Sweets for the Sweet at Solstice

I have written several articles on Summer Solstice activities, including recipes and crafts, beauty rituals, but now, this is for the fairies and will end your celebrations on a sweet note.  Let the energies of the god and goddess sweeten your year, let the honey that is so prevalent in it’s golden color remind us of the sun and it’s amber resins tickle our taste buds.  These are recipes that even the fairies would take in delight.

Honey cake:

I like to make these in cupcake form because I like small things for the fairies this time of year, but feel free to make it full cake size. If you make a full sized cake the cooking time is closer to 40-50 minutes and you’ll need to grease and flour a pan.

2 cups of raw local honey

½ cup of coconut oil (you can use any vegetable oil)

4 eggs

2 teaspoons of orange zest

1 cup of orange juice

2 ½ cups of flour 3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; prepare muffin tins with muffin papers, set aside. Sift your dry ingredients together into a bowl.

In a large bowl combine honey, oil, eggs, and zest; when working with coconut oil it is solid at room temperature, so you may want to warm it a bit to liquefy for easier mixing.  Slowly beat in flour mix alternately with the juice until your batter is fully combined.  Pour into muffin tins.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Honey-Nut Candy:

You’re going to need a candy thermometer

1 medium sauce pan

Sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Ingredients:

2 cups of raw local honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup of your favorite nut butter – cashew, almond, peanut, etc

In your sauce pan, slowly bring honey to boil and a temperature of 300 degrees. (15-25 minutes) Watch it so the honey doesn’t burn, lower the heat if you need to. Turn off heat when at right temperature, add vanilla and whatever butters you have chosen, and stir quickly to incorporate and pour mixture on to parchment lined sheet pan, freeze. Break into bite size pieces.  You can sprinkle additional nuts or seeds onto mixture before freezing.  It will soften at room temperature so best to keep this in the refrig or freezer to store.

This recipe comes from: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/two-easy-honey-candy-recipes/

Candied Violets and Rose petals:

It is said that violets are favored by the Fairy Queen and using violets in some fun little crafts is a great way to honor the queen and let her know you are thinking of her.  Violets can be eaten and are on the list of edible flowers.  They are fun to add to salads for an unusual pop of color, freeze them in ice cubes for some special lavender lemonade on a hot summer day, or try candying them for decorations on cupcakes or other sweet treats.

To candy violets or even rose petals are wonderful; first make sure that you are using PESTICIDE free flowers.  We don’t want to poison ourselves with all of that toxic stuff.  I think that it is important to ask a flower if you can pick it before you do so, honoring its sacrifice to your purpose and give a small offering of water.  It will grow more flowers, but teaching respect for nature and her gifts is an important step in the process.  Separate the flower from the stem carefully.  Using a clean new paint brush delicately paint the entire violet or flower petal with slightly beaten egg white and immediately dust the flower while the egg white is wet with extra fine granulated sugar.  Shake off any remaining sugar and place gently onto a wax or parchment covered plate.  Refrigerate flowers until you are ready to use them.  You can put a spot of royal icing, (powdered sugar and water or juice) on your pastry as a glue to stick the candied flower to the surface.  Allow to dry a minute or two in the refrigerator.

Follow the same instructions for rose petals.

Lavender Lemon Tartlets or Lemon Thyme Tartlets:

I like the idea of small tarts both for the fairies and the psychological games I play with myself in having just one or two.  It seems to be alright to have a tartlet or two than to hear myself indulge in two slices of pie or tart.  There is nothing better than lemon tarts on a hot summer evening or afternoon with some homemade lemonade or herbal tea.  Try this recipe and see if you agree.

Pre-made pie crust

Round cookie cutter

Muffin tins

Roll out pie crust and use cookie cutter to cut rounds that will fit into the muffin tin. Cut enough to fill all the spaces of the muffin tins.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to bake.  Follow box instructions on baking.  Bake tart shells and set aside to cool.

Curd filling:

Juice and zest of 4 lemons

1 ½ cup of sugar

1 stick of unsalted butter, it’s best at room temperature

4 eggs, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon salt

In a food processor or blender, combine sugar and zest until very finely minced.  In a bowl with a mixer cream butter with the sugar mixture, add eggs one at a time, salt and lemon juice.  Combine well.

Put mixture into a pan and cook over low heat stirring non-stop until it’s thickened.  This will take about 10 minutes, don’t let it boil or simmer.  Remove from heat and pour into your baked tart shells.  Sprinkle a few lavender flowers or thyme leaves on top to decorate and flavor.  Allow to set at room temperature.

Lavender Lemon Cookies:

Use a basic sugar cookie recipe but add the zest of two lemons and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the recipe.

Here’s a simple sugar cookie recipe:

2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 ½ cups sugar

1 egg

2 ¼ cup of flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees and put parchment or a mat on the sheet pans.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugar; add egg, vanilla and lemon zest until well mixed.  Stir in dry ingredients and lemon juice last. Let rest.

While dough is resting in a processor powder as best as you can 2 tablespoons of lavender flowers, place powdered flowers in a bowl and combine with 1 cup of sugar.  The mix will have a purple hue to it.  Set aside.

Using a spoon, take about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball and roll into the sugar lavender flower mixture and place on the cookie sheet.  Repeat until you have rolled all of the dough into balls and coated them with the sugar lavender mix. Lightly press each ball down so it doesn’t roll away and make sure that you give enough space between balls so that they can spread while baking.  Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes.

Baklavas:

Baklava, a rich honey and nut based Greek dessert is simply decadent.  It is a bit time consuming but the resulting sticky concoction with instantly win you over.  You may want to just buy some from your local Greek shop, but if you want to try your hand at it, here are some instructions for a basic recipe.  I think it’s combinations of honey, nuts and cinnamon is warming like the Solstice sun and a great way to embody the energy of the celebrations.

1 lb. chopped mixed nuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Store bought phyllo dough, (1 package)

1 stick melted butter

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

½ cup of raw local honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter a 9×13 baking dish.

Combine cinnamon and nuts and set aside.

Use a damp cloth to cover the phyllo dough while working to keep it from drying out.  Cut stack of phyllo in half.

In the bottom of the greased baking dish put 2 sheets of phyllo and brush generously with butter. Sprinkle with nut mix. This is one layer.  Repeat layers until all of your nuts and phyllo are used.  The top layer of phyllo should have about six sheets instead of two. Cut the finished pastry into four long rows and then diagonally so that you have 36 diamond shapes.

Bake for 50 minutes until golden and crunchy.

In a sauce pan combine sugar and water and bring to boil, add honey, vanilla and zest, simmer 20 minutes.  Immediately spoon this mixture over hot Baklava, allowing to seep into all crevices.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

This recipe is from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/20287/easy-baklava/

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com

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