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June 6, 2010 11:51 PM   Subscribe

Honey! Please share your favorite recipes that use honey as a primary component.

I love honey, and in an effort to support my local apiarists, I've begun to regularly purchase jars of yummy local wildflower honey. I normally put it in my one to five cups of tea a day, but that's not creative at all, and this giant jar is staring at me. Do you have any favorite ways to use honey?

Some details on my taste preferences:
-not as much of a sweet tooth as you might expect
-fan of sauces (a honey bbq sauce would be great)
-not so huge on spicy
-not a big baker, baking is for scientists and I certainly don't have the precision or patience, but I can do a mean brownie and always make cakes from scratch
-local ingredients are a huge plus, I'm in Seattle with access to tons of PNW produce

I'm a pretty good cook with the time and ambition to try interesting things. What do you suggest?
posted by Mizu to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Baklava? It is a sweet, so falling afoul of your #2, but it is delicious and easy to make (as long as you buy the phyllo premade of course). Honey, spices, phyllo, nuts, nuts, some butter or olive oil. No harder to make than brownies.
posted by hattifattener at 12:00 AM on June 7, 2010

Honey & tahini is a combination made in heaven - eg on toast, muffins or crumpets.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on June 7, 2010

The honey cake I link to in this previous question is amazing.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:12 AM on June 7, 2010

Honey and Rhubarb, made into pies, sauces, and many other things.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 12:16 AM on June 7, 2010

I love this Honey Chocolate cake - goes against your non-sweet tooth and it's baking, but it's pretty easy and just so good. You don't necessarily need the glaze, but add it for more gooey honeyishness.
posted by pocketfluff at 12:17 AM on June 7, 2010

Honey is delicious with Greek yogurt. Either strain your own or buy plain Fage or Chobani (my favorites).
posted by halogen at 12:23 AM on June 7, 2010

This is hardly a recipe, but it's one of my favorite things in the world to do with honey. And it rewards a better class of honey like nothing else. I call it dessert, but it's really for whenever you're feeling cruddy.

Drip a bunch of honey in your mouth.

Stick a lemon quarter in your mouth and bite down hard.

What happens on your tongue is like the sun coming out and giving you a slice of cheesecake to make up for the fact that it wasn't out earlier.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:31 AM on June 7, 2010 [7 favorites]

There is the traditional Russian honey-based drink Sbiten you could try.
posted by mnemonic at 12:33 AM on June 7, 2010

Spread it on cheese, preferably something hard and sharp like pecorino.
posted by aqsakal at 12:42 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by holterbarbour at 1:06 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I second the cheese and yogurt pairings, and I really love this cookie recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini - only I use rolled oats instead of spelt and powder them into flour with the sliced almonds before cooking. It'd actually a very simple one-bowl recipe, and the result is a heavenly crispy thin honey cookie.
posted by annathea at 1:12 AM on June 7, 2010

I have a batch of mead almost ready to be bottled (made with semi-local Seattle honey). So, I came in to say that.

But, really, if you aren't enough of a scientist for baking, brewing is perhaps also not up your alley. While it isn't rocket science, it does require considerably attention to detail and cleanliness.

Also, mead takes a lot of honey... 15-16lbs of honey for 5 gallons of mead. Doing smaller batches is harder than full-size 5-gallon batches.
posted by Netzapper at 1:39 AM on June 7, 2010

If you're a drinker, a cocktail with honey, butterscotch schnapps, and Bailey's is actually surprisingly good. The honey at the very bottom that slides into your mouth after the other alcohols quenches the slight burning feeling left by the combination of schnapps and Bailey's.
posted by astapasta24 at 1:40 AM on June 7, 2010

Seconding mead. It's not commonly produced commercially, and is a completely unique drink. All of the popel I've shared my mead with have said it's like nothing else they'v ever tasted.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:41 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Better than yogurt, for me, is putting it on bread (probably pita) with a good feta or goat's milk cheese. I consider it one of the few perfect flavor combinations.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:44 AM on June 7, 2010

