As people throughout the northern hemisphere slip into autumn, there are many festivals and celebrations that celebrate the harvest we have and are still reaping. We felt that Thanksgiving weekend was an appropriate moment to thank those who, in spite of their vast contribution to a bountiful harvest, are mostly unrecognized and largely unappreciated. So this is our formal THANK YOU to the Honeybee! Their whirring wings and hard labour were responsible for producing many of the good things you are and will be cooking on this holiday, and in the months to come!
We discussed the vital role the honeybee plays in fertilizing crops, the problems it is currently facing and an organization committed to supporting the honeybee in its struggle, in our July first post, Here’s To The Honeybee!
In response to that post one of our readers (Thanks Deb!), referred us to a fabulous not to say revolutionary product , Honey On Tap Hives!
This is a wonderful new invention that is changing how professional and backyard keepers alike collect honey and handle their bees. You can read more about it (along with some very impressive testimonials) on their homepage.
There is also an excellent initiative being rolled out by the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts chain, with their polinating Bee Hotels! Not only is this a delightful concept, helpful to the honeybee (and raising awareness of its plight), but hotels like Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York have placed their bee hotels in lovely roof top restaurant gardens, and use the honey that the bees provide in their own kitchen.
If you would like to read more about this project you may enjoy this article.
Because it is harvest time (in this part of the world), Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and soon to be a holiday season in many parts of the world we thought this was a perfect opportunity to share more of our favourite honey recipes with you.
So in the weeks to come, whether you are curling up with a hot and spicy honey drink on a cold crisp evening, filling the house with the wonderful aromas of delicious honey flavoured food baking, or nibbling a honey candy; we hope you’ll pause for a moment, and remember the industrious, single minded little creature, to whose never ending quest to create delectable golden honey, we all owe so very much!
(For other tasty honey treats checkout our article “Honey In The Morning, Honey In The Evening, Honey At Supper Time”!)
The recipes below are a selection of favourites saved over the years. To the best of my recollection they have all been collected from the National Honey Board’s website and/or newsletter. Please visit them for more delicious recipes, great gift giving ideas, and lots of interesting information about honey!
Hot and Sweet, cosy up with a honey beverage!
Spiced Honey Coffee – Makes 8 servings –
¼ cup honey
4 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 slice (1/2 x 2-inch) lemon peel
¼ cup brandy
Strong hot coffee
Combine honey, cloves, cinnamon sticks and lemon peel in small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils 1 minute. Stir in brandy. Spoon 1 Tablespoon mixture into each demitasse cup; stir in coffee.
Honey Hot Chocolate/Cocoa – Makes 4 cups
1/2 cup – honey
1/2 cup – unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup – water
1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
3 cups – hot low-fat milk
In small saucepan, combine honey, cocoa powder and water; mix well. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Set aside until ready to serve. To serve, stir chocolate mixture into hot milk. Frozen Honey Hot Chocolate: Prepare syrup as directed. Stir in 3 cups cold milk; mix well. Pour into ice cube trays; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze at lease 6 hours or up to 1 week. Remove cubes to food processor container; process until mixture is smooth. Serve in chilled glasses with spoons.
Tip: Chocolate syrup may be prepared in advance and stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. For single serving of hot chocolate, stir 1/4 cup chocolate syrup into 3/4 cups hot milk.
White Chocolate Mocha With Mint And Honey Cream – (Serves 4)
2 tbsp. – honey
2 ½ cups – whipped cream
2 cups – milk
1 cup – white chocolate chips
1 cup – espresso coffee
1 tsp. – mint extract
crushed mints , (optional garnish)
Add the milk and 2 cups of the whipped cream into a medium-sized saucepan and heat over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the white chocolate chips and one tablespoon of the honey. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coffee and the mint extract. Cook for another 5 minutes.
For the honey cream, add ½ cup of the whipped cream and 1 tablespoon of honey into a small bowl and mix using an electric mixer. Keep beating until peaks form when you lift the beater.
Pour the white chocolate mocha into mugs and top off with the honey cream. Garnish with crushed mints.
Honey Pot Cider
(Note: In the U.S. what they call cider is what we would usually call apple juice. The drink with alcohol is one they generally call hard cider. Although alcohol is an ingredient in this drink the basic “cider” is not an alcoholic beverage.)
1-1/4 cup – apple cider
1 Tablespoon – Orange Blossom honey
1 pinch – cinnamon
1-3/4 oz. – Apple Jack brandy
1 – cinnamon stick
2 – apple slices
Combine the apple cider, honey and cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the Apple Jack brandy and pour the cider into a mug.
With the tip of a small knife, pierce small holes in the apples and string them onto a cinnamon stick. Place the garnish across or in the cider.
Main Course Dishes:
Broiled Lemon-Honey Chicken Breasts – Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 (3-1/2 to 4 oz. each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients (except chicken) and mix well. Marinate chicken in honey-lemon mixture 1 hour in shallow baking dish. Broil chicken 5 minutes, brush with pan drippings, turn and broil 5 minutes longer or until juices run clear. If desired, bring marinade to a boil; simmer 2 minutes. Strain hot marinade and serve over chicken.
Honey Glazed Ham – Makes 4 servings
2 (8 oz. each) ham steaks, cooked
1/4 cup honey
3 Tablespoons water
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pan-fry or broil ham steaks until lightly browned and thoroughly heated.
Remove ham from skillet or broiler pan. Combine honey, water, spices; add to pan drippings and bring to a boil. Simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Brush over ham and serve with remaining sauce.
Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes – Makes 4 servings
4 large (about 2 lbs.) baking potatoes
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Peel potatoes and cut each into 6 to 8 pieces. In large saucepan, cover
potatoes with salted water; bring to a boil. Simmer potatoes 12-15
minutes, until barely tender. Drain. Combine mustard, honey and thyme
in small bowl. In large bowl, toss potatoes with honey-thyme mustard
until coated evenly. Arrange potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet,
sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F, or
until potatoes begin to brown around edges. Season to taste with salt
and pepper before serving.
Honey Pumpkin Pie – Makes 8 servings
1 can (16 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup honey
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 pastry for single 9-inch pie crust
Honey Whipped Cream, optional, see below
Combine all ingredients except pastry in large bowl; beat until well blended.
Pour into pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes or until
knife inserted near center comes out clean. Serve with Honey Whipped Cream,
Honey Whipped Cream (makes 2 cups)
1 cup whipping cream
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat whipping cream until mixture thickens; gradually add honey and beat
until soft peaks form. Fold in vanilla.
Honey Pumpkin Muffins
1-1/2 cups – all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons – baking powder
1 teaspoon – baking soda
1/4 teaspoon – salt
1-1/2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon – ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon – ground nutmeg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) – butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup – honey
1 – egg
1 cup – solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup – chopped toasted walnuts
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light; beat in honey, egg and pumpkin. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just blended; stir in walnuts. Spoon into 12 greased or paper-lined 2-1/2 inch muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Honey Devil’s Food Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting – Makes 12 servings
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups honey, divided
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 cup boiling water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
To prepare cake:
Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add 1-1/2 cups honey, milk,
oil, eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla; beat for 2 minutes. Gradually beat in water. Divide batter between pans. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sides pull away slightly from pan and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely.
To prepare frosting:
In medium bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup honey, 1 tsp. vanilla and cream. Beat until just thick and fluffy. To assemble, spread frosting evenly over sides and top of one cake layer. Place second cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top.
Next month we will share some of our favourite holiday recipes!
To all our Canadian Readers, Happy Thanksgiving!!!!