Interesting Find – Swarmbustin’ Honey – Honey Bee Chicken and Honey Pecan Bars

I attend many food events and festivals and I am always looking for that special person or product that I think shakes up the food world.  When I came across the crew at Swarmbustin’ Honey (their website is a great read, lots of great information and knowledge building on bees), I knew this was a group that I wanted to get to know.  The first thing that drew me to their booth at the DC Metro Cooking Show was their vast assortment of honeys and the unusual flavors and varieties.  I use honey in my kitchen all the time as a sweetener and when I saw their Hot Garlic and Hot Pepper Honey, I knew I found a unique spot.  Not only do they feature products for cooking, they have everything any bee keeper would ever need.  I left their booth with an array of their products. Back in my kitchen I was thinking about the honey, especially the Hot Pepper Honey and Hot Garlic Honey, I drizzled their Hot Pepper Honey on my chicken cutlet; now I have a new recipe I named Honey Bee Chicken and oh my, what a taste treat that is.  Probably one of the best chicken recipes I have made.  A real taste treat and so easy to prepare.  And don’t pass by my Honey Pecan Bars, every time I make these I am asked for the recipe.  

Here I am with Walt Broughton and his boys

 

Check out one of Walt Broughton’s videos below

 

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Honey Pecan Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Cool completely,   Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with heavy-duty foil, grease lightly.  In a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, and 3/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Pat mixture evenly on bottom of the pan.  Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes or until completely cool.  Bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter and whipping cream to a boil in a 3 qt saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in toasted pecans and spoon hot filling into prepared crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes or until completely cool - cut into squares.   

    You can also prepare this recipe in an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  When using the tart pan, pat the crust evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the lightly greased tart pan.

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Honey Bee Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 3/4 - 1 cup Panko crumbs
  • canola oil
  • Italian parsley, minced
  • honey, to drizzle over chicken

Instructions

  1. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs in a second shallow bowl. Place panko, in a third shallow bowl.

    Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer to bowl with beaten egg and turn to coat. Lift from bowl, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Coat with panko, pressing to adhere. 

    Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook cutlets, adding remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan between batches, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Serve - drizzled with Swarmbustin Honey, sprinkle with minced parsley.

Butterscotch Pudding

This is one of my favorite desserts growing up.  Not only did my mom bake all of our bread from scratch,  she also never used a pudding mix.  Her homemade pudding was fantastic, it might take a bit longer than the boxed pudding mixes, but it sure is worth it.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream; it is heavenly!

 

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Butterscotch Pudding

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan.  Slowly add milk, stir until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir at least 1/2 of the mixture into the egg yolks, whisking as you incorporate the hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Blend egg mixture into the saucepan.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Pour into dessert dishes.  Cool slightly, refrigerate.

 

Mom’s Date Nut Bars

Mom’s Date Nut Bars are just the perfect holiday treat.  Perfect for a cookie tray or cookie exchange.  Easy to make, quick to bake and always delicious!  My kind of recipe during this busy season.  Enjoy.

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Mom's Date Nut Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8oz package dates, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 heaping cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until well blended.  Add the dates, pecans, flour, oil and vanilla extract.  Mix by hand until blended.  Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.  When cool. sift powdered sugar over the top.  Cut into bars.

Cream Cheese Layered Pecan Pie

If you typically bake a pecan pie over the holidays, this is a recipe that you will want to try.  The cream cheese layer adds a delightful twist and unexpected surprise.  My husband who is not a fan of pecan pie, thinks this pie is delicious.  That is testimony enough for me!  

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Cream Cheese Layered Pecan Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked
  • layer #1
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups pecan halves
  • layer #2
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy.  Spread mixture on bottom of prepared pie shell.  Sprinkle pecans over cream cheese layer.   Beat remaining 3 eggs until well mixed but not foamy.  Do not overbeat.  Add corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Mix well, pour over pecans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until nuts and lightly browned.  Top will rise and sink as it cools.  Serve warm or cold.  May be frozen.  Thaw at room temperature.

Apple Empanadas

Looking for an easy dessert for your next tailgate or wine picnic?  Empanadas are easy to make and a great make and take treat. I was thinking of making fried apple pies but I really would prefer to bake than fry.  I had a few empanada wrappers left over from making my lamb stew empanadas and decided to make apple empanadas.   These are so easy to make when you use prepared wrappers.  I received a tip from a dear friend of mine about La Salenta empanada wrappers for baking (read the wrapper, some are for frying and some for baking).  They are flaky and delicious and made for convenience.  This brand is under the General Mills umbrella of products and should be easy to find in most locations.  I purchased mine at the local mart specializing in international foods.   These would be equally delicious with any filling you select, I must admit the apple filling is one of my favorites.

                                        

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Apple Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 10 empanadas wrappers
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • milk, to brush on tops
  • sugar, to sprinkle on tops

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt.   Cook 20 - 25 minutes or until the apples are soft and the sauce has reduced.  Stir frequently. Stir in cranberries.  Cool filling.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take each empanada wrapper and brush sides with beaten egg.  Place approx. 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper.  Fold in half and pinch to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have filled all of the wrappers.  Make two small slices in the top of each empanada.  Brush the top of each with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Biscotti

I think I could write a cookbook just on biscotti.  This is my fifth post featuring various biscotti recipes.  I think biscotti are the perfect cookie, great for breakfast with a cup of coffee, afternoon with a cup of tea, or a delightful dessert or late evening treat with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.   Make an assortment and package as gifts, sure to be a hit with all on your list. 

