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Old 02-25-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
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Talking Question about my hazelnuts

I'm making giandua gelato tonight. The recipe calls for whole hazelnuts which you roast 20 mins until the skins crack then you rub with a towel to get the skins off. Then you grind in a food processor, steep the hazelnuts in milk and strain. All they had at the store was chopped hazelnuts, they've been in the oven for over 30 mins and I can't get the skins to come off.

My question is, if I just skip getting the skins off, will leaving the skins on do anything to effect the flavor of my gelato? Everything is going to be strained anyway. I don't want to end up burning my hazelnuts, I keep putting them back in the oven thinking maybe they need more time to get the skins to loosen.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-25-2006, 02:05 PM   #2
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hey, I just noticed, that was my 1,000th post!!! I'm now an executive chef!
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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Congratulations! I saw a Julia show where the guest chef cooked the hazlenuts in water (can't remember how long) but the water turned black. She rubbed the drained hazlenuts in a towel and made the skins come off. It looked quite messy. She then toasted them before adding them to her recipe. I think she was making biscotti.
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:01 AM   #4
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Oh dear, Corazon, I'm afraid I didn't see this in time! I roast hazelnuts pretty frequently, as they're the main ingredient of one of our favorite cookies. It's always always best to purchase them whole, rather than chopped. If you can't find them whole at your store, try a whole foods or Trader Joe's type store. If you still can't, go to the produce dept and get the ones that are still in their shells. It's a pain in the neck, but worth it for your recipe. Basically, when you roast them, after 20-30 minutes, you can take them out (make SURE you are wearing heavy dishwashing gloves, like bluettes, or your hands will burn from the heat!) and rub the skin with a tea towel. About 85% of them should rub clean. The reason you don't want the skins is because the skins are very bitter and interfere with the flavor. Without the skins, hazelnuts are oh so fabulous! I'll look for my hazelnut toastie recipe and post it, in case you're interested. (Kids like them, as they're great for tiny hands to hold)
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:06 AM   #5
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here's the recipe:



Hazelnut Toasties


1/2 c. shelled hazelnuts (2oz)
1/4 c. +2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 + 2 Tbsp. flour
1 stick (1/2 c.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350*.
Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until fragrant & skins begin to loosen, 20 minutes. Rub nuts in a kitchen towel to remove any loose skins & cool to room temp. Pulse nuts & 1/4 c. sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground, then add flour & a pinch of salt, pulsing until combined. Add butter & pulse until dough just forms a ball. Divide dough in half, then roll dough on a work surface lightly dusted with sugar & flour into two 11" logs, each about 1" wide. Chill wrapped in plastic wrap, 1 hour. Cut logs crosswise into 1/2" slices (I use a clear ruler to measure - it makes the slices perfectly even) & arrange rounds 2" apart on baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until bottom edges just begin to turn pale golden, 12 - 15 min, Place remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar in a small dish & dip tops of cookies in it, then cool sugared cookies on a rack.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Dough can be chilled up to 12 hours or frozen, wrapped well
in plastic wrap, up to 1 month. (Thaw before cutting & baking)
*** Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temp. 2 weeks
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info and the recipe. I will have to try it. I just went ahead with my gelato and the difference was subtle, I couldn't notice any bitterness. It turned out great, very decadent and rich, just a couple bites were enough.
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