Serious question: can you ever have too much honey in your life? I, for one, cannot, and I know I'm not the only Muddy's gnomie who feels this way about this (almost literal) nectar of the gods. If you're trying to celebrate National Honey Month as hard as we are here at Muddy's Bake Shop but are stumped with what to do with it beyond your tea and peanut butter sandwiches, here are three ideas to keep the honey flowing sweet and easy in your life this month--and all year if you like!
1. Cream and sugar in your coffee? No thanks, make mine cream and honey!
Hey, I'll be the first to admit it sounds a little weird. As much as I like honey and as much as I like coffee, I put off trying the combo for years because I just didn't think the flavors would mesh. But I actually did try it several months ago, and sugar has not seen the inside of my coffee cup since. The honey adds a slight note of its own flavor to the coffee that (when you're working with good coffee like ours at Muddy's Grind House, at least) levels up the coffee-drinking experience if that is even possible. Plus it adds the opportunity to try fun new pairings of honeys and coffees! I highly recommend Deaton's wildflower honey (what we serve and sell at Muddy's) with our current light roast, Reverb's Ethiopian Mokamba. Like most Ethiopian coffees, the Mokamba already has light floral undertones that really come to life when spiked with a bit of honey. And if you're a decaf drinker (like I usually am myself), our Decaf Brazil Almendras from specialty roasters Bow Truss is FABULOUS with a little honey. It's a sweet peanutty coffee that becomes as comforting as your favorite childhood sandwich with the addition of honey, and if you own a car (or live in Midtown within walking distance of Muddy's on Cooper), you can treat yourself to some right now!
2. Substitute honey for sugar (or some of the sugar) in your favorite recipe.
Now this doesn't work for every recipe, particularly in those cakes that require a good creaming of butter and sugar to create a fluffy rise. But it works in a lot more recipes than you would think, ranging from breads to cookies! As when adding honey to coffee, the honey will add a little of its own flavor to the final product. But honey is delicious, so it works, right?
As you may have noticed, honey is a liquid while sugar is, well, not. To accomodate for a few other different characteristics when substituting honey in your baked goods, don't substitute in a 1:1 ratio. Instead, use 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup of honey for every 1 cup of sugar. For instance, if your cookies call for 2 cups of sugar, 1 1/3 cups of honey should do the trick. If you're using more than 1 cup of honey, you may need to reduce any milk or other liquids in your recipe. A 1/4 teaspoon addition of baking soda can be added for every cup of honey used to balance the acidity of the honey, and you may need to lower your oven temperature by as much as 25 degrees because honey wants to get good and brown.
If you want to taste just how awesome a honey cookie can be without going to the trouble of changing your own recipe, may I recommend Muddy's own Honey Rosemary Cookies? While they also contain some regular sugar, our Honey Rosemary Cookies are chewy, lightly floral, and unlike any other cookie you've ever tried... in a very good way. If you don't want to wait for them to appear in Muddy's case, you can always click HERE to order yourself a dozen!
3. Host a honey-tasting party.
The party is going extinct according to The New York Times: what better excuse do you need to throw a party? Save the parties! If you don't have any birthdays or anniversaries coming up and want to do something a little different, why not try a honey tasting party? Have you ever tasted the malty molassesy avocado honey or California? What about the bright floral wildflower honey from Deaton's Bee Farm in Walls, Mississippi? Pick up some at either Muddy's location, order a few special honeys from all over the country, set a date, buy some brie, wine, and maybe a Muddy's goodie or two, and you're all set! There's no reason to let the party die out when they're as easy to throw (or as delicious) as a honey-tasting party!
Though really, what am I saying? Every taste of honey is a party!