Holiday Entertaining with Honey!

Courtesy of the National Honey Board

We are in the midst of the holiday season and we want to make sure that honey is your secret weapon when entertaining friends and family! Honey’s versatility is endless and can span your entire holiday menu because its unique flavor complements both sweet and savory dishes.

When adding honey to appetizers, entrees, desserts or even drinks, honey has a multitude of functional benefits. Honey adds and locks in moisture, acts as a binder and thickener in marinades, sauces and glazes, as well as enhances the darkening and caramelization of foods.

So there you have it! Honey not only tastes delightful but also adds practical benefits to your recipes.

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!

Glazed Pear Martini 

  • 2 oz. – pear vodka
  • 1/2 oz. – Honey Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz. – limoncello
  • 2 oz. – pear juice
  • 1 – pear slice
  • 1 – lemon twist

Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, honey simple syrup, limoncello and pear juice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and float a thin slice of pear on top of the drink.

 Honey Cups with Brie, Walnuts and Cranberries

  • 4 tbsps – honey
  • 1/2 lb – brie cheese
  • 1/2 cup – chopped walnuts
  • 6 tbsps – dehydrated cranberries
  • 1 tbsp – chipotle paste
  • 30 – phyllo pastry shells
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 – canned chipotle peppers , For the chipotle paste
  • 1/4 cup – chicken stock or water, For the chipotle paste

In a small saucepan, lightly heat the honey and mix it with the chipotle paste, salt and pepper. Add the walnuts and cranberries and stir. Remove saucepan from fire.
Cut the brie cheese into ½-inch cubes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the phyllo cups onto a baking sheet and fill them evenly with the cubed brie. Top them evenly with the honey mixture and bake them in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve them hot.

For the chipotle paste: Clean the chipotle peppers and remove all the seeds. Put them in a blender with the water or chicken stock. Blend until perfectly mixed. It can keep for weeks in the refrigerator and is a good base for preparing chipotle sauce or for flavoring other dishes.

Queen Bee Royale

  • 1-1/2 inch piece – honeycomb
  • 1 oz. – honey liqueur
  • 5 oz. – sparkling wine or champagne

Pour the honey liqueur into a champagne flute, add the honeycomb piece and fill with sparkling wine or champagne.

Honey-Brushed Pear Crostinis

  • 8 tsps – honey
  • 8 – crostini breads
  • 2 – Red Anjou pears
  • 4 tbsps – bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp – fresh rosemary, finely diced

Brush each crostini bread with 1 teaspoon of honey. Next, cut pears into ½-inch slices (about 8). Place a pear slice on each honey-brushed crostini bread. Top with ½ tablespoon of bleu cheese. Garnish with a pinch of diced rosemary.

 Honey Hot Chocolate

  • 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.