The Easiest Way to Skin Hazelnuts
The most common method for removing hazelnut skins—toasting them and then rubbing them in a towel—can still leave some skin stubbornly hanging on.
Here’s a better approach: Boil 1 cup of untoasted hazelnuts in 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda for 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a bowl of ice water with a slotted spoon, drain, and slip the skins off with a towel. The hot alkaline water quickly breaks down the pectin, the primary component in the skins, allowing them to peel off not only more easily but also more completely.