Unitasker Redemption: Chop Nuts with a Pastry Cutter

Reader Amy just sent us a great tip for the holidays and all those nuts you're probably chopping this time of year. It has to do with a very seldom-used tool in our kitchen: the pastry blender.

I have actually been thinking about getting rid of my pastry blender; I tend to just use a fork or my fingers to blend biscuit and pie pastry. (Not to mention the food processor!)

But then Amy sent this tip, and I've already used it and liked it so much that it might convince me to hold onto my pastry cutter!

While preparing a crunch topping for sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving, I realized you could use a pastry cutter to chop nuts. I used it in a bowl and it worked out better than a knife. The pastry cutter was sharp enough and the bowl kept the nuts from flying all over my kitchen.

I've already tried this out, and indeed, it chopped up the nuts faster and with less mess. It's also a lot easier to rinse out a bowl and pastry blender than to wash the whole food processor or chopper. It's a great little redemption for an otherwise unitasker tool. Thanks Amy!

Do you have any other good uses for a pastry cutter? (Or any other hacks for chopping nuts quickly?)

Related: Sort of Not a Uni-Tasker: Tomato and Mozzarella Slicer

(Images: Faith Durand)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.