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 – 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.

Hearst Castle Shortbread Cookies With Honey

REMEMBER TO LIKE ROMANCING THE BEE ON FACEBOOK TO WIN PRIZES!

William Randolph Hearst was a big fan of shortbread cookies, and this is an adaptation of a recipe in The Castle Cookbook.

The Castle Cookbook

The Castle Cookbook

The original recipe calls for sugar, but I think honey makes the cookies tastier. I think “The Chief” would have approved!

Santa_s-Shortbread-Cookies-My-Recipes_1.card

Yield:  3-4 dozen

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb unsalted butter

1 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

powdered or decorative sugar for sprinkling on top. (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the honey and beat again, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice as you are mixing. Beat in the vanilla extract. . Add the flour mixture in two additions. Stir until everything comes together into a thick dough.

Wrap dough in plastic and chill completely in the refrigerator – about thirty minutes. When the dough is chilled, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out 1/4-1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are barely golden.

Sprinkle with powdered or decorative sugar if desired.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 10 – Honey Cocoa Meringues

cocoa meringue

I was a bad girl last night.  I had refined sugar. 

It gave me an upset stomach which persists today! 

I’ve learned my lesson. If I need a treat, I’ll make these. I love meringues anyway.  🙂

Yield:  approximately 20 cookies, depending upon size

Ingredients

3 egg whites

1 cup honey

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 225º F

Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form

Shape as desired

Bake on parchment paper for roughly one hour

Do not remove from oven at once, but turn off the oven, open the door, and leave for at least 5 minutes

Cool gradually, away from draft

Holidays With Honey – Honey Florentines

Florentines

Contrary to popular belief, Florentines most likely originated in France rather than Italy.  The main ingredients and technique for preparation are typically French, not Tuscan.  The cookies were probably named in honor of Florentine nobility, perhaps France’s Florentine Queen, Catherine de’ Medici, who was an influential gastronome. Queen Catherine was a big fan of spinach, and French dishes containing spinach are also called “Florentine.”

Yield:  5 dozen 3-inch Florentines, or 2 1/2 dozen 6-inch Florentines

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups sliced, blanched almonds (about 5 ounces)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Finely grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping:

2 to 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Stir together the nuts, flour, zest and salt in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, honey and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then pour mixture into almond mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle, 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons (for 3-inch cookies) or rounded tablespoons (for 6-inch cookies) of batter and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread.

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, rotating pans halfway through baking time, about 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. Top with chocolate when cookies are cool.

Chocolate topping:

Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very low simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, about 1 to 2 minutes more.)

Drizzle melted chocolate over Florentines as desired. Set aside at room temperature until chocolate is set.

Holidays With Honey – Gingerbread Men

Gingy

“Run! run! as fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Who doesn’t love Gingerbread Men? Especially when they’re made with honey rather than molasses. Have some fun and make these tasty cookies. They’re great for gifts and decorations too!

This recipe makes a light brown Gingerbread Man, like the one above.

Yield:   26 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice

Directions

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the honey, egg and water. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. cookie cutter. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can make your own templates from paper or cardboard. (I think that’s more fun!)

Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Re-roll scraps.

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired with icing recipe which follows.

Decorating Buttercream (for piping details)

This makes a LOT of icing. You may want to cut the recipe in half.

Cream until smooth:

6 oz  (1 1/2  sticks) butter (room temperature)

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

¼ tsp kosher salt

1 tsp pure vanilla

Add:

1 tbsp evaporated milk (you may need more)

Beat briefly until light and smooth. Color as desired.

After piping on cookies, this icing should set 6-8 hours or overnight. This icing does not dry hard but will “crust” so cookies can be handled.

Holidays With Honey – Decorated Cut-Out Cookies

fun_snowmen

My favorite iced butter cookies come from The BonBonerie in Cincinnati. Aren’t they beautiful?? And they taste every bit as good as they look…

Yes, they deliver!  (Place your orders by December 15th…)

But if you’d rather try your hand at making these beautiful cookies at home (using honey, of course!), below is the converted recipe.  The BonBonerie uses all sugar, but I think mine taste a little bit better. My decorations pale in comparison however.  

Honey Butter Cookies

Cream 3 minutes:

1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar (or 2 cups, if you aren’t using honey)

Beat in:

1 cup honey

2 large eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla

Sift and add one cup at a time:

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

5 cups all purpose flour

Do not overmix dough.

Note: This recipe requires a stand mixer.

Chill the dough before rolling. Roll to thickness of 1/8 in. to 3/16 in. and cut out in holiday shapes .

Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Bottom of cookie should be lightly browned.

Milk & Honey Fondant Icing (for icing base)

Bring to boil:

½ cup whole milk

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp honey (or light corn syrup, if you must…)

(It is convenient to microwave this mixture right in a glass measuring cup.)

Add to:

1 lb 4 oz  (5 cups)  powdered sugar (sifted)

Mix smooth with hand whisk. Do not overbeat, you don’t want a lot of air bubbles in icing.

Flavor with:

4-5 drops of lemon oil (optional)

Note: Dip baked cookies in icing to coat the top. Dipped cookies will dry to touch in 1-2 hours. Allow 6-8 hours or overnight to set completely.

Decorating Buttercream (for piping details)

Cream until smooth:

6 oz  (1 1/2  sticks) butter (room temperature)

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

¼ tsp kosher salt

1 tsp pure vanilla

Add:

1 tbsp evaporated milk (you may need more)

Beat briefly until light and smooth. Color as desired.

After piping on dipped cookies, this icing should set 6-8 hours or overnight. This icing does not dry hard but will “crust” so cookies can be handled.

Serve or freeze these cookies within 4-5 days.

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Pedigree of Honey

by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

The pedigree of honey

Does not concern the bee;

A clover, any time, to him

Is aristocracy.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Preheat to 375 degrees

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well dispersed.
2. Cream the sugar, honey, and butter together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat the mixture until light and creamy. Add the extract.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients, mixing until combined. Add the cranberries, chips, and nuts.
4. Drop heaping teaspoons two inches apart on an ungreased sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Honey Meringue Cookies

I love meringues!

My hotel in London had a small bag of them waiting for me in my room when I arrived. Much better than chocolates!

Try a little food coloring to brighten them up!

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup water
5 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. ice cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract or peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 225º F. Line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Hot syrup: Cook the honey and water, without stirring, in a small pot over medium heat until it reaches 235 to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Meringue: While the syrup is cooking, use a balloon whisk to beat the egg whites with the salt,cream of tartar, and water to soft peaks in a large metal or stainless steel bowl. When the syrup is done, remove from heat and immediately pour into the soft peak egg whites in a slow, steady stream while continuing to whip the egg whites at the same time. If you’re doing this by hand, at this stage it would be helpful to have someone pour the syrup in while you whip it in the egg whites.

Once all the syrup has been poured in, continue whipping the egg whites until stiff and glossy. Stiff peak egg whites should hold and retain their shape. Add vanilla or peppermint extract and rapidly beat for about 2 more minutes.

Spoon or pipe the meringue on to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Open the oven door and let dry for another 10 minutes or until dry to the touch. Remove meringues from oven and cool on the pan, you may hear crackling as the meringues cool and finish drying out. Peel the meringues away from the parchment paper once cool enough to touch. They should peel away easily and should sound like a ping pong ball when tapped with a fingernail.