You’re probably thinking, “You know, now that you mention it, I have seen that chestnut stuff at the store, but I’ve always looked past it because I don’t know what it is, nor what it’s for.”
I always thought the same thing until one day when my bestie and I were at the store shopping for unique PB&J ingredients. We threw a can of chestnut cream in the cart and took it home. Admittedly it wasn’t that special in a PB&J, so the remaining almost-full container ended up in my fridge. Every time I opened the cooler door, I wondered how I could put it to work. The ideas began to flow. 
So what is chestnut cream? It’s really simple. It’s roasted chestnuts pureed with sugar and vanilla to a custardy consistency. Most versions don’t contain any cream, but it’s called “chestnut cream” because it’s rich and curd-like. It’s so versatile; I actually have a few more ideas up my sleeve that there just isn’t time for this year. They’re written down and safely kept. Hopefully they’ll see the light of day next season. Of course you could spread a spoonful on your morning toast, but let’s kick it up a notch or five.

Put it in your Coffee, Hot Chocolate, or Egg Nog

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Make a Chestnut Vinaigrette

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¼ shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
⅓ cup chestnut cream
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground pepper
⅛ tsp ground rosemary
¼ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp celery seeds
1 tsp mustard powder
⅓ cup cider vinegar
⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients, except the vegetable and olive oil in a blender. Place lid on blender and power on, blending until ingredients are pureed and smooth.
With blender running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable and olive oils until dressing is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

Swirl it into Banana Bread

Just 5 or 6 tablespoons into the top of the loaf batter will do the trick.

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Spread it on Breakfast

Again, you could certainly spoon it onto your morning toast, but don’t forget about your French toast, pancakes, waffles, etc. 
I recommend my Pumpkin Bread French ToastOatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes, or Egg Nog Panettone French Toast.

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pumpkin pancakes 6 WWM

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Make a Pasta Cream Sauce

It’s so perfect over pumpkin or butternut ravioli.

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Chestnut Cream Sauce
2 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
⅓ cup chestnut cream
2 Tbsp chardonnay
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground sage
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a saucepan on medium high and melt butter. Grate shallot using a citrus zester and cook for a few minutes until shallots turn translucent, then grate in the garlic using the same technique. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, then lower the heat to medium low.
Whisk in remaining ingredients, one at a time. Let sauce cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 5-10 minutes.
Serve warm over pasta of your choice. 

Make a Fruit Dip

It’s so simple; just cream together the following ingredients. Serve the dip immediately or store in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

1 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
⅓ cup chestnut cream
⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch freshly ground nutmeg

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Make a Chestnut Buttercream

I mixed a standard buttercream and added some nutmeg, cinnamon, and a generous amount of chestnut cream. 
Earlier in the day, I baked and cooled a spice cake, stacked the two layers and filled them with apple butter. Then I frosted the cake with that delicious chestnut buttercream. It was a big hit with my coworkers.

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Happy Holidays!!

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