Whole or chopped, plain or salted, nuts add an appealing crunch and rich flavor to any baked product.
Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts, also called filberts, are a small, round nut with a mild, sweet flavor. The nut meat is covered with a thin, brown skin that needs to be removed before you use them in baking.
Cashews: Crescent-shaped cashews, with their rich, buttery flavor, are a favorite of bakers and snackers. Buy them raw or roasted, salted or plain. Choose roasted cashews for baking unless specified otherwise.
Almonds: Almonds are a flat, oval-shaped nut with a reddish brown skin that can be removed by blanching. The smooth, light-colored meat has a mild, yet rich, flavor. Almonds are available whole, sliced, slivered, and chopped.
Peanuts: America's favorite nut, the peanut, is technically not a nut at all but a legume. Roasting intensifies a peanut's rich, buttery flavor. For baking, it's best to use peanuts that have had their skins removed. Selecting between salted or unsalted peanuts is strictly a personal choice.
Pecans: Pecans are rich and buttery and have the highest fat content of any nut. Pecans often are substituted for walnuts and vice-versa.
Pine nuts: Also known as pignolia or piñon, pine nuts actually are seeds from a variety of pine trees. This gives the small, creamy white nut a sweet, faint pine flavor. Pine nuts can be slender and pellet-shaped or more triangular.
Pistachios: The small pistachio has a pale green meat covered with a paper-thin, brown skin. Their thin, smooth shells, which are split at one end, are often dyed red or green. Their mild, sweet flavor is similar to that of almonds.
Walnuts: Black walnuts are rich and oily with an intense flavor. Walnuts other than the black walnut are called English walnuts. They have a mild flavor that makes them popular in baking.
Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts (elephant toes to some) are a large nut with a thin, brown skin and an oily, rich flavor.
Hickory nuts: Hickory nuts resemble walnuts but have a rich, oily flavor similar to that of toasted pecans.
Macadamia nuts: These tropical nuts taste rich, sweet, and buttery. You can use these small, round nuts wherever you would use cashews.