Best answer: Honey is great with eggplants. It's also, of course, nice with ham. Russian honey cake is also awesome and as I remember not super-sweet.
posted by acidic at 2:54 AM on June 7, 2010

If you want to try making mead, Joe's Ancient Orange is a great starting recipe. Follow it exactly!
posted by maurice at 3:27 AM on June 7, 2010

Response by poster: Just so you guys know, I really don't want to try making mead. I'm not much of a drinker and I don't have the space or patience to brew things. The most long-term I'd like to get might be some kind of quick-pickling. I'm really looking for specific recipes that you've tried and liked. Although I can slather honey on bread and cheese and other simple pairings, that's nothing I haven't already thought of. I do appreciate the suggestions everyone's already had, and I'm sure that the mead recipes will come in handy to people searching for them in the future, but I'm really looking for things to cook, not just assemble, and not to brew.
posted by Mizu at 4:31 AM on June 7, 2010

Best answer: A cake from scratch, without any baking science. These steamed pork buns have honey in them, but not that much...
posted by knile at 4:54 AM on June 7, 2010

Check out the recipes at the National Honey Board. Their monthly newsletters have recipes included as well.

Ethopian Honey Bread is amazingly good. I love it toasted with a little butter or a drizzle of more honey or both. Normally, it doesn't last long enough to get to the toaster in our home. My Mom makes this bread as part of her homemade Christmas baskets of goodies. You know you're on her good side if you get a loaf in your basket.
posted by onhazier at 5:46 AM on June 7, 2010

Granola. I use a basic recipe that includes 1/2 cup of honey and doesn't require any exact science. You can change the ingredients (other than the oats) and proportions to almost whatever you like. Good honey will make this granola taste even better.

oven at 350 degrees

4 cups whole oats
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (if you like this, if not just omit)
1/2 cup almond meal - if you can find this in a natural foods store, it's delicious. Keep it in the fridge or freezer.

1. Put the above ingredients in a huge bowl and mix.
2. Then, in a pyrex measuring cup:

1/2 cup safflower oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup honey

3. Heat the oil/honey in the microwave for about 45 seconds (until it starts bubbling).
4. Pour over the oat mixture.
5. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
6. Spread the granola mixture on the cookie sheet
7. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown.
8. Remove from oven and let cool (it will be soft at first then will get crunchy when cool).
posted by belau at 5:58 AM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ooh, you know what else, Sopaipillas. Fry some up and drizzle honey on them. Yom.
posted by holterbarbour at 6:24 AM on June 7, 2010

Best answer: Honey Soy chicken.

Salt & Pepper 8 drumsticks/thighs/whatever your favorite chicken pieces are.

Mix up 1/2 cup of honey, 2 tbsp (or so) soy sauce, a couple of cloves of grated or minced garlic, a little minced/grated ginger, and some red pepper flakes if you like some spice.

Marinate your chicken in this as long as you'd like (the longer the better), pour the whole mess into a baking pan lined with foil, and bake at 450, basting occasionally, until the chicken's done.

Sauce can easily be doubled or tripled, depending on how much chicken you'd like to make, or if you'd like it saucier. I could make this three times a week and no one in the house would complain.
posted by ThatSomething at 7:37 AM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Lebkuchen - mmmmm

5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ground cinnamon
2 cups finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped candied citron
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel
2 cups honey
2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons whiskey
3 eggs, well beaten
Milk Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 15x10-inch rimmed baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, almonds, candied citron, and candied orange peel; set aside.

In the top of a double boiler over hot water, combine honey, sugar, and whiskey; stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let mixture cool a little. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; add to flour mixture and mix until well blended.

Spread batter onto prepared baking pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and they are light brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.

While bars are baking, prepare Milk Frosting.

