More Honey, Please

Another post about honey because who doesn’t love it?  (Other than those who don’t, of course.)  Bears, bees, small children, old people, yeah, honey is good.  It also happens to be a food that is easily available as a buy-local product almost anywhere you go (read the label, though, it can be produced in China and bottled in St. Paul.)  Some people swear by it for medicinal purposes – think eating local pollen to prevent local allergies, using it as a skin moisturizing aid and mild antiseptic, to soothe a cough or sore throat.  I found this website with all sorts of (dubiously legit) therapeutic uses.  Check it out, mostly for the amusingly bad English.  http://ezinearticles.com/?21-Therapeutic-Benefits-of-Honey&id=3631637.  And honey is a sweetener with a rich flavor all of its own, which actually means that it isn’t great for some uses when you want sweet without flavor.  But for many other things it is great.  Try one of these yummy recipes with some local honey and enjoy.

Chocolate Honey Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups flour (if you want to use whole wheat I suggest using half white and half whole wheat pastry flour)

Melt butter, chocolate, and honey together in a double boiler.  Stir till it is all melted and well mixed.  It should be warm but not hot to the touch.  Mix in the eggs thoroughly then mix in the nutmeg.  Add in the flour and mix well.  Grease cake pan, brownie pan, bundt pan, muffin or mini-muffin pans then pour the cake batter into it.  Bake at 350 degrees until cake is done (this amount of time depends on size of pan – 10 minutes or so for mini-muffins, 45 minutes or more for a deep cake – it will be done when a thin knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean.)

Chevre, Pistachio, and Honey Crostini

  • 1 baguette
  • 8 oz chevre
  • 2 Tbs honey (the more flavorful the better, try lavender or orange or buckwheat or wildflower)
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive  plus a little for drizzling
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the baguette slices between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.  Toast in 250 degree oven until lightly crisp.  Remove from oven and put aside.  Put the pistachios on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until they start to brown – be careful not to burn them.  Remove from the oven and let cool enough to chop them.  Put the chopped nuts in a bowl, holding out a couple tablespoons full for garnish, and add the chevre, honey, olive oil.  When ready to serve, spread the cheese mix on the crostini then sprinkle with the pistachios you saved for garnish.  Lightly drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and black pepper.  Serve by themselves or with a salad of baby greens that are tossed with a light lemon, olive oil, honey dressing.  Yum.

Honey, please

This is the time of year for honey eating.  Apples and honey, challah and honey, honey cake, honey on meat, honey in everything.  Here is a recipe for chicken with honey, rosemary, and lemon.  And a recipe, using some honey, of course, that makes the most delicious, amazing, chewy, flavorful cookies I’ve had in a long time.  You can use whatever kind of honey you like best for these recipes, keeping in mind the other flavors (clover is always nice, wildflower is delicious, buckwheat honey has a darker, deeper flavor, orange honey is amazingly fresh, etc.)  If your honey has crystalized in the jar you can liquify it by heating, either by placing the jar or bottle in a bowl of hot water or by heating for a few seconds in the microwave.  So, slather it on (either your dinner or your face) and enjoy.  (Just remember not to feed honey in any form to babies under the age of a year.)

Sweet and Tangy Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 large onion
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Zest the lemon then squeeze its juice.  Put zest and juice in a bowl with the honey and mix well.  Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.  Peel and halve the onion then place in the body cavity of the chicken with the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves. Put the chicken in a baking or roasting pan.  Spread the honey mix over the chicken on all sides.  Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and black pepper and bake at 325 for 2 hours, check to see if chicken is done (the time this will take depends on the size of the chicken, obviously.)  Serve chicken with any pan drippings.  You can put brussels sprouts, chopped potatoes, or chunks of cabbage under the chicken to cook with it – just toss them with a small amount of oil before you put them in the pan so they brown, not burn.

Chewy Coconut Almond Cookies (so, so, so, so good but also very sweet – not for the sugar-free, low-carb folk among us)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used 3/4 cup white and 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs amaretto
  • 1 1/4 cups flaked unsweetened coconut

Mix the dry ingredients (the first four items on the list) in a bowl.  In a larger bowl beat the butter, sugars, and honey until creamed.  Beat in the egg and the amaretto.  Mix in the flour mixture then the coconut.  Place teaspoon sized balls on a cookie sheet, leaving room on all sides for the cookies to spread, and bake in a 350 degree oven for ~8-10 minutes.  The cookies should be lightly browned when done.  Remove from the oven, cool on the pan for 10 minutes then remove carefully with a spatula.  Eat.  Eat again.  Eat with tea.  Eat with coffee.  Serve them to your friends.  Eat plain, eat with milk, eat some more.  Then bake more.  Really.