 

 

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Pumpkin Pecan Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well.  In a large mixing bowl, combine puree, egg, vanilla, and butter.  Mix at medium speed until combined, slowly add dry mixture, combine until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.  Stir in pecans and cranberries.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface knead slighty, divide into two pieces.  Form each piece into a log approx. 12 inches by 2 inches.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake logs for 25 minutes, remove and let cool for 15 minutes.  Slice the logs diagonally in 1/2 inch slices and return to baking sheet cut side up.  Return to oven and bake at 325 an additional 15 minutes - flip pieces after 7 minutes.  Cool

Blackberries, Blackberries, Blackberries

How could I pass up beautiful blackberries this week at the Farmers’ Market.  Well, as you can tell I didn’t pass them by.  I headed home and made two of our favorites;  Blackberry Breakfast Bars and Blackberry Custard Pie.  Both so easy to prepare and both recipes highlight the taste of these exquisite berries.  

 

 

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Blackberry Breakfast Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Prepare the filling:  in a medium saucepan combine the berries, sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat continue boiling for 8 minutes, stir occasionally.  Add cornstarch water mixture, return to a boil and boil an additional one minute, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and butter.  Stir until well combined.  Reserve 1 cup of mixture for the topping.  Press the remaining into a parchment lined 9 inch square baking dish.  Bake crust for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, spread with blueberry filling and crumble remaining 1 cup of oat mixture over the top.  Bake an additional 25-25 minutes.  Cool, cut into bars.

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Blackberry Custard Pie

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries (you could also use peaches)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange blackberries in pie shell.  Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined.  Pour over berries.  Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 30 - 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool prior to slicing.  Top with whipped cream, if desired.  Store pie in the refrigerator.

Frozen Chocolate Crepes with Rum Butter Sauce

All I can say about this recipe – one of my favorites and you just have to try them.  You can make ahead and freeze the filled crepes, trust me on this one – a real winner!

 

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Chocolate Crepes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend on low for 30 seconds  Allow batter to stand at room temperature for one hour prior to cooking.  Heat crepe pan or 7 - 8 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Grease pan lightly.  Pour about 3 - 4 tablespoons batter into the pan, tilting pan to spread evenly.  When crepe is light brown and set, flip to brown other side  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Cover and refrigerate cooled crepes until ready to fill.   Makes 20 - 22 crepes.

 

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Chocolate Mousse Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, heated to boiling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites, beaten until stiff

Instructions

  1. Place chocolate chips, salt and vanilla in blender, blend on low speed 30 seconds.  Add boiling cream; blend 30 seconds.  Add egg yolks all at once, blend 5 seconds.  Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture to the beaten egg whites.  Carefully fold in remaining chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate filling 2 - 3 hours or until set.  To assemble crepes, place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on the center of each crepe.  Fold side over.  Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet, cover tightly.  Freeze until ready to serve.

 

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Butter Rum Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons light rum
  • whipped cream
  • shaved chocolate
  • chocolate syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine brown sugar, salt, half and half, corn syrup, butter and run in a medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, reheat sauce in the microwave, spoon 2 - 3 tablespoons of sauce on dessert plate, top with one crepe (let sit at room temperature approx. 25 minutes prior to serving), garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with shaved chocolate.

Devil’s Food Cake

Every once in awhile, I bake a cake.  I must admit vary rarely, however, always for birthdays and then it is usually a carrot cake.  So, baking a Devil’s Food Cake is a real treat.   I never use cake mixes, I guess I am a purist and I always want to know what is in the food we eat.  Additives and preservatives – I avoid at all costs.  I know sometimes I cannot avoid then, but when I have the choice, I prefer to bake from scratch.  I know this a holdover from my mom and happy to say I can continue her traditions.   This cake is just divine and easy to prepare.  I topped mine with Seven Minute Fluffy Frosting and it is excellent.  

 

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Devil's Food Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs divided, separate yolks and whites
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two nine inch cake pans.  In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 1 cup sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffly.  Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add dry ingredients and water alternately, ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beat until stiff peaks form.  With a spatula, fold the egg whites into the cake batter.  Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool cakes for 10 minutes prior to removing from pans.  Cool completely, frost.

 

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7 Minute Fluffy Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. For this recipe you will want to use your electric hand mixer. 

    In a stainless heavy bottom saucepan combine all ingredients except the vanilla extract.  Place pan on burner over medium low heat.  Beat with electric hand mixer on high speed for 7 minutes, while the burner is on.  Remove the pan from the burner, mix in the vanilla.  The frosting should be light, fluffy and stiff peaks form.  Frost middle and sides of cake.  For decorative chocolate drizzle, melt 1/2 teaspoon shortening and 1  1-oz. block of unsweetened chocolate, drizzle over sides of cake.

Nectarine Basil Cobbler

I purchased too many nectarines and all of them became ripe at the same time.  I also had a large quantity of fresh basil waiting to be used.  I contemplated what to do with these two ingredients and my first thought was salsa.  But, I really didn’t have any other ingredients on hand for salsa.  I was planning on making a peach cobbler in the next few weeks, but after looking at my bounty, Nectarine Cobbler it was.  At the spur of the moment, I also thought I would toss in the basil and I am sure glad I did.  What a wonderful combination, one you might not think of, but it is delicious.  You just never know what happens when you start experimenting in the kitchen.  

 

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Nectarine Basil Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 6 nectarines, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 10 inch ovenproof skillet or 8 inch square baking dish, layer sliced nectarines. Top nectarines with minced basil and sprinkle the Cointreau over the nectarines.  Combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour in a mixing bowl.   Dice butter into small pieces and cut into the flour mixture with either two forks or a pastry blender.  Combine until butter and flour mixture is coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the nectarines.  Bake 40 - 45 minutes.  Serves 6.