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I am trying to make a hazelnut butter, for the ultimate gain of a vegan Nutella-like outcome, but in order to do so I need to use "skinned" hazelnuts. I've tried the following:

  1. Boil a cup of hazelnuts in 2 cups water with 3 tablespoons baking soda
  2. Drain
  3. Put in ice bath to cool
  4. Rub skins off with towel

I got to the fourth step, but it was difficult to get the skins completely off of the hazelnuts. I was using a paper towel, and it turned out using my fingers was easier.

How can I get completely clean/blanch hazelnuts? Am I doing anything wrong or using something incorrect?

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There are really two methods. The roasting method, where the nuts are roasted, then placed in a kitchen towel, and the skins are rubbed off. The second is the blanching method, where you blanch for 2 - 3 minutes, then rub the skins off. I've had more success with the roasting method. However, it does take some time, and you will have some stubborn ones, where the skin does not come off easily. In either case, I would not use paper towel, but a more sturdy, cloth towel. You may not get every one completely clean.

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  • Roasting method may possibly improve (or at least alter) taste too, by adding a more earthy toasted flavor, no? – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jun 17 at 10:24
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    @DuarteFarrajotaRamos certainly, the flavors will be different. – moscafj Jun 17 at 10:51
  • Yeah, I've only done the roasting method myself. And Moscafj is right that you need to use a real cloth towel, preferably a thick one. – FuzzyChef Jun 18 at 5:47

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