Loading Culinary.net Content Widget
Loading Culinary.net Article

Honey for the Holidays

Not Rated   Rate This!


Holiday Honey Caramels
Fruit-Infused Honey Vinegars
Creamy Chocolate Honey Decadence
Honey Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

'Tis the season to share good tidings with friends and loved ones, and what better way than with gifts from the kitchen. Whether whipping up a batch of a decadent chocolate treats or creating simple sauces, homemade gifts are truly gifts from the heart.

A sweet start to any handmade gift is honey. Honey is the perfect base for Dad's legendary barbecue sauce and Mom's world-famous caramels, and is one of the most versatile ingredients in the pantry. By using an all-natural ingredient such as honey, gift givers can feel confident that they're giving gifts filled with wholesome goodness.

Following are some simple recipes that are sure to give friends and family something to buzz about. For more gift ideas and recipes, go to www.honey.com and www.culinary.net.

Useful Honey Tips 

  • When measuring honey, coat the measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil before adding honey. The honey will slide right out.


  • One 12-ounce jar of honey equals 1 cup.


  • If honey crystallizes, simply place the jar in warm water and stir until crystals dissolve. Or, place the honey in a microwave-safe container with the lid off and microwave on HIGH, stirring every 30 seconds, until the crystals dissolve. Be careful not to boil or scorch the honey.


  • Honey should not be fed to infants under 1 year of age. Honey is a safe and wholesome food for older children and adults.

Holiday Honey Caramels

Description
Drop one into a cup of hot coffee or tea, or enjoy this delicious treat on its own.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (no substitutions)
  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Finely chopped almonds and/or coconut (toasted or untoasted), optional

Preparation
    1. Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap; set aside.
    2. Melt butter in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
    3. Add honey, cream and brown sugar; mix well. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently.
    4. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 250°F to 255°F, about 45 minutes.
    5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; pour into prepared pan.
    6. Let cool completely in refrigerator before cutting into individual caramels with very sharp knife.
    7. Roll in chopped nuts or coconut, if desired, and wrap each individually in clear plastic wrap.
    8. Store, tightly wrapped, in refrigerator up to 1 month. (Caramels will be soft at room temperature and firm if kept chilled.)

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
50 minutes

Serves
Makes 30 caramels

Fruit-Infused Honey Vinegars

Description
Whether served with French bread for dipping or drizzled over mixed greens, these sweet vinegars are sure to be a hit this gift-giving season.

Ingredients
Start with
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey
Flavoring Ideas
  • Apricot: 2/3 cup apricot jam. Makes 2 1/2 cups.
  • Pear: 2 (15-ounce) cans pears, drained and diced. Makes 2 cups.
  • Raspberry: 1 (6-ounce) basket fresh raspberries, mashed. Makes 1 3/4 cups.
  • Fig: 2 cups dried Mission figs, quartered. Makes 1 cup.

Preparation
    1. Combine vinegar and honey in medium saucepan, then stir in one of the flavor additions above.
    2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool, then pour through fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. Store, tightly covered, in refrigerator up to 2 months.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
30 minutes

Creamy Chocolate Honey Decadence

Description
Spread onto shortbread or biscuits, heat and drizzle over ice cream or serve with fresh fruit.

Ingredients
  • 2 (4-ounce) bars German sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preparation
    1. Melt all ingredients together in top of double boiler over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
    2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to decorative bowls and cover with plastic wrap.
    3. Store in refrigerator, tightly covered, up to 1 month.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
10 minutes

Serves
Makes about 3 cups

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Variation: After removing from heat, stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of liqueur. Try Grand Marnier, Amaretto or Chambord.

Honey Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Description
Serve over turkey, chicken or pork, or use as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or potstickers.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Preparation
    1. Combine all ingredients in medium-large saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
    2. Remove cover and simmer 20 minutes more or until thickened (mixture will thicken slightly as it cools).
    3. To can, pour hot sauce into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe tops and threads of jars with clean, damp cloth.
    4. Place lids on jars so that rubber sealing compound sits evenly on the rim and screw the rings on firmly.
    5. Place each jar in pot of water that comes 1 to 2 inches above jar tops. Cover and bring to boil. Hold water at steady boil about 45 minutes. Remove jars from pot and let cool on dishcloth with space between each jar.
    6. Store in cool dark place.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
40 minutes

Serves
Makes 3 1/2 cups

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
In lieu of canning, sauce may be stored, covered, in refrigerator up to 1 month.

SOURCE: National Honey Board


Reviews and Comments: