It has been raining for so many days straight here, I am not even sure what month it is anymore. These kind of gloomy, rainy days are a perfect inspiration to get in the kitchen and start cooking something.
If you are feeling the same, I have the perfect way to cheer things up in the kitchen and your whole house. Make some hazelnut spread/butter from scratch. And when I say from scratch I mean from the very scratch. Like cracking your own hazelnut shells.
It might seem time consuming, but I found it quite therapeutic, and since hazelnuts are freshly picked during this time of the year you get the freshest nut for a great end result.
As recipes don’t define me, I would rather just explain step by step how I made this amazing spread.
First I started by cracking the shells, and putting all the nuts on a fresh plate. It’s so interesting how they are of assorted sizes. During this time, it’s good to heat up the oven to about 240 degrees.
After all the cracking, put all the nuts on a baking sheet and in to the oven.
Now enjoy the smell of hazelnuts baking. Some say it smells like a freshly baked cake ( I love it when food makes your house smell good).
But be careful not to burn them, unless you are like me and like them a bit dark and toasted, as it gives them a little bit of a fuller flavor.
While they are still warm, try to remove the skins by squishing them in between you hands. I tried to remove as much as I could, and did’t really notice a difference when some of the skins were still on.
Put all the roasted nuts in a blender or a food processor. Add 1-2 teaspoons of honey depending on your liking and pulse, pulse, pulse for about 5-7 minutes in my case, until you can see the difference in consistency. You might need to stop the machine and scrape the sides. You are done when you see that the nuts are starting to bond and form a butter/paste texture (you are looking for something spreadable).
If you get bored of just plain hazelnut spread use your creativity to add all sorts of flavors before you pulse it in the blender, for example: cinnamon, cloves, vanilla or cocoa powder for a healthier Nutella version. I just got an amazing idea for a flavor now, but gonna save it and try to recreate it.
*Note: If you are not considering to crack the shells on your own, please use natural hazelnuts (not the already roasted or salted ones).