Hye Thyme Cafe: Orange Honey Butter

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Orange Honey Butter

Orange Honey Butter : Hye Thyme Cafe

When I was asked to bake up a batch of Cheese Bread Knots for Thanksgiving, my first thought was about butter. I usually make a roasted garlic butter and/or some other herb blend and just set them up in ramekins. I decided to change things up this time and go for the sweet side and individual servings. We had company this year, so I figured a little fancification was in order.  

I actually threw away the note I had jotted down with the amounts as I was doing this, because it seemed not to be working out well. Oh how wrong I was!! This was a huge hit and kept coming up over and over again in dinner conversation.

The reason I thought it wasn't going to work is that no matter what I tried, neither the honey nor the orange seemed to be blending into the butter, just the zest. I finally gave up trying and poured out the liquid. I figured at least the orange zest would permeate. Frustrated, I pressed the butter into a silicon mold, threw away my note, tossed the butter in the fridge, and called it a day.

As it turned out, although I had poured out all of that juice and honey, they still managed to nicely flavor the butter before meeting their demise, so just play around with amounts to see what works for you, and don't worry if it seems like it's not working. It will be worth it! This would be very nice on toast, scones, I'm thinking even roasted beets???? Hmmm, I might have to try the beets for Christmas.

1c (1/2 lb) butter, softened
zest and juice of one medium orange
3 T honey

I'm thinking that if you first whip the butter with a little milk or cream before stirring or blending in the rest, you would end up with an awesome whipped butter to top Pancakes, French Toast, etc.! 

If you don't have molds to press the butter into, you can either do what I mentioned above and just serve it in small ramekins or prep bowls, or you can form it into a log on a piece of plastic wrap, roll it up and then hold the excess plastic wrap at either end and spin the tube until the ends twist tightly shut and butter is compacted. Then you can chill it until ready to serve and slice it into coins. I was tempted to freeze it, but I was afraid the honey would crystallize. You can definitely do that with garlic and other herb butters to make it easier to slice.

By the way, that plastic wrap/spinning into a tube method works great for freezing cookie dough. I never understood why people freeze lumps of cookie dough on baking sheets, then transfer them to containers to be frozen - they take up much more space that way. I freeze the tubes, and when someone wants cookies, I just slice off as many as I need and toss them in the oven, re-freezing the rest.   

Orange Honey Butter : Hye Thyme Cafe

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