Nuts have a lot of oil in them. Because of this, it's best to chop nuts with a sharp, serrated knife.
If a recipe calls for chopped nuts and all you have in your pantry are whole nuts, you may want to use a food processor. Place the whole nuts or large nut pieces (about 1 cup) in the food processor bowl, then process using rapid on/off pulses. Be careful not to over process or you may wind up with spread-able nut butter instead of pieces.
If using frozen nuts, chop or grind the nuts before thawing.
With nuts such as hazelnuts or pistachios, there is a thin lining or skin on the outside of the kernel, in addition to the tough outer husk. This skin needs to be removed before chopping these nuts, in a process called blanching. If left intact, the lining can be bitter and unattractive when found in confection and baked goods.
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