Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Arrange the cashews in a single layer and bake for 5-6 minutes. They're ready when they are golden and warm, but NOT burned. Remove from the oven.
Add the cashews to a food processor. Process on high speed until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides often. The cashews will turn from whole, to flour, to clumps, and eventually, creamy, nut butter. It will take several minutes of processing, anywhere between 5-12 minutes with breaks. Give your machine 30-60 second breaks, as needed, to prevent overheating.
OPTIONAL: Once completely smooth, add any optional fill ins, if using and pulse a couple of times to combine.
Transfer your cashew butter to a clean and dry jar and use as you would any other nut butter.
Give your machine small breaks in between processing to prevent overheating. Turn off your food processor for 30-60 seconds at a time, as needed, and then continue. Use that break to scrape down the sides.Your homemade cashew butter will go through many stages, and it may feel like it’s never going to become butter, but it will. It goes from whole cashews, to broken down pieces, to flour, to small clumps, then large clumps and finally creamy nut butter. (See process shots above for a visual.)For sugar free, skip the optional maple syrup, or if you have a sweet tooth, increase to two tablespoons. (Try it with one first)You may use a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix for faster results, but I find it easier to remove the nut butter from a food processor.Store in a clean and dry container or jar at room temperature for up to 1 week, or refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. You may freeze air tight in a freezer safe container for up to 4 months.