Hazelnuts are round or oblong, depending on the variety, with reddish- to deep-brown skins and creamy white to tan interiors. Hazelnuts have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that is enhanced by roasting. Roasted hazelnuts contain healthy amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin E. According to the Hazelnut Council, these nuts also contain low levels of saturated fat but high levels of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. You can easily dry-roast hazelnuts at home.
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the shells from the hazelnuts if necessary. Pour the shelled, raw hazelnuts onto a rimmed, metal cookie sheet. Spread the nuts into a single layer. Do not add any lining, sprays or oils to the cookie sheet.
Place your hazelnuts in the oven. Roast the nuts until the skins become a deep brown and start to split. This generally takes 15 to 20 minutes, but check on the nuts every 5 minutes because they can burn quite quickly. Stir the nuts occasionally with a spoon so that they roast evenly. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and let them cool at room temperature.
Skin your hazelnuts. Although hazelnut skins aren't harmful, many people don't enjoy the taste or texture. Place a handful of cooled, roasted nuts on a clean kitchen towel. Roll up the towel and vigorously rub the hazelnuts through the fabric for 1 to 2 minutes. This rubs off most of the skin, leaving you with clean hazelnuts. It is normal to have a small amount of skin remaining on the nuts. Discard the hazelnut skins.
Dress up your hazelnuts. Try drizzling them with a bit of olive oil, a few dashes of sea salt or a little garlic powder. If you wish to use the nuts later, place them into a sealed plastic container or an airtight plastic bag.
The Hazelnut Council reports that slow-roasting hazelnuts at a low temperature typically gives them a longer shelf life than a fast roast at a higher temperature.
Watch the hazelnuts closely while they are roasting. Don't start the roasting process unless you can devote your full attention to to the process.