In 2013 our town was a tester site for a new Starbucks holiday drink -Chestnut Praline. I grew up eating roasted chestnuts around the holidays and it is something that I have always loved and look forward to. I remember burning my fingers along with my siblings as it was a race to see who could open their chestnuts quicker (and end up with more!). I still buy and roast chestnuts every holiday season with my kids. It is a flavor and tradition that is filled with memories. I spent the season ordering that drink and hoping that it would be back the following Holiday season. Thankfully it was brought back in the holiday line up, I get
one a few every season now. I knew that I needed to come up with an at home version that I could enjoy year round. I have made this syrup so many times and I have enjoyed all of them! I have a thinner strained syrup that I enjoy using in the summer in iced coffee and a thicker syrup that is bursting with chestnuts for my winter version. This syrup can be used in so many different ways: iced coffee, hot coffee, latte, tea, coffee smoothie, Italian soda (my kids love it), or drizzled over oatmeal.
Chestnut Vanilla Syrup
1. In a small saucepan combine water and sugar bring to a light simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vanilla bean pod and seeds and chestnuts, allow to simmer for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to infuse for 1 hour.
2. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer – use cheese cloth if you do not want vanilla bean seeds to be in your syrup. Reserve the chestnuts and vanilla bean* for another use. Package the chestnut syrup into a clean jar and keep refrigerated. It will last several weeks unless you use it quicker.
OR step two for winter syrup. Great for hot drinks or smoothies.
2. Remove vanilla bean from the syrup. Place the syrup and chestnuts in a blender and puree until completely smooth. This works better in a hot drink as the syrup has a caramel consistency and is thicker. I find this is best stored in a jar that you can easily add a spoon to ~ the syrup will set up in the refrigerator.
*dry the vanilla bean and add to a jar of sugar. Shake every day and in a few days you will have fragrant vanilla sugar.
Inspired by Starbucks
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