7 Warm and Toasty Chestnut Recipes to Cherish This Holiday Season

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire might be the most whimsical way to prepare the nut, but it certainly isn’t the only way to enjoy them this holiday season. You can create wondrous dishes this winter by baking the warm and toasty-tasting nuts into breakfasts and desserts, roasting them in the oven, or cooking them into dinner dishes. Whether you need a show-stopping sweet to take to a festive get-together or you want to make a stunning supper that will amaze your family and friends, these seven chestnut recipes are perfect for any occasion.

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1. Chestnut Pancakes with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

If you have been searching for the perfect breakfast recipe to serve overnight guests, look no further! You can ensure their day gets off to a delicious start by preparing Bon Appétit’s Chestnut Pancakes with Bacon and Crème Fraîche. The recipe yields 24 pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  cups coarsely chopped jarred steamed chestnuts (7 to 8 ounces), divided
  • Crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Chopped chives or maple syrup

Directions: Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Transfer 2 tablespoons bacon drippings to blender; add milk and next 3 ingredients, then 1 cup chestnuts. Blend until batter is smooth. Pour batter into bowl; stir in remaining ½ cup chestnuts.

Pour remaining drippings into small bowl. Brush same skillet with some drippings; heat over medium heat. Drop in batter by rounded tablespoonfuls. Cook pancakes until brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. You can top with créme fraîche, extra bacon, chives, and maple syrup.

Source: iStock

2. Stove-Roasted Chestnuts

Martha Stewart’s Stove-Roasted Chestnuts are filled with rich, warm, and earthy flavors. Not only will your guests love snacking on them, but they’ll also enjoy the delicious smells that fill your house as the chestnuts roast. The recipe yields 20 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 20 fresh unpeeled chestnuts

Directions: Using a small sharp knife or a chestnut knife, carve an “X” in the flat side of each chestnut. Place chestnuts in an even layer, “X”-side down, in a chestnut-roasting pan. Cook chestnuts over low heat until opened, 20 to 25 minutes. Peel immediately, using a towel if chestnuts are too hot to touch.

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3. Pork and Chestnuts

Chestnuts pair perfectly with aromatic spices and pork, creating a sweet dinner dish that’s filled with lovely flavors. Cooking Light’s recipe, which yields 6 servings, is also nutritious; each serving contains 310 calories, 6.4 grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 (10-ounce) can cooked shelled chestnuts, halved
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup sliced green onions
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • ¼ cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 ounces udon noodles (thick Japanese noodles)
  • Sliced green onions (optional)

Directions: Combine pork loin, chestnuts, and the next 9 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 20 minutes or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon and star anise. Combine water and cornstarch, stirring well with a whisk.

Add cornstarch mixture to pork mixture, stirring well, and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Place ½ cup noodles into each of 6 bowls; top with ¾ cup pork mixture. Garnish each serving with sliced green onions, if desired.

Source: iStock

4. Tagliatelle with Chestnuts, Pancetta, and Sage

For those hosting a dinner party this holiday season, we recommend serving Tagliatelle with Chestnuts, Pancetta, and Sage. The Italian dish consists of fresh seasonings, pancetta, chestnuts, and pasta, creating an elegant entree that your friends and family will love. Gourmet’s recipe via Epicurious yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces pancetta, chopped (scant 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8 ounces bottled peeled roasted whole chestnuts, coarsely crumbled (1½ cups)
  • 8 ounces dried flat egg pasta such as tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions: Cook pancetta in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon sage and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in chestnuts and remove from heat. Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, according to package directions.

Reserve 1½ cups cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander and add to pancetta mixture in skillet. Add 1 cup reserved cooking water along with cheese and butter and cook, tossing constantly, over high heat until pasta is well-coated, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve sprinkled with parsley and remaining tablespoon sage.

Source: iStock

5. Root Vegetable, Pear and Chestnut Ragout

Filled with winter vegetables, fragrant fruit, and chestnuts, Food & Wine’s subtly sweet dish is a must-make for supper. The recipe yields 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1¼ pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 4 Bosc pears (1½ pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1¼ pounds baby golden beets (2 bunches), stems trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped thyme
  • 1½ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup roasted peeled chestnuts from a jar (vacuum-packed)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the celery root and boil until tender, about 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large baking sheet. Add the turnips to the pot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the pears, cooking them for 2 minutes and transferring them to the baking sheet. Add the beets to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the beets and transfer to a large plate. Let cool slightly, then peel and quarter the beets. Return the pot to the stove.

Add the olive oil, and when it’s hot, add the garlic, shallot and thyme and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the celery root, turnips and pears, cover and cook over moderately high heat, folding gently a few times with a heatproof rubber spatula, until heated through. Add the beets and chestnuts and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Gently stir in the butter, transfer the ragout to a bowl and serve.

Source: iStock

6. Fire Roasted Chestnut Caramel Cookies

Celebrate the holiday season by preparing Cooking Channel’s Fire Roasted Chestnut Caramel Cookies. Chestnuts, a salty caramel drizzle, chocolate, and cinnamon create a dreamy dessert that’s worthy of any festive party or family gathering.

Ingredients:

Fire Roasted Chestnuts:

  • 5 ounces whole peeled chestnuts (about ¾ cup)

Cookies: 

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Salty Caramel Crack:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the fire roasted chestnuts, preheat the broiler on your stove. Slice the chestnuts about ¼-inch thick and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes. Transfer the chestnuts to a plate and allow to cool fully to room temperature. Rough chop the chestnuts and set aside. For the cookies, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to a sieve with a large dry bowl under it.

Sift the ingredients together into the bowl, and then add the chestnuts and set aside. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale yellow and well-combined. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined, approximately 30 seconds. Slowly add the dry ingredients from the bowl into the stand mixer on the lowest possible speed. Once the mixture starts to come together, gradually increase the speed to medium until it forms a dough-like ball. Form 20 even-size balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper under the entire rack. Allow the cookies to cool while you make the salty caramel crack. For the salty caramel crack, add the sugar to a medium dry skillet and set over medium heat; the sugar will start to melt and turn a pale yellow color. Shake the pan and let it continue to melt. The sugar will start to turn golden brown and then a deep rust color — make sure to shake the pan often to mix.

Once the sugar becomes a solid amber red, remove from the heat and add the cream and then the butter. Mix quickly with a soup spoon; it will start bubbling. Be careful not to touch the sugar with your hands as it is scorching hot. While the sugar is still soft and can be drizzled, spoon it generously over the cookies. The sugar will start setting to a hard crack as it cools fully. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top of each glazed cookie. Let the cookies fully cool before serving.

Source: iStock

7. Chestnut Cupcakes and Swirled Chocolate Frosting

Tartelette combines chestnuts and chocolate, creating a decadent dessert that is perfect for any occasion. This recipe, which was adapted from Magnolia Bakery, yields 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces chestnut puree
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces melted chocolate

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. Set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chestnut puree. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. To make the frosting, in a large mixing bowl, use a spatula to mix well the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Paint the inside of a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with the melted chocolate. Spoon the cream cheese mixture in the bag and decorate the cupcakes, swirling the frosting.

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