Roasting Hazelnuts

NutsAfter reading this, you may ask yourself, why? Why would I go through the hassle of roasting hazelnuts when I can buy them already roasted? It’s a good question. Price is one reason, as roasted hazelnuts are almost twice the price of raw nuts, and these aren’t cheap nuts to begin with. Freshness is another good reason to roast your own. Who knows when that bag of roasted nuts was in the oven. You can taste the difference between fresh roasted and bagged roasted nuts.

To roast hazelnuts, you’ll need about an hour. The roasting part is only 18 to 20 minutes. “Skinning” the nuts takes about the same amount of time as it does to roast them. And it’s messy. I actually do the skinning outside, creating lots of papery flutters for passing birds.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spread about a pound of raw hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the nuts until the skins turn dark brown, and start to crack. The aroma of toasted nuts will fill the air when you open the oven and they are done. It could take 15 to 20 minutes. Check carefully, as they can burn quickly once they begin to turn dark.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. You’ll hear lots of crackling. Once cool, wrap a handful of roasted nuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub vigorously. Most, but not all of the skins will rub off. The skins will float and fly everywhere, so do this over a large roasting pan or over a bowl, or as I do, outside on the counter of my built in barbecue grill.

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