Kitchen Tip

 How to Skin and Toast Hazelnuts the EASY way!

Have you ever noticed that in many recipes calling for  hazelnuts, a.k.a filberts, the instructions tell you to toast then skin the hazelnuts? Well that method requires you to rub the toasted skins off in a towel and let me tell you that is a pain in the rumpus because the skins are stubborn and don't come completely off. So, let me share with you another method which will leave you pondering- where has this been all of my culinary life?

All you need is boiling water, baking soda and raw hazelnuts. That's it! How is this possible you ask? Adding baking soda to the boiling water creates an alkaline environment that breaks down the pectin, which is acidic, in the skins.  

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat; set aside. Prepare an ice bath; set aside.

    Add the baking soda to the boiling water (the water will bubble and foam) then add the hazelnuts, stirring occasionally.

Boil the hazelnuts for 3-4 minutes.  The foam will turn reddish in color and the water will turn black-yuck!

Drain the hazelnuts in a colander and rinse well with fresh water. Immediately transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water.
Look at that water! I wonder if you could use it for an organic Easter egg dye??

And by the magic of science, the skins will slip right off! 

Transfer the skinned hazelnuts to a towel and blot to remove excess moisture.  
Don't they look like garbanzo beans?

Transfer the dried hazelnuts to the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and toasted, about 15-20 minutes.  Once they are completely cool, they should be nice and crunchy and ready for snacking or a sweet and savory recipe.

Now, how EASY was that?

How to Skin and Toast Hazelnuts/Filberts
yields 1 cup

2 cups water 
3 Tablespoons baking soda
1 cup raw, skin-on hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat; set aside.  In a medium bowl, prepare an ice bath; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Add the baking soda (water will bubble and foam), stirring to dissolve.  Add the hazelnuts and boil, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse the hazelnuts.  Immediately transfer to the ice bath. Slip off the skins with your fingers and transfer to a towel. Blot the hazelnuts dry and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until lightly golden about 15-20 minutes.  Allow the hazelnuts to cool completely before eating or using in a recipe. Store in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze in a vacuum sealed bag for up to one month.  Enjoy!


  1. I just discovered this method with almonds! I'm so glad I can use it for hazelnuts - they are fussy!

    1. Dana,
      Fussy, no more! And skinning nuts yourself is easy on the wallet.


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