Most of the time when I write these blogs, I imagine you all as my friends. We're all sitting around a table at a family barbeque, music blaring, playing cards, sipping ice cold sweet tea, and catching up on each others lives. Today, I'll start my story by telling you that since as far back as I can possibly remember cinnamon has been my favorite flavor. I love red hots, fireballs, apple pie, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon raisin oatmeal...the list is endless. And because we're quickly approaching a holiday weekend where family barbeques and delicious food and drinks are a guarantee, I thought this flavor of our blended honey's would be a great one to focus on (just know this is #2 in barbeque countdown, I have an even better one for next week...stay tuned!).
As I mentioned in a previous post, last year (pre-covid) we played around with the idea of, and some recipes for, infused honey. One of the biggest stand-outs of those batches was a cinnamon spice honey. I added tons of cinnamon sticks and dried red chilis to my favorite Thomas Honey, and just let it sit for eons. Because honey is hygroscopic (meaning there is little to no water in it) dried ingredients are best if you want shelf stable honey. If you don't want to refrigerate your honey, adding anything with moisture in it can lead to either mead or mold (depending on how soon you catch it). As a result, the flavors of the dry ingredients leach incredibly slow into the honey. It took me almost 3 months to get that wow factor in my single teeny jar. If you've got warehouses lined with shelves just to let jars sit and marinate, that's probably no big deal. But we knew we were on to something big, and like with our other flavors we went back to the drawing board to see if we couldn't tweak our recipe. We pushed for that same big, bold taste in a blended honey, that didn't require the lengthy wait time! No heat, great honey, and only the best organic spices.
Thomas Honey family... please let me introduce you to one of my very favorite honey's of the Kae's Line...Hot Tamale Honey. We mix cinnamon and a blend of spices into our delicious Gallberry honey to bring you a flavor so close to the candy it was named after, it's almost a crime! From the moment you open the jar, the smell of cinnamon and honey hits your nose and sets your mouth to watering. But the spicy heat that delivers on the back end of that spoonful of sweetness is what really seals the deal. It leaves a satisfying little mouth tingle that has all of the people who've tried it coming back for more! (As with the previous blog features on the Kae's Line Blended Honey, my jar may look a little different. I do get to take them home before release so I can test them with recipes and share what I learn with you guys. So if you have ANY questions about this honey or any other, please feel free to contact the office for help!)
Because I know this is what you really came for...
Ok, ok....I'll stop the babbling and get on with the recipes. I've got some for you today that are gonna knock your socks off... three to be exact!
Peach Honey Pound Cake
The first is a drool inducing pound cake dreamed up by Kelly Rae. This woman is an amazing (award winning) teacher, she gives the best hugs, annnnd she makes this pound cake?!?! All facts!! Like I said... our family is the bomb! Anyhoo...I'll stop bragging and let the pictures speak for themselves.
You see that, doesn't it make you want to lick your screen?? This pound cake itself is made with Thomas Honey and sweet diced peaches. And the glaze? It's the same honey and peaches simmered with spices to enhance their flavor, then poured over the top of a just baked and cooled pound cake. You can click HERE for the recipe. I picked this recipe to share here because I want to suggest switching out the regular honey in the glaze for our Hot Tamale Honey. Once your cake is all baked and drizzled, cut yourself a big slice and top it with some cold whip cream. Let the triple whammy of sweet, cold, and spicy send your taste buds into overdrive!
Spicy Hot Chocolate
Next is our take on a spicy hot chocolate. Did you know that archaeologists have found evidence of chocolate being consumed as a beverage dating back to as early as 500 B.C.?There's even speculation that it could go back further! Traditionally, the Mayans would ground cocoa seeds into a paste and mix it with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers among other ingredients. They would pour the cold drink back and forth from cup to pot until a thick foam developed. While the Mayan version was unsweetened, newer Western takes on this drink have produced a silky sweet hot chocolate with a spicy cinnamon kick. Here's how to use our Hot Tamale Honey to make your own Spicy Hot Chocolate:
8 oz of chocolate of your choice
1-2 tablespoon of Kae's Hot Tamale Honey
3-4 cups of milk of your choice
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Allow the mixture to come to a low boil (or just before, if you're not great about waiting for it to cool) while stirring frequently. Once desired temperature is reached, pour into your favorite mug. Top with a fat dollop of whipped cream, some yummy marshmallows, or use an immersion blender (if you have one) to make it frothy. Might I suggest you drop your AC, curl up under your favorite fluffy blanket with a good book, and pretend it's not 9 million degrees outside.
Spicy Honey and Grapefruit Margaritas
Those other recipes are so good. Really! But let's be honest, it feels like the surface of the sun at 6 am here in Florida and it's not even real summer yet. It's also about to be one of the best party holidays ever. And if that wasn't enough - the world is just crazy! Whip out our Yetis, fill'em with grown-up's-only-spicy-juice and get the party started (early if necessary, there's no judgement here! lol).
I like to cruise Pinterest for all things made with honey, and I happened across this gem from The Whole Smiths and thought, "these are my kind of people". And since y'all ARE my people, let me top off your cup with the good drinks! (*image below lovingly borrowed from The Whole Smiths webpage)
We're going to alter her recipe just a teensy bit because we're going to use our Hot Tamale Honey and it already has our spice blend in it. So unless you just want to really feel like a fire breathing dragon, use this slight variation:
For Honey Simple Syrup:
1/4 C. Hot Tamale Honey
1/4 C. Regular Honey (any type will do)
1/2 C. water
To make drink:
3 shots of fresh grapefruit juice
1 shot of tequila
1 shot of Hot Tamale Simple Syrup (the one you just made)
1 shot of Cointreau
2 small slices of jalepeño optional
*Optional - Margarita salt mixed with a tad of cayenne to salt rim
Combine honey and water in a saucepan and bring to simmer. Ratios of hot honey to regular honey can be adjusted to taste. Chill in fridge.
In a shaker add grapefruit juice, tequila, Hot Tamale simple syrup, Cointreau, jalepñeo slices & ice.
Strain over ice and garnish with a lime or jalepeño slice.
Please drink responsibly, and if this is your July 4th party drink...protect your fingers...let go of them bottle rockets after you lite'em people!
So that's it for this post. Do you think you'll try these? Have you already made a recipe of your own? Let us know what you think, we love hearing from you!!
Signing off today with the words of Mrs. Tabitha Brown "I hope you all have a good day, but if you can't don't you dare go messin' up nobody else's". Until next week y'all!