Cooking With Honey – Honey Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

How about some homemade treats for your little Goblin visitors?  These are tasty AND healthy!

Yield:  60 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet

Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in honey, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Cooking With Honey – Pumpkin Creme Brulee

pump creme brulee

It’s pumpkin season! It makes me happy to see them on sale everywhere.

It also inspires me to develop new honey recipes. This one is especially tasty!

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup honey

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Arrange 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and honey . Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth. Divide among the prepared custard cups.

Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are just set in the center but not stiff, 45 minutes to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle each custard with 1/2 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (Alternately, preheat the broiler, and broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating the cups, about 1 to 2 minutes.)  Garnish with cinnamon and whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Cooking With Honey – Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Honey, Pancetta, and Fried Sage Leaves

butternut soup

There are wonderful butternut squash available in the local markets, and today, cool and sunny, is a perfect day to prepare this tasty soup!

It’s what I’m having tonight!!

Yield:  Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

1 (2 to 3-pound) butternut squash, halved with seeds removed

4 medium shallots, peeled and left whole

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 ounces pancetta (about 12 paper-thin slices), diced

1 cup diced leeks, white part only (about 1 large leek)

1/3 cup finely diced carrots (about 1 small carrot)

1/3 cup finely diced celery (about 1 small stalk celery)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon dry white wine, of drinkable quality

2 quarts rich chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste*

Splash of sour cream and/or hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Canola oil for frying

1/4 cup sage leaves

Fine sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the squash and shallots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt. Place  the squash and shallots onto the lined baking sheet and roast until the squash and shallots are tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a small knife, about 40-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

Heat a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat; add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat through. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crisp. Remove from the heat, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside until needed.

Return the pan to the heat and add the leeks, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan (deglaze). Cook until the wine has evaporated, then add the stock.

Scrape the squash pulp from the skin and add the pulp, the shallots (scraping up any browned bits) and honey to the pan; bring the stock to the boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup completely. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and honey as desired. Keep the soup warm until service. (This is where you’d add the splash of sour cream to taste, if desired.)

For the Sage: In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 1-inch of oil to 365°F; fry the sage in batches, stirring to separate the leaves, until crisp, about 3 to 5 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with fine sea salt while still hot.

For Serving: Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls or cups. Top each serving with some of the crispy pancetta and a few fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.

*The honey doesn’t sweeten up the soup; it just enhances the caramel flavor of the roasted squash.

Cooking With Honey – Iced Honey “Pumpkin” Cookies

pumpkin cookie

This is my version of our local bakery’s popular iced pumpkin cookies. No pumpkins were harmed in their making – they’re almond honey cookies!

These are the favorite of my daughter who lives in Chicago. I bring them with me whenever I visit. The decorations change with the seasons!!

Ingredients:

Cookies

1 cup room temperature salted butter

3/4  to 7/8 cup honey

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

Icing

4 cups powdered sugar

2 TBL room temp. butter

1-1/2 tsp. almond extract

food coloring

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup condensed milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together 1 cup butter, honey, egg and 1 tsp. almond extract. Mix together flour and baking powder.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.

Roll out on lightly floured surface, 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Cut out circles.

Bake until edges just start to turn light golden (about 7 min)

Remove cookies to wire rack. Cool just slightly.

Drop orange frosting  (see below)  on warm cookies and spread out slightly until it runs over the edge.

Let cool completely. Paint faces with black food coloring (see below)  Store in air tight container.

Orange Icing:

While cookies are in the oven in a bowl add powdered sugar, 2TBL butter, 1-1/2 tsp. almond extract ,orange food coloring (1 drop red and two drops yellow) and enough of the hot water to make a consistency that just barely runs off of spoon.

Black Food Coloring “Paint”

Mix three drops each of red, blue and yellow food coloring. Add to 1/4 cup of condensed milk.  Paint or stencil faces on cooled cookies.

Cooking With Honey – Southern Coca Cola And Honey Bundt Cake

Coca cola bottle

coca cola bundt cake

You know you’re from the North if you’ve never heard of using soft drinks to make cakes moist, light and absolutely delicious! There are 7-Up cakes, Mountain Dew Cakes, and  Root Beer Cakes, but the most famous of all are the Coca Cola cakes. This cake was one of my beloved Mother’s specialties!

Most people are surprised that this cake doesn’t taste like Coke. The soft drink is there to enhance the chocolate flavor and make the cake texture so divine. Make this cake the night before serving to let the flavors intensify.

Yield:   One 10-inch Bundt cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan

2 cups Coca Cola (not diet!!)

1 cup dark cocoa powder

1¼ cups honey

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

For the frosting:

2 ounces 60% chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup Coca Cola

2/3 cup dark cocoa powder

2½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat butter, Coca Cola and cocoa powder until butter is completely melted. Add honey and whisk until dissolved. Remove mixture from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs until just beaten, then whisk into cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Do not overbeat. Mixture will be slightly lumpy.

Pour mixture into Bundt pan and bake, rotating pan halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan. Once completely cool, use a knife to gently loosen sides of cake from pan and invert onto a cooling rack.

Make frosting: Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in short bursts until frosting is shiny and smooth. If necessary, thin with 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, pulsing to combine.

Use a spatula to spread frosting in a thick layer over top of cake. Let frosting set before serving.

Enjoy dessert Southern Style !!

