I've recently realized that hazelnuts are my favorite nuts. For years, it's been a close tie between hazelnuts and macadamia nuts, but the problem with macadamias is that I seem to lose whatever self-control I have, which isn't a lot to begin with. One minute I have enough macadamias to feed a village, the next minute they've all disappeared, and I'm left confused where they've all gone. Hazelnuts have no such effect.
I also find them to be just so aesthetically pleasing. Look at them beautifully lined up on the baking sheet. I could stare at them for hours. In fact, this is my desktop image and I do often find myself staring at them. More importantly, they're absolutely delicious. Maybe because I associate them with chocolate, I feel like I'm eating chocolate without the guilt.
You don't often see hazelnuts in Japan, and I first had them a couple years ago when I found a small packet of roasted salted hazelnuts at a grocery store. Up until then I only had them in the form of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher (Don't you love saying Ferrerererero Rocher? No? Just me?). I was buying the small packets every couple of days but it really adds up and you find yourself paying 1000yen on nuts each week. They're expensive in Japan whether they're roasted or raw, but buying a big bag of raw hazelnuts and roasting them myself is much cheaper than buying the small packets.
Lay the raw hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and roast them at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes.
After you roast the raw hazelnuts, pour them out onto a tea towel, wrap them up and let them cool for a few minutes.
Now rub your nuts together *chuckles*. But really, rubbing them together flakes the skin off. So rub em real good.
Et voilà! At this point, you can salt them or keep them unsalted. Put all your hazelnuts in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. It will keep for a couple months if you can retain from eating them all.
Some of the skin might refuse to come off but it's fine. I would wait until they're completely cool before eating them. They stay slightly chewy when they're warm and become much crunchier once they've cooled.
How to roast hazelnuts
- 500 g raw hazelnuts
- salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay out the hazelnuts in a single layer and bake for 15min. While the hazelnuts are baking, prepare a bowl lined with a tea towel.
- Pour the hazelnuts into the tea towel lined bowl and fold the tea towel over so the nuts are covered.
- Once the hazelnuts have cooled completely, rub them together still wrapped in the towel to peel the skin off.