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Baking with The Fabulous Beekman Boys

We love the holidays, since they’re all about the unabashed enjoyment of booze, decadent desserts and presents.

And some of the best gifts we’ve given our friends and family combine all three things, including delicious Almond Cognac Cookie Sandwiches and a rich Chocolate Whiskey Tart.

But this holiday season, we’re actually going to be whipping up a new treat: Syrup Nuts. The recipe for the sweet and spirited mix comes from the recently published The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook written by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, who are hosts of Cooking Channel’s The Fabulous Beekman Boys (and who, incidentally, won season 21 of The Amazing Race). The concoction calls for an assortment of nuts, sugar, maple syrup and either brandy, Scotch or bourbon.

While it’s tasty enough to eat straight from the jar, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell suggest spooning the gooey goodness on top of scoops of ice cream or over a stack of pancakes for a truly indulgent breakfast. The perfect start to any holiday!

And if you’re looking for more cooking inspiration, check out our Holiday Entertaining Guide, which features gourmet recipes, tips and advice from celebrity chefs across the country. Bon appétit!

Syrup Nuts

Contributed by Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Ridge

  • 1 cup Mixed unsalted nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and cashews
  • .5 cup Sugar
  • .33 cup Maple syrup, preferably grade B
  • 1 Vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • .25 tsp Salt
  • 6 oz Water
  • 2 tbsp Brandy, Scotch, or bourbon

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and fragrant.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla bean, salt and water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the nuts, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool, then stir in the brandy or whiskey. Transfer to a clean jar and refrigerate until ready to use. (The nuts can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.)

(Photo courtesy Paulette Tavormina)

Recipes: Syrup Nuts

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