How to Skin Hazelnuts

Skinning Hazelnuts – The finished Hazelnuts

This year I need to use about 7 pounds of hazelnuts for the Linzer Cookie and Lebkuchen recipes that I want to make. I usually try to avoid 2 hazelnut recipes in one year but there was a special request. So here I am talking about how to remove the skins from hazelnuts.

There are two popular ways to remove skins. The first way is to roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees then place the hot hazelnuts in a tea towel and vigorously rub the papery skins off. I have tried this. For small batches or recipes where you definitely need the whole hazelnut this is the best way to get the task done. In my experience 75% to 80% of the skins come off.

For 7 pounds the heat and rub process is a long tedious task that makes a huge mess.

The way I have removed the skins from hazelnuts is to briefly boil them in water with baking soda added to the pot. I don’t believe you save any time with this method but you do end up with 95% of the skins being removed.

To skin 2 pounds of hazelnuts you will need:

Skinning Hazelnuts

1 – 4 Quart sauce pan filled with 2 Quarts of Water
2 –  Pounds of Hazelnuts
3 – Tablespoons of Baking Soda
1 – Colander
1 – 3 to 4 Quart bowl
1 – Baking sheet

Skinning Hazelnuts – Boiling

Bring the water to a boil and then add the baking soda. Add the hazel nuts and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Before the hazelnuts boil a brown scum will rise. Skim the residue off until it no longer rises.

Skinning Hazelnuts – Rinsing the Skins Off

Pour the boiled hazelnuts into a colander and rinse for 2 minutes under cool running water. Run your hands through the nuts while the water is running to start the skin removal process and cool the hazelnuts quickly.

Once the hazelnuts have cooled shake the water from the colander then place the colander on a plate on the counter.

Skinning Hazelnuts – Skins Removed

With cool running water gently pull the skin off of each nut and place the nut in a bowl. Continue until complete.

The whole process took me about 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the nuts have been skinned and the colander has been cleaned of wayward skins drain the skinned hazelnuts. Place the drained hazelnuts on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Start checking the hazelnuts for dryness about 30 minutes into the roasting time. Nuts should be dry and hollow sounding. This can take up to 45 minutes.

Cool the hazelnuts then place them in a freezer bag and freeze until needed.

While this method does take time about 95% of the skins are removed. The one downside is not every nut survives in the whole state. Great for my purposes this year.

Happy Skinning & Baking!

More below…..

Skinning Hazelnuts – Skimming Remnants
Skinning Hazelnuts – Cooled Hazelnuts
Skinning Hazelnuts – Skin Remains

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