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By Kara Pound

Honey. The word itself is almost as sweet as the liquid gold it represents. These days, the earthy tones which this heavenly substance imparts makes it one of the go-to ingredients in today’s craft cocktail craze. It’s only natural then that that led to what some would call “the perfect marriage” – Bourbon-infused honey.

Really…bourbon. And honey. Together. A North Florida gourmet honey company, Stubbees, decided to expand from its original product base of whipped honey mixed with organic fruits, to experiment with a new blend using small batch bourbon. As owner and founder Justin Stubblefield says, “We’ve become known for our raw whipped honey products that come in a range of flavors like peach, orange zest, mango, and vanilla bean. We wanted to branch out and create a product that blends small batch bourbon and floral honey. Our new Bourbon Infused Honey is more than I could have ever hoped for. It’s delicious.”

There’s no end to the things that can be enhanced by this provocative pairing — use it to sweeten your tea or coffee; add it to your favorite recipes; top fresh-from-the-oven baked goods for a mouthwatering treat; mix it with butter for a yummy spread; or put it alongside your favorite charcuterie and smoked meats. Better yet, add it to a favorite craft cocktail, like this Honey- Bourbon-Thyme Punch, and let the flavor come alive.

Honey-Bourbon-Thyme Punch

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons thyme simple syrup (see recipe)
  • 3 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • 1 ½ ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1 lemon peel (for garnish)

TO MAKE THE THYME SIMPLE SYRUP:

  • 1/2 cup Stubbees Bourbon-Infused Honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 sprigs thyme



Begin by making the thyme simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine honey, water, and thyme sprigs over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until honey has dissolved into water. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, remove thyme sprigs and transfer to an airtight container.



When ready to make cocktail, add 4 teaspoons of the thyme simple syrup and the 3 dashes of bitters to an Old Fashioned glass. Swirl syrup and bitters around in glass. Add bourbon, ice, lemon peel, and stir. Enjoy!


Dark Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Squares

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 5 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (70-75%), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Stubbees Bourbon-Infused Honey
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks, plus more for topping
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, divided
  • flake sea salt, for topping

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan and set aside.

Whisk flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside. Combine butter and chopped chocolate in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and continue to gently stir until smooth; the residual heat from the pan should be enough to melt the last few bits of chocolate.

Whisk in brown sugar and honey until incorporated. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, whisking completely after each one, until batter is smooth and shiny. Sprinkle dry ingredients over top of melted chocolate mixture and whisk or stir until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of pecans. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans, chocolate chips, and flake sea salt, as desired.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is shiny and crackly and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool on a wire rack for until completely cooled before slicing into squares. Enjoy!

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