Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I adore hazelnuts, I love their flavor in gelato, lattes; hazelnuts with chocolate cause me to swoon!  I like to add hazelnuts to savory and sweet dishes.  In fact my next post is a tempting tart in which I used hazelnuts.  

In baking, hazelnuts are best if they are blanched and peeled as the skin tends to be bitter. 

I don’t know about where you live, but in my neck of the woods I the only way that I find hazelnuts are in the bulk section, raw and unpeeled.

If you find blanched peeled hazelnuts, God bless you, and by all means, use those; but if you can’t find them here is a method that makes it super easy to remove those bitter skins!

I know that as I write the instructions that there are going to be some of you giggling because of all the talk of nuts and how they’re treated.  Just know that my intention is clean and pure, I can’t help the way you think!

Here’s what you do.

Bring a couple of cups of water to a boil and then add some baking soda.

The baking soda will cause the water to immediately bubble.

Add a cup of hazelnuts, I actually needed 1 1/4 cups of hazelnuts so that's what I used.

The water will want to foam and bubble, so keep an eye on it...

...Or this is you'll have a big ol' mess, just like this one.  

It should be noted that in the recipe I gave instructions to use a bigger pan than the one that I used, so that hopefully a mess will be avoided!

The hazelnuts should be ready to peel in 2 to 3 minutes; you'll know that they're ready by testing one.  

Remove a hazelnut from the pot and plunge it into a bowl of ice water that is standing by and then rub the nut between your fingers if the skin comes off easily they're done.

Drain the hazelnuts from the boiling water and plunge them into the bowl of ice water.  Allow them to cool for a couple of minutes.

Drain the hazelnuts again and put them in the middle of a clean kitchen towel.  

Use an old towel, as the skins are going to stain the towel.

Close up the towel and rub the hazelnuts together.

The friction causes the skins to easily come off!

Remove the hazelnuts and discard the skins.  

Those little flecks that remain don't bother me, but if they bother you, just rinse the hazelnuts under cold water and they'll be gone!

 Now the hazelnuts are ready for making something delicious!


2              cups       Water
3              Tbsp.       Baking soda
1              cup         Skin on hazelnuts
                             A medium bowl of ice water

   1.       Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a 3 quart sauce pan.  Add the baking soda to the boiling water (be prepared for the water to really boil).  Add the hazelnuts and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Keep an eye on the pot so that the water doesn’t boil over on you; also know that the skins will leach their color into the water and that the  water can stain.  Test to see if the skin is ready to release from the nuts by removing one of the hazelnuts, plunging it into the ice water and rubbing the skin; if it comes off easily the nuts are ready.
   2.       Drain the nuts and then plunge the nuts into the bowl of ice water.  After a couple of minutes drain the nuts again.  Pour the drained nuts into a clean kitchen towel (one that is not special because it’s going to get stained), close up the towel and rub the hazelnuts together until the skins have come off of them.  There will be some little flecks of skin that remain, if the little flecks of skin bother you, rinse the hazelnuts under cold water and they’ll come off.

Note:  The measurements don’t have to be exact, so if you need 1 ½ cups of hazelnut, just increase the amount of water by about 1 cup; however, if you do need 2 cups of nuts, I might double the amount of baking soda as well.  If you need more than 2 cups of nut be sure to use a bigger pan so that you don’t end up with a big ol’ mess all over your cook top!

 You may also like:

Handmade Soft Corn Tortillas
Fresh Semolina Pasta

Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer
Creamy Honey Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Homemade Chicken Stock


  1. Interesting! I've never done it with water!

  2. Must confess that I never peeled hazelnuts before.
    Just put them in the foodprocessor unpeeled.
    But there is always this slightly bitter taste, so in future I will peel them.
    Thanks for sharing this method, Kari!