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Cooking with Honey

Honey is often overlooked in the pantry in favor of other types of sugar. Yet honey is a natural food, fat and cholesterol free, and contains antioxidants.

The vitamins in honey are B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain amino acids. The minerals found in honey include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Best of all, honey gives a flavor to baked goods that you can't get any other way. It provides a moisture to baked goods that keeps them fresh longer. The only downside to baking with honey is that goods baked with honey do not freeze well. This is because of the high moisture content in honey. Baked goods can become soggy when thawing.

Honey stores well. If it should crystallize, you can put the honey container in boiling water, and the honey will soften again.

There are two types of honey readily available. One is light and mild, often called Clover Honey. Honey which comes in a darker shade is generally stronger in flavor.

Most bread is made with mild honey. Dark honey is used for brownies, spice cakes and in sauces where the stronger flavor does not overpower the recipe.

Honey can be substituted for white sugar in almost any recipe. As a general rule, for every cup of honey substituted for a cup of white sugar, reduce the amount if liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.

When using honey, be sure to thoroughly mix it with the other liquid ingredients in your recipe.If you've never cooked with honey before, here a few basic recipes to get your started.

Honey Butter

1/2 cup butter
1 cup honey
Mix with an electric blender until smooth. Refrigerate. Use like butter.

Honey Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, separated
1/2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
4 cups flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Cream the butter, and then slowly add the honey, mixing well. Add the egg yolks, lemon peel, flour, baking powder and lemon juice. Mix well and then chill the batter. Shape into small balls with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Honey Custard

Ingredients

2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup honey
1/8 tsp salt Beat the eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into individual molds and set in a pan of water to bake. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


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