Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Basic Beekeepers Class and Honey Chippers

Cookies oozing with honey
  Our year at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms has begun with a bang, with our first 2011 Basic Beekeeping Class this past Saturday.

It was a cold, snowy day, but we had quite a few students travel from various places--Chicago (which really should be a state of its own), Missouri, Michigan, and Indiana, and several from right here in Illinois.

We always have fun with these basic classes.  Coming out on a cold January Saturday usually means these are the folks who can not wait for spring to get here.  And these tend to be the folks that are happy about life, love to get in the dirt and sun, and enjoy learning things.

In the classes, I try to have several dishes made with honey for everyone to try.  I have made cookies before with honey, but these Honey Chippers I made on Saturday for the class were really good I thought.  When I took them out of the oven, the honey literally oozed from them.  I promised several that I would post the recipe for them as well as the honey cinnamon coffee cake I made.

Honey Chippers
1 c honey
1 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c flour (I use half white, half wheat until everyone is good with whole wheat)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
chocolate, butterscotch, dark, or white chocolate chips (or a combination of any, which is what I do)

Cream together the honey, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Incorporate the dry ingredients with the creamed ingredients.  Add chips last.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees until golden brown.  Remember to keep your eye on baking goods with honey, as they tend to brown faster. A simple recipe.  These will keep a long time too as honey makes them moister.

Honey Cinnamon Coffee Cake
I make this with whole wheat.  For some people, whole wheat is a, shall we say, unique taste. But we know that freshly ground whole wheat is far better for you, so try it.  I use a little at a time until the family is used to it, and then they don't want to go back to white,  because that tastes too bland for them.
4 c flour
1 t salt
8 t baking powder
1/4 c honey
2 fresh, free-range eggs
2 c milk
8 t butter melted
1 t cinnamon

Sift together dry ingredients; cream together wet ingredients. Simple.  Put in square baking dish, or bundt cake pan, etc. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  But check this periodically after 30 minutes, because baking time can vary because of the 1) honey  2) type of pan  3) thickness of your pan (so a round bundt pan is going to take longer that a rectangle casserole dish). I test by inserting a flat butter knife into the cake and pulling out.  If it comes out clean, it's done, otherwise bake longer.


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