David Burtka shares his family's holiday traditions, recipes and gift-giving secrets

David Burtka shares his family's holiday traditions, recipes and gift-giving secrets

David Burtka has a busy and delicious festive season planned for his husband, Neil Patrick Harris, and their five-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper. From fresh food from the farm to inventive gift-giving, the holidays in the Burtka-Harris household are guaranteed to be very merry and bright. The Le Cordon Bleu graduate had Hello! itching for an invitation to his holiday feast after sharing some of his favourite recipes during a sit-down chat in Toronto. Fuelled by his appreciation of coffee, the star has teamed up with Nespresso to design some one-of-a-kind java-infused dishes, perfect for holiday entertaining.

When we weren’t exploring the perks of mixing the good brew with cooking (think brownies, cakes, coffee-spiced lamb chop, lollipops and spicy almonds) or dreaming up our perfect coffee date (“Maybe the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra … or Oprah!” said David), our conversation quickly turned to family fun.

“We stay in for the holidays and both sets of parents come in and our siblings come, and they get along great,” says David, who admits he can’t wait to escape the cold New York winter and ring in the new year with Neil and the kids in a tropical oasis. Here, David recalls his favourite holiday memory and his twins’ memorable magic trick, and shares a delicious recipe that doubles as both a snack and hostess present.

Food takes centre stage at all the Burtka-Harris celebrations. Photo: © instagram.com/dbelicious

Spicy Coffee Almonds

Photo: © George Pimentel/Nespresso


1 lg egg white

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Nespresso Evoluo coffee capsules, grinds removed (approx. 4 tbsp coffee grinds)

1 tsp ancho chili powder

1 lb whole raw almonds


1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the water and egg white and whisk until frothy.

2. To the egg, add the salt, sugar, Nespresso coffee grinds, chili powder and mix well. Then add almonds and toss to evenly coat.

3. Spread the almonds evenly on the sheet pan and bake for 20 mins. Then stir the almonds and reduce the heat to 275 F. Bake the nuts another 40 mins. until almonds are dry to the touch.

4. Let almonds cool completely. Once cool, break apart the nuts and store in a sealed container.

Tip: Pack the nuts into small mason jars or bags to give away as edible gifts.

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