Nuts have been an important source of nourishment for humans since prehistoric times. Nut butters similarly have a long history; tahini, a paste made of ground sesame seeds, is mentioned in a 13th century Arabic cookbook. According to Harold McGee, nut butters obtain their characteristic consistency when their cells are ruptured due to mechanical manipulation, releasing the oils from inside the cell.
I have made this chocolate almond butter recipe many (many!) times, with just as many variations: adding cocoa powder, roasting the nuts prior to grinding them, adding salt, adding sugar, adding honey, using different vegetable and nut oils. But this basic recipe with only 3 ingredients is the one I always return to. While I tend to think that roasting nuts is a great idea as it intensifies and deepens their flavor, in this case, I prefer them raw. By not roasting the nuts, the almond flavor remains subtle and I end up having to add a little more oil while blending, a compromise I find well worth it. The sweetness of the final product is also very subtle, and some members of my family (the youngest of them) prefer chocolate almond butter sandwiches with honey. I tend to think the recipe as written below is pretty perfect, just as it is.