Cooking With Honey – It’s Time For Caramel!

caramels 2

Autumn is the time for caramel, whether as candies or caramel apples.  This recipe is easy and delicious. Heck, it probably soothes a sore throat too!!

Yield:   18-24 caramels or 3-5 caramel apples

Ingredients:

1 cup Honey

¾ cups Heavy Cream

1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Butter

Directions:

Combine honey and cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally while it cooks. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches soft ball stage. The easiest way to do this is with a candy thermometer (235 to 240ºF), though you can test it with other methods.

Remove pan from the heat and immediately stir in vanilla and butter. Stir until butter is completely melted and combined. Dip apples in the caramel or pour into a generously buttered 8×8 dish or smaller if you want thick large caramels. Having your dish properly buttered is important for easy removal of the caramels once set.

Allow caramels to cool thoroughly in the refrigerator and then slice into squares.  Store in the refrigerator until serving.

Cough And Sore Throat Soothing Honey Lollipops

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Emily Heath, one of my UK beekeeper/blogger friends, mentioned in her recent post about the London Honey Show that she is suffering from a very bad cold.

Another blogger friend, Solarbeez, asked me if I had a honey recipe that could soothe Emily’s symptoms.

Of course I do!!

Here is my recipe for Cough and Sore Throat Soothing Honey Lollipops. They are easy to make and effective and taste wonderful as well.

Ingredients:

You will need at least a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of honey, a non stick surface, a candy thermometer and 10-12 sucker sticks. You can also add flavors such as lemon, lavender, or cinnamon if you desire.  A 1/2 tsp. should do the trick.

Directions:

First lay out your sucker sticks, spaced apart, on your non stick surface. (You can make cough drops by omitting the sticks!)

Pour the honey into a heavy sauce pan and boil at medium to med. low heat for about 10 minutes. The honey should reach 300 degrees F.

If you do not have a candy thermometer you can test your honey by dropping a drop or two of it into a cup of very cold water. If it hardens it’s ready. If it’s still soft to the touch, keep boiling.

Remove the honey  from the  heat once it’s reached 300.

Stir in the flavor, if you are going to use any, at this time.

Pour over one end of the sucker sticks. Pour slowly. When the honey is really hot, like right off the burner, it will spread out more over the stick and form a very uneven circle. Your first few suckers might be thin and very misshapen. Your honey will start to harden quickly so by the 4th sucker or so you should see a more even circle and also a thicker sucker.

Go back to the thinner suckers and pour over them again if you want to. The thinner suckers were very sharp on the edges once the honey hardened, so I would recommend making them thicker.

Make plenty to last until cold and flu season is behind us.  And feel better soon, Emily!!

Cooking With Honey – Easy Honey Blueberry Preserves

blueberry preserves

Here’s a very simple recipe for blueberry preserves that doesn’t use pectin or processed sugar. Just 4 ingredients!

It’s great over Greek yogurt or ice cream.

Ingredients (fills an 8 ounce jar)

3 cups blueberries (frozen and thawed or fresh)

3/4 cup honey (you can use more or less depending on how tart your berries are)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

Place the blueberries in a medium sized sauce pan and crush them with the back of a fork or using a potato masher.

Add the honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently while the mixture boils for 15-20 minutes and it starts to thicken. The best way to test if it’s done is to put a spoonful in the freezer for 5 minutes. If it won’t easily pour off of the spoon when you remove it from the freezer, then it’s done.

Skim off any foam, then ladle the jam into a sterilized jar.

Store tightly covered in the fridge for a couple of weeks or you can use canning methods to store in a pantry for longer storage.

Cooking With Honey – Clubhouse Turkey Burgers With Honey BBQ Sauce

turkey burgers

Below is my version/modification of Whole Foods’ AMAZING Clubhouse Turkey Burger recipe. Even if you don’t think you like turkey burgers you will love these! They are amazingly tender and juicy. You may never eat beef burgers again!!

Of course, the Honey BBQ Sauce is what makes them even tastier…

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

1lb ground turkey

6 strips bacon (about 1/3lb), cooked & crumbled

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup Honey BBQ sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite BBQ sauce

salt & pepper

Buns

Toppings: red onion, tomato, lettuce, bbq sauce

Directions:

Mix together turkey, bacon, cheese, panko bread crumbs, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl then divide unto 4 parts and form into patties. Brush or mist one side of the burgers with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray then cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through, brushing or misting the uncooked side with more oil before flipping. Top with toppings and serve on toasted buns. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.

Honey BBQ Sauce

Yield:  3 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon ground mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Cooking With Honey – Homemade Honey Sriracha

Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster')

Given that I keep stingy insects like honey bees, it’s not surprising that hot and spicy foods are my favorites!

In my humble opinion,  the taste of  a mouth-burningly hot dish, tempered with the uniquely flavorful sweetness of honey, is one of  life’s greatest pleasures!

My bees must feel the same way because my friends swear that my honey tastes a bit spicy.  I think that’s part of its charm!!

Anyway, here’s my recipe for homemade honey Sriracha.  You may never use store-bought again!!

Yield:   1 1/2 cups
Ingredients:
 
1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2  tablespoons honey
Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the honey in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers.

Place the mixture and honey in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer, extracting as much juice as possible.

Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as store-bought Sriracha, but less salty and fresher tasting!