Hazelnuts are one of those nuts whose flavor is dramatically improved by roasting. Raw, hazelnuts can be bitter and grainy. Roasted, they are fantastic.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put a single layer of hazelnuts on a cookie sheet
3. Put them in the oven.
4. Wait 10-15 minutes, or until the skins are blistered. But don’t overdo it–they can burn, and that’s just not right.
5. Dump them onto a double layer of kitchen towels (I put a hot pad or plate underneath as well to protect the counter top).
6. Fold the towel over and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
7. Then, the really fun part. Pick the towel up like a little sack and rub the nuts inside together vigorously until the skins mostly rub off.
Don’t worry if the skins don’t come all the way off. The roasted skins add flavor. And that’s in a good way. But do give it a good go to get them most of the way. If you get sick of the towel method, you can also rub them between your fingers. It just takes longer because you can only do a few at a time.
Now you have roasted hazelnuts, ready to be used in toffee, brownies or even both together.