While the Lebkuchen is still hot, spread the Milk Frosting onto the top of the baked Lebkuchen with a spatula or a pastry brush. Let cool, cut into bars, and remove from pan. Store to mellow.

Yields 5 dozen squares.

This is just one recipe, there are others to be found. You can skip the whiskey, it is not integral to a basic Lebkuchen.
posted by caddis at 7:58 AM on June 7, 2010

I just made this carrot cake yesterday, and honey is the key sweetener.
posted by anderjen at 8:24 AM on June 7, 2010

Best answer: This recipe for honey-pepper steak stir-fry is pretty ridiculously delicious.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:33 AM on June 7, 2010

Peppered honey (steep peppercorns in honey, serve with honey quite hot and very runny) is a delicious dip-thing for any red meats, or pork.

Honey panna cotta is delicious. Two cups cream, one cup honey, 6-8 sheets of gelatine. Soften the gelatin in cold water while you bring the cream and honey up to a simmer. Squeeze out the gelatine, dissolve in the hot cream/honey, decant into whatever serving dish(es) you want, chill until set. Stunningly delicious when served with candied fennel.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:32 AM on June 7, 2010

Honey is sweeter than sugar, so things are going to be sweet. If you like savory foods, you can make barbecue sauce from ketchup, honey, vinegar and your preferred flavorings (smoke, garlic, onion, soy sauce, peanut butter, worcestershire). If you like cooking from scratch, use tomato sauce or paste instead of ketchup, which is already pretty sweet.
posted by theora55 at 11:43 AM on June 7, 2010

Best answer: I sometimes use honey to glaze walnuts or pecans. If you add a little soy sauce and paprika, it becomes more of a salty-sweet snack.

Moroccan cuisine uses honey in savoury dishes. This lamb and prune tagine is delicious.

Whenever I get sick, I brew honey, lemon and ginger tea which really helps to soothe your throat.
posted by superquail at 4:00 PM on June 7, 2010

Response by poster: Yay! I've marked the ones that I intend on trying sometime as best answer, but I'd love if there were more suggestions. (Especially if you have any secret family bbq sauce recipes.) Thanks to everyone who commented.
posted by Mizu at 5:22 PM on June 7, 2010

This is good on chicken or pork chops:

1) 1/2 cup honey
2) 1/2 cup spicy mustard (I use Hebrew National)
3) 1 tablespoon curry powder (use less if desired)
4) 1/4 cup butter

Mix all together. Put chicken pieces (or pork chops) in casserole dish. Pour sauce over top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (or until done)

Serve with rice or couscous and peas. Very, very good!
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 6:00 PM on June 7, 2010

Whenever I'm looking for creative uses of an ingredient, I turn to TasteSpotting. A search there for honey turned up this delicious looking apricot jam, which uses a lot of honey and would keep well, make a good gift, and probably be do-able with a variety of fruits, whatever's local & in season!
posted by knile at 9:04 AM on June 8, 2010

Omnomnom honey.

I have grandiose plans to have a bee-hive, to the point where I have all the bits for two supers and they're both mostly built.

My plans for honey include cakes, biscuits, most of the recipes on this page, as well as... Honey Lollipops. I had one on the weekend and it was unreal.
posted by Quadlex at 4:45 PM on June 9, 2010

The other day, I made the honey cake mollymayhem linked. I was a little skeptical because I've had mixed results with smittenkitchen baked goods, but it was indeed fantastic, especially with whipped cream. A lot like gingerbread.
posted by palliser at 5:15 AM on June 12, 2010

I made ThatSomething's Honey Soy chicken tonight for dinner (I did adjust the proportions toward soy sauce and away from honey, as my family tends to prefer salty to sweet, and I added sliced scallions at the end). Everyone enjoyed it -- sort of a simplified teriyaki. If you get sticker shock (and metaphorical insulin shock) from bottled teriyaki, as I do, try this -- you can set your own proportions, it's cheaper, and doesn't take much longer.
posted by palliser at 8:21 PM on June 19, 2010

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