How naturally sweet it is! Using nature’s naturally sweet ingredient, honey, creates a perfect holiday treat for your next party. The National Honey Board sweetens your home with these recipes with honey and holiday hosting hacks.
Honey is Sweet
I love to entertain, and I’m always looking for shortcuts and hacks when hosting holiday parties. Honey is sweet – that’s a given as honey is Nature’s sweetener. But did you know that honey also adds a special touch to almost any recipe? The National Honey Board has a gift for you this holiday season. Read on for these 10-minute recipes, the best party bites and sips in 10 minutes or less.
Sweet Recipes: Holiday Hosting Hacks
Make your dinner table, cocktail gathering or office party festive. Spend more time with your guests and dollars on gifts for friends and family. How? With Honey!
The National Honey Board [NHB] and chef David Guas, a lifelong advocate of honey and NHB ambassador, offers these timesaving, wallet-friendly, holiday hosting hacks that are simple, sweet and sensational. Each of these recipes incorporates a pure ingredient to get your party bites holiday-ready: Honey!
Holiday Hosting Hacks with Honey + 10-Minute Recipes
Make your holiday entertaining and as easy as A-Bee-C with these festive honey recipes.
Chef David Guas finds ways to make food comforting, delicious and homey. For the holidays, try this Buzzy Bruschetta. As its buzz-worthy name suggests, this 10-minute honey recipe is refreshingly simple.
Start with store-bought ricotta. Jazz it up with herbs along with blackberries soaked and softened [marinade] with nothing but honey and black pepper. [Both can be prepped in advance to save you from scrambling – and it only takes ten minutes to prepare.]
- 2 cups – fresh blackberries
- 3 tablespoons – honey
- 3/4 teaspoon – black pepper, freshly ground, divided
- 2 cups – ricotta, store-bought
- 1 tablespoon – lemon zest, grated fine on a micro plane
- 1 tablespoon – chives, fresh, minced
- 2 teaspoons – rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon – kosher salt
- 1 round – sourdough bread
- To season – kosher salt
- To season – extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the oven is heating, macerate the blackberries and place them into a heat proof bowl.
- Next mix with the honey and about 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Cover in plastic wrap and place the bowl over the top of a2-quartt sauce pot with simmering water.
- Allow the bowl to heat over medium heat for about 30 minutes to speed up the maceration process – this can also be done a day in advance. Allow the macerated berries to cool to room temperature before using them.
- Combine the ricotta, chives, lemon zest, chives and 1 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper and set aside.
- Cut the bread in half and cut each half into 6 thick slices to make 12 slices total.
- When the oven is hot and ready, brush the bread with olive oil and light kosher salt, arrange on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned or approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Allow the toast to cool and then spread with the herbed ricotta. Then portion at least a tablespoon or so of the macerated blackberries on top of ricotta and serve.
YIELD: MAKES 12 BRUSCHETTA
Honey & Nut Glazed Brie
The season of holiday entertaining is quickly approaching. Fret not, my busy hostesses as the National Honey Board has the perfect appetizer: Honey and Nut Glazed Brie. This melty cheese is complemented by crunchy nuts and sweet honey, sure to be a big hit at your next gathering!
Easy breezy Brie is given the royal treatment in this two-step appetizer staple. With just under eight minutes of bake time, this party-starter begins with oven-baked brie finished with a mix of honey, pecans, and brandy. Serve it straight from the oven, and you’ll have guests “bee-lining” to sample this scrumptious hors d’oeuvre.
- 1/4 cup – honey
- 1 Tablespoon – brandy
- 1/4 cup – coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 – 8 oz. wheel of Brie cheese, (about 5-inch diameter)
- In a small bowl, combine honey, pecans, and brandy.
- Place cheese on a large ovenproof platter or 9-inch pie plate.
- Bake in preheated 500°F oven 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese softens.
- Drizzle honey mixture over top of cheese.
- Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer or until topping is thoroughly heated. Do not melt cheese.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with crackers, tart apple wedges, and seedless grapes.
YIELD: 16 TO 20 SERVINGS
Baklava Cookie Cups
Perfect for cocktail parties as a pass-and-pick-up bite, this sweet crowd-pleasing Baklava Cookie Cups turns out two-dozen mini muffin-sized cookie cups in just ten minutes. With most of its ingredients already stocked in your kitchen—from all-purpose flour to orange juice and vanilla extract—this can be thrown together while guests are still taking off their coats! Of course, they’d never know…
For the Cookie:
- 2 cups – unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon – orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon – ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon – salt
- 1 cup – unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup – honey
- 2 large – eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon – pure vanilla extract
For the filling and syrup:
- 1/2 cup – pistachios, chopped
- 1/2 cup – honey
- 3 tablespoons – water
- 2 teaspoon – orange juice
- 4 – green cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 – cinnamon stick
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, orange zest, cardamom and salt.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and honey for about 1-2 minutes. The mix will look a little curdled at this point and that’s fine, scrape down the sides.
- Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla.
- Mix in the flour in two parts.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, let sit for about 3-4 minutes before using a dowel to carefully press down in the center of each cookie to make a well.
- Let the cookies cool for about 15 minutes in the tin before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are cool prepare the syrup.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the honey. water, orange juice, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.
- Drizzle a small amount in the bottom of each cookie cup and then fill with the chopped pistachios.
- Drizzle more syrup on top of the filled cookie cups.
* If you have any syrup remaining, save for another use.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Cranberry Delight Cocktail
For a spirited gathering (and who doesn’t LOVE adult cocktails during the holidays!?!), try chef Guas’ Cranberry Delight Cocktail. This is made with a bouquet of quintessential seasonal favorites, like cranberries, ginger and the ultra-trendy mead, giving it an effervescent edge. For this, Guas crafted a unique Burnt Honey Ginger Syrup using Wildflower and Clover honey varietals. This syrup can be made in advance and reserved in the refrigerator as a bar staple. (Can I hear an AMEN?)
- 1 cup – cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 1/2 cups – Burnt Honey Ginger Syrup*
- 2 cups – cranberry juice
- 4 ounces – Mead
For Burnt Honey Ginger Syrup:
- 1/2 cup – ginger root, minced or grated
- 1 cup – honey
- 1 cup – orange juice
- Place a small cast iron pan on high heat for 5 minutes, then add the 1 cup of cranberries and allow them to char on high. This should take approximately, 8 minutes – some should start to blacken.
- In a drink pitcher, add the charred cranberries, the burnt honey ginger syrup, and the cranberry juice.
- For Assembly: Use a 10-ounce highball or rocks glass, filled halfway with ice. Fill the glass with 4 ounces of the drink base and 4 ounces of the Mead. Stir and enjoy.
For Burnt Honey Ginger Syrup:
- Peel and grate your ginger root and reserve.
- Add honey to a 2-quart sauce pot and bring to a simmer on high heat.
- Once the honey starts to smell like it is caramelizing, keep cooking until it takes on a very dark amber and a small portion of it begins to smell like it is bitter.
- Turn the heat off, and slowly add the orange juice (be careful as the steam can burn your hand), then add reserved ginger root.
- Place all in a blender and blend on high, and strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve.
YIELD: MAKES 10 COCKTAILS
The National Honey Board is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. For more information, visit www.honey.com.
Recipes courtesy of Chef David Guas – Spokesperson, National Honey Board.