the cheapest. The Barney almond butter was by far the smoothest of the three being comparable to smooth peanut butter. I didn’t think it had quite as nice a flavor as the Blue Diamond, but it was smoother and didn’t separate as much. The Justin’s almond butter was my least favorite. The flavor was very flat. I believe this is due to the fact that it doesn’t have any salt in it. It separated way more than the other two and took about 1 minute to get it homogeneous, but once I got it stirred it was pretty smooth. I think any of these would work in my frosting recipe, and I’d buy the Blue Diamond and Barney again but I’m not sure I’d spend my money on the Justin’s. Come back early next week to see how it turned out in my cupcakes! =)