Real snow - finally! Is your heart beating out of your chest? Mine sure is!
Here’s a great winter snack to keep your heart – and all of you - warmly and seasonally satisfied, and though they’re not quite “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, they’re the easiest next best thing. I like using a toaster oven for convenience and power savings, but if you don’t have a toaster oven, the regular kitchen oven works just as well. Just make sure to cut into the chestnut shells before roasting them to prevent the chestnuts from exploding in whichever oven you’re using to avoid a nasty mess to clean up (you bet, I know this from experience).
When buying fresh chestnuts, select those that are firm to the touch - the shell should not give when squeezed between your thumb and forefinger. Also, choose those chestnuts that are heavier rather than lighter in weight and don’t have any signs of mold or small round wormholes in their shells.
If you’re not roasting the fresh chestnuts the same day you bought them, put them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Just beware; the quality of chestnuts degrades steadily over time.
For easy to follow step-by-step picture book directions, just click this link.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: about 25 minutes
- About 1/4 Pound Fresh Chestnuts Per Person
- Kitchen Oven or Toaster Oven
- Small Sharp (Paring) Knife
- Potholder or Folded Dishtowel
1.If you’re using a toaster oven, skip to step 2. Otherwise, set an oven rack a third to halfway up from the kitchen oven bottom, and pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees (235° C).
2. Use a small sharp (paring) knife to make ½ - ¾ inch long, shell penetrating shallow cuts across and along the grain of the shell of both sides of the chestnuts. (These cuts will allow steam to escape and prevent the chestnuts from exploding during roasting.)
3. Do as follows according to whether you’re roasting the chestnuts in a kitchen oven (left column) or toaster oven (right column).
Kitchen Oven Roasting
Toaster Oven Roasting
a. Put the cut chestnuts in a baking pan.
a. If your toaster oven allows, place the rack in the middle of the toaster oven.
b. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, put the chestnuts in the oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
b. Put the cut chestnuts on the toaster oven rack.
c. When the timer sounds, remove the baking pan from the oven with a potholder, and pour the roasted chestnuts onto a plate.
c. Turn on the toaster oven to 450 degrees, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
d. When the timer sounds, transfer the roasted chestnuts from the toaster oven to a plate.
4. Let the roasted chestnuts cool for 5-10 minutes. Then peel them and enjoy them warm.