Holidays With Honey – Honey Baked Ham

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This is one of the most popular recipes on my blog and in my cookbook, Cooking with Honey

It’s perfect for holiday dinners, and your guests will be vying for leftovers.

FYI, Cooking with Honey is still available for holiday delivery for $10 including shipping. Email me at rtbee@me.com with your orders.

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Ingredients:

1 fully-cooked shank half ham , bone in (pre-sliced is best)

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1⁄8; teaspoon paprika

1 dash ground ginger

1 dash ground allspice

Directions:

First you must slice your ham, if it is not already sliced. Use a very sharp knife to cut the ham into very thin slices around the bone.

Do not cut all the way to the bone or the meat may not hold together properly as it is being glazed. You want the slices to be quite thin, but not so thin that they begin to fall apart of off the bone.

You may wish to turn the ham onto its flat end and cut around it starting at the bottom. You can then spin the ham as you slice around and work your way up.

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. (I like to make double this recipe for a nice large ham).

Lay down a couple sheets of wax paper onto a flat surface, such as your kitchen counter. Pour the honey/sugar mixture onto the wax paper and spread it around evenly.

Pick up the ham and roll it over the sugar mixture so that it is well coated. Do not coat the flat end of the ham, just the outer surface which you have sliced through.

Turn the ham onto its flat end on a plate. Use a kitchen torch with a medium-size flame to caramelize the sugar.

Wave the torch over the sugar with rapid movements, so that the sugar bubbles and browns, but does not burn. Spin the plate so that you can torch the entire surface of the ham.

Repeat the coating and caramelizing process until the ham has been well-glazed (don’t expect to use all of the sugar mixture).

Serve the ham cold or re-heat.

Thanksgiving 2013 – Sweet Potato Souffle With Honey And Egg Nog

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I’ve been looking for the perfect Thanksgiving sweet potato souffle recipe for years. I think this is it!

This recipe substitutes eggnog for condensed milk and honey for the brown sugar, maple syrup and tiny marshmallows. It’s just as sweet and tasty, but a bit more sophisticated. (Not that I have anything against tiny marshmallows!!)

This souffle is something your guests will actually LIKE to eat!!

Yield:  4 large or 8-10 small servings

Ingredients:

2 Large or 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Granulated Sugar for dusting the souffle dish

Powdered Sugar for dusting the top

3/4 cup Eggnog

3 Large Eggs, separated and room temperature

1 cup Honey

2 tablespoons Butter plus more for greasing the souffle dish

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1 ounce Brandy (optional)

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

Place sweet potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain and allow to cool before handling. Peel and discard skins.

Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and break up and mash using a spoon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish; dust with sugar.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in eggnog; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; mix in sweet potatoes and egg yolks. Stir in honey, vanilla, brandy  (if using), lemon juice, salt, and spices and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into sweet potato mixture; using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites. Pour mixture into prepared dish; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

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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 – 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 !!

Italian Chocolate And Honey Cupcakes With Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

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Let’s celebrate the arrival of Spring with some lovely decadent cupcakes!

Yield:   2 dozen

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

3 eggs, separated

1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

For the frosting:

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup (about 6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 F and line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl cream together the butter, sugar, and honey until smooth but not fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix well, then add the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Once sifted whisk in the salt.

Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk into the butter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans.

In a clean bowl whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter in two additions making sure no streaks of white remain in the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed in the center. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Leave the oven on.

While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting.

Spread the coconut and pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes, until the coconut and nuts are toasted. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

In a microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir the mixture. If the mixture is not completely melted return to the microwave for 15 seconds bursts, stirring after each, until smooth. Allow to cool for five minutes.

Add the sour cream and vanilla and whisk to combine, then add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick but not too stiff. The frosting will stiffen further as it sits. Reserve 1/3 cup of the toasted coconut and pecans for garnish. Stir the remaining coconut and pecans into the frosting.

Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved coconut and pecans.

Gertrude Jekyll’s Honey and Lavender Tea Cakes

tea cake

This isn’t really Miss Jekyll’s recipe, although I think she would like it. She adored lavender!

