Cooking

Skin Deep

There's an easier, cleaner way to remove the skin from hazelnuts
Photo: Nacho via Flickr
Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts make everything special. Whether they're adorning a salad or dressing up a chocolate cake, the rich flavor of the little nuts imparts an unmistakable quality to everything they touch. Too bad peeling the skins off is such a pain in the you-know-what.

You've probably heard many hacks for making this pesky chore easier. A widely known route is, after toasting them in the oven, to rub the hazelnuts between two dish towels to get the skin to flake off. It's a solid method, but the problem here is that you're left with two dirty towels, which are about as annoying to clean as the hazelnut skins were to remove.

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Another choice is to boil them in water and baking soda for a few minutes and then shock them in cold water, as food blog My Baking Addiction suggests. Apparently, Julia Child was a fan of this method.

But if you want that roasted flavor without the mess, here's a trick you may not have heard of:

Rub lightly toasted hazelnuts against a fine mesh sieve, or if you don't have one, a wire rack.

If the first go doesn't get rid of all the skins, you can stick them back in the oven and repeat one more time. The skins should fall off easily, and the sieve or wire rack will be a lot easier to clean than those dish towels.

Now those lovely hazelnuts are a lot more approachable.

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