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Have You Tried Cooking with Hazelnuts? They’re Not Just for Desserts!

Learn how to prep these rich, buttery nuts, plus sweet and savory ways to cook them.

hazelnuts detail
Photography by: Victoria Pearson

What They Are

Hazelnuts, the fruit of the hazel tree, have a fuzzy outer husk that opens as the nut ripens; the cream- or tan-colored nut within is covered with a reddish brown paper-thin skin and encased in a smooth shell. Also known as filberts, hazelnuts are available shelled or unshelled, with or without their brown skins, chopped or ground. Pressed hazelnuts produce a strong-tasting oil, similar to walnut oil.

hazelnuts on table in bowl detail
Photography by: Con Poulos

How They’re Used

Hazelnuts add a delicious flavor to baked goods, including cookies, biscotti, cakes, and tarts. They also go well with savory dishes like seafood, salads, pesto, and even pizza. They’re used to flavor liqueur and to make hazelnut butter, a spread similar to peanut butter.

hazelnuts on pan with pink striped cloth
Photography by: Con Poulos

How to Remove Skins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place raw (shelled) hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until skins crack, 10 minutes. Transfer warm nuts to a clean kitchen towel and roll up. Rub the nuts in the towel between your hands until most skins have come off. If you’re having trouble removing the skins, toast the nuts for a few minutes more until they’re a little darker in color. Alternatively, you can agitate the nuts in a coarse sieve or colander set over a bowl to break off the skins.

 

 

Watch our Kitchen Conundrums expert Thomas Joseph demonstrate these easy methods for removing hazelnut skins: