As you make your way through the myriad of upcoming holiday gatherings, I offer you this recipe for spiced hazelnuts. These smoky, spicy, slightly sweet beauties are equally delightful as a hostess gift, housed in a mason jar, or an appetizer offering. I recently put them together with a platter of cheese (I used Beecher’s Flagship, a nutty aged cheddar), apples, and crackers and it was a huge hit.
You can skip the first step in the recipe if you buy the hazelnuts already roasted but I think starting out with raw nuts is the way to go for maximum freshness and flavor. I was fortunate enough to receive a huge bag of hazelnuts (also known as filberts here in Oregon) from my good friend who has several trees on her property so I’ve been happily shelling them and using them, mostly on salads and oatmeal. Such a treat! That said, it’s well worth the time savings to buy them already shelled if you don’t have a benevolent friend with filbert trees.
12 ounces shelled hazelnuts (about 1 1/2 cups, measurement is approximate)
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roast hazelnuts on a rimmed sheet pan for 10 to 12 minutes.
Combine chipotle powder, paprika, thyme, and salt in a small bowl and mix the spices together.
When you remove the hazelnuts from the oven the skins should be blistered and the inside golden brown. Leave the oven on to finish the nuts with the spice glaze.
Wrap the nuts in a dishtowel and allow them to steam for a minute or so.
Massage the hazelnuts in the towel to release the skins that want to come off. They won’t come off completely.
Place skinned hazelnuts in a small mixing bowl.
Add olive oil and honey, stir to coat the nuts, then add the chipotle powder spice mixture and stir again to coat the nuts.
Place the nuts back on a baking pan lined with parchment paper in a single layer.
Bake in preheated 350-degree F oven for about 8 minutes to set the glaze. Sprinkle with another pinch of kosher/coarse salt after you remove them from the oven. Allow the nuts to cool completely before snacking.
These simple lyrics are more relevant than ever… I haven’t spoken to a single person today who isn’t going through a hard time. Our world needs healing. Right now.
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now ~ Chet Powers