I don’t know about you, but I love a good shortcut. I try and find the fastest way to get home. I never put a topcoat on my nail polish. And with a recipe, I always look at it and see if there aren’t a few steps I can skip. Who has the time to milk your own coconut for coconut cream pie? Seriously? Canned coconut milk tastes just fine.
There are some things, though, where a shortcut isn’t the answer. I would imagine performing surgery is one of those times. Also, when a recipe tells you to toast the nuts. Don’t skip that. Obviously not as serious as taking shortcuts during surgery, but still, and important step. I skipped toasting nuts for eons. And it was the something missing from bunch of my desserts. Finally I realized that people were not kidding about the toasting the nuts thing.
Why toast the nuts?
Because toasting activates the oils in the nuts and makes them nice and crispy. This decreases the bitter flavor and provides a nice crunch that un-toasted nuts just don’t have.
In the oven:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread nuts out onto an ungreased rimmed cookie sheet. You don’t want them laying on top of each other, they all want to bake nice and evenly. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. When you can start smelling the fragrance in the kitchen, the nuts are done. Toast them too long and they will burn. And that is sad and expensive.
On the stove:
You can also toast nuts on the stovetop. Simply put nuts in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Stir nuts constantly until they are fragrant, also about 10 minutes.
I personally prefer the oven method because it’s 10 minutes of hands-off time meaning I can load my dishwasher or (more likely) scroll through Instagram.
Looking for recipes where you can use your freshly toasted nuts? Check out these homemade turtles. They’re to die for! A couple handfuls tossed some chocolate chip cookies wouldn’t be the wrong answer either.
To make things a little easier in the kitchen, I’ve created a handy printable conversion chart (cause honestly, who can remember how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?). Sign up below and I’ll send it to you!