Yield:  6-18 tea cakes, depending upon size of the cake tin

Ingredients

For cakes

Two sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

Three large eggs at room temperature

Two cups minus one tablespoon all-purpose flour

One teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon dried food grade lavender, crushed/chopped up

1/3 cup buttermilk

For glaze

Juice of one lemon

Two teaspoons honey

1/2 cup confectioners’/powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  Grease choice of tin very well with melted butter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, honey, and butter until fluffy and creamy. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until blended and pour them into the creamed honey, butter, and sugar, until just blended.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the crushed lavender.

Pour in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk. Stir through the bottom of bowl, repeat with the flour, remaining milk, stir, and then the final amount of flour. Continue folding butter and flour mixtures together until a batter is formed and no large clumps of flour remain.

Pour the batter into the buttered tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes for small cakes, or for 25-30 minutes for larger ones.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by juicing one lemon into a small bowl. Pour in two teaspoons honey and stir together with the powdered sugar until a fairly thick liquid is formed. Set aside.

Once the cakes are finished baking, let cool for a minute or so, then unmold the cakes onto a cooling rack or plate. Immediately drizzle over the glaze. Enjoy warm or completely cooled. Excellent with tea.

Black Tea Cupcakes With Honey Buttercream Frosting

black tea cupcakes

Dr. Eva Crane was a proper Englishwoman, and would have liked these tea-flavored delicacies! Perfect to accompany a “cuppa”!

Yield:  18 cupcakes

Ingredients

1 cup  milk

3 tablespoons black tea (or the contents of 3 tea bags)

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins.

Warm the milk until near boiling on the stove or in the microwave. Cut open the tea bags and add the tea directly into the milk. Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the tea brewed milk, mixing until batter is uniform and smooth.

Transfer batter to prepared pans and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Honey Buttercream

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and honey until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and salt and continue mixing until the frosting comes together. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add more honey (or a splash of milk) to thin it out. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch more salt until the desired sweetness is achieved.

Spread or pipe the honey buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and serve.

Hearst Castle Shortbread Cookies With Honey

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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!

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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.

Honey Peking Chicken With Steamed Buns

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Ching Shih would probably have wanted Peking Duck rather than chicken, but these are just as good!

Honey Peking Chicken

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, skin on

1-1/2 teaspoons five spice powder

3 slices of ginger, smashed with side of knife

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine (or dry sherry)

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1. Using the tines of the fork, prick holes through the skin and meat of the chicken. This allows for the marinade to seep through. Combine all the rest of the ingredients and marinate the chicken breasts for up to 4 hours.

2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Drain the breasts, discard marinade, and pat the chicken very dry, especially the skin side. Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in large oven proof fry pan on high heat. When oil is hot, place chicken, skin side down in the pan. Fry until the skin is golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. (tip: don’t move the chicken when you are frying it. just leave it alone and let it fry to crisp up) Turn skin side up and place oven proof fry pan in the oven for 15 minutes, until cooked through.

3. Remove from pan and let rest on cutting board for 10 minutes. Carefully cut the chicken breast into thin 1/2″ slices – try cutting on the diagonal to get nice, long, thin slices.

Steamed Buns

Ingredients

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting work surface

2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough (7.5 ounces each)

20 parchment squares (about 4″x4″)

Directions

1. Dust work surface with the flour. Open the can of dough. Separate out the biscuits – there should be 10 in each can. Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half. Place on parchment square. Keep covered until ready to steam.

2. Steam the buns for 12 minutes. You’ll steam the buns in batches, avoid overcrowding the plate while steaming otherwise the buns will stick to each other.

To Serve

1 English or Japanese cucumber, cut into very thin julienned strips, soaked in 1 cup ice cold water, drain before serving
3 green onion stalks, cut into the thinnest possible shavings, soaked in 1 cup of ice cold water. drain before serving
1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce

To Eat

Open bun up (careful not to break it apart!), slather some Hoisin sauce, add 3 slices of chicken, a few cucumber strips, and green onion shavings. Enjoy.