L.A. Times Test Kitchen tip: Peeling hazelnuts
When you come across a recipe that calls for peeled hazelnuts, have no fear. You don't need to spend the better part of the afternoon whittling away at each one to remove those stubborn skins.
Roast the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven. When the skins have darkened and the nuts are fragrant, place the skins in a large kitchen towel that you've dampened slightly. Rub the skins off of the hazelnuts using the towel. The steam from the nuts will loosen the skins, and they should crumble off easily. Don't worry if the skins don't come off completely; a little color from the skins shouldn't hurt a recipe.
In a pinch, I've also microwaved the nuts under a damp paper towel, checking them every half-minute or so to see if the steam is working its magic. The only downside to a microwave is it doesn't toast the nuts like the oven does, releasing the oils to give the nuts their wonderful fragrance and flavor. But it makes quick work of the job!
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Toasted hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times