Hazelnut Extract

Here is a recipe that has been collecting dust in my recipe box for some time.  I posted my vanilla extract earlier and remembered that I had another one somewhere.  I thought it was Almond extract but to my surprise it was Hazelnut.  I use this in cakes and breads to add a bit more flavor than the basic baking recipes.  I completely forgot about this recipe and believe it or not it is one of my favorites.  This goes to show you how often I bake.  I am getting back into it but I fear I have lost my touch.  Baking is most definitely a challenging skill.

Hazelnut Extract

4 oz. hazelnuts
3/4 cup vodka
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water


First toast the hazelnuts in the oven at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. While they are still hot, transfer them into a jar with vodka.  Add the innards of the vanilla bean along with the vanilla bean to the jar.  Let the flavors infuse for 3-4 weeks in a cool, dry place.  The color of the extract will darken with time.  At the end of 3-4 weeks, drain the hazelnuts from the extract and reserve the extract. Crush the hazelnuts up and push it through a sieve to remove every last bit of flavor.  In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water together. At this point, adding the crushed hazelnuts is optional, but I went ahead and did it, just so I extract every ounce of flavor from it.  Bring the sugar syrup to a boil (and strain it, if you’ve added the crushed hazelnuts to it in the step above) and add it to the hazelnut extract mixture. You can now discard the crushed hazelnuts.  Shake it up and store in a sterilized bottle.  Enjoy a dash of hazelnut flavor with whatever you like!  I now store mine in the refrigerator when I make it.  I also recommend these bottles for your extracts.  I love them and they come in handy with extracts, dressings, and marinades.


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