Earthy, healthy nuts are a satisfying treat in festive desserts. Pecans, of course, play a pivotal pie role on holiday menus—but other nuts are also celebrated during the holidays including walnuts, pistachios, chestnuts and hazelnuts. Here are seven nut desserts that you’ll go nuts for this festive season.
Bourbon & Pecan Tart, Coppin’s-Hotel Covington, Covington, Kentucky
The Bourbon & Pecan Tart from pastry chef Madelyn Bernard’s stars one of Kentucky’s greatest exports along with pie stud — the pecan. A rift on the classic pecan pie, chef Bernard elevates the dessert with a buttery tart shell. The pecans are coated in British pure cane syrup before baking and, just before the tart makes its oven debut, bourbon is drizzled to crystallize the warm sugar. Make a reservation at Coppin’s-Hotel Covington.
Karidopita, Avra Madison, New York, New York
Pastry chef Paola Marocchi has created a traditional Karidopita for the holidays. The classic walnut cake is made with walnuts, (of course!), Cognac, cloves, breadcrumbs, sugar, and cinnamon, and it is bathed in a sweet syrup (cinnamon, sugar, and water). Powdered sugar is sprinkled liberally on top, and the nutty cake is served with vanilla gelato. Opa! Make a reservation at Avra Madison.
German Chocolate Cake, Deadhorse Hill, Worcester, Massachusetts
Chef and co-owner Jared Forman’s decadent German chocolate cake with walnuts, coconut, and homemade black walnut liqueur gelato is in the spotlight this time of year. The festive cake is a light but rich layer cake that features deeply toasted shredded coconut and walnuts that are made into a thick glaze adding caramel notes and moisture. Make a reservation at Dead Horse Hill.
Panna Cotta, Green Fig, New York, New York
During the holidays, it’s all about Chef Gabriel Israel’s Pistachio-Goat Cheese Panna Cotta at this Modern Israeli restaurant with influences from North Africa’s Maghreb region. A pistachio meringue stars inside the goat cheese panna cotta and the dessert is then finished with chopped pistachios, more pistachio meringue and a drizzle of honey. Make a reservation at Green Fig.