My “pan pals” are busy planning their High Holiday menus. They’re checking their food-splattered cookbooks, recipe cards, and newspaper clippings, deciding which recipes to include on this year’s menu. Some of my “pan pals” are home cooks, others are professional cookbook authors, yet others are Facebook friends, many of whom I’ve never met in person. However, we are all connected by a culinary umbilical cord that circles the globe.
My friend, Tolsa Greenberg of Toronto, always has honey cookies on her holiday menu. She’s been making them for years and her grandchildren inhale them!
She coats her cookies in granulated sugar, but Melissa Kaye uses turbinado sugar to coat the cookies before baking them, which creates a coating-like crust. Turbinado sugar also gives these cookies a gorgeous glittery look. Melissa explains, “This sugar is great in this recipe because it doesn’t melt when the cookies are baking like white sugar does. It is also less sweet than white sugar and even has hints of honey flavour.”
o 2/3 cup oil
o 1 cup sugar
o 1/4 cup honey
o 1 egg
o 1 tsp. vanilla extract
o 2 cups flour
o 2 tsp. baking soda
o 1/2 tsp. salt
o turbinado sugar, for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the oil, sugar, and honey, until smooth.
Add in the egg and vanilla; mix until combined.
Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
If your dough is soft, refrigerate for 15-30 minutes, until firm.
Shape the dough into balls and roll in the turbinado sugar, making sure to coat the whole cookie.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 7–9 minutes, until the edges are light brown in colour. Yields about 3 dozen. Freezes well.
Honey garlic chicken wings
My friend Cheryl Goldberg uses this sticky and scrumptious sauce over chicken pieces. It is also wonderful on spare ribs. Addictive!
o 3 lb. chicken wings
o pepper and garlic powder to taste
o 1/2 cup honey
o 1/4 cup soy sauce
o 1/2 cup ketchup
o 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
o 3 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 375. Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper (this helps with cleanup).
Spread chicken wings in pan. Season with pepper and garlic powder. Cover pan with foil and bake wings for 45 minutes.
Sauce: In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and garlic. Mix well.
Remove pan with chicken wings from oven. Uncover, remove accumulated fat and discard. Pour sauce over wings and place them back in the oven.
Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn wings over and bake 20 minutes longer, until glazed and golden, basting occasionally. Yields 8 servings. Freezes well.
Honey Garlic Spare Ribs: Broil Miami beef ribs (thin strips of flanken) on both sides to drain out the fat. Cut into individual ribs and place in a greased casserole dish. Pour sauce over meat and bake for 40 minutes, basting occasionally.
My mom’s honey chiffon cake
My late mom loved to make this family favourite with buckwheat honey because of its incredible, intense flavour. Sometimes she made it with creamed honey, which she melted until it was syrupy, and the cake had a milder flavour. I’ve also made it with different types of honey and it’s always moist and wonderful. My son Steven Gilletz loves honey cake all year round and it never matters to him which kind of honey I use! In our family, we use tea, but it works very well when made with coffee.
o 4 eggs
o 1 cup sugar
o 1 cup canola oil
o 1 1/3 cups honey
o 3 cups flour
o 3 tsp. baking powder
o 1/2 tsp. baking soda
o 1 cup cold brewed tea or coffee
Preheat oven to 350. Place oven rack in lower third of oven.
Combine eggs and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until light. Gradually pour in oil and honey and blend well.
Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add flour mixture to batter, alternating with tea or coffee, starting and ending with dry ingredients.
Spray a 10-in. bundt pan with nonstick spray for baking (e.g., Pam with flour or Baker’s Joy), or use a nonstick bundt pan that is in good shape.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 and bake 1 hour longer, or until cake tests done. A wooden skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry.
Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Loosen cake from pan with a flexible spatula. Carefully invert onto a serving plate and remove from pan. Yields 15 to 18 servings. Freezes well.
Pomegranate honey dressing
This is the perfect salad dressing for the High Holidays because it contains pomegranate juice and honey.
o 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
o 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
o 1/4 cup honey
o 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
o 1 tsp. minced garlic
Combine all ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake well.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Shake well before using.
Makes about 3/4 cup. Keeps about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.