I created this recipe to please the meat eaters and the vegans in my life, and everyone in between. All versions of this recipe add a sweet, creamy lusciousness to whatever you choose to slather it on.
As a child, my family often made the trip from our home in the suburbs to the mountains of Virginia. If my brother and I were lucky, my parents would stop for a quick bite on the way. Our faaaavorite restaurant was an “all you can eat” Southern style buffet in a little town just off route 29. There was every manner of main course, side dish and dessert you could hope for. My brother and I ate it all, with reckless abandon.
I no longer feel the same way I did as a child about “all you can eat” or reckless abandon (when it comes to food). I have, however been back a few times for nostalgia’s sake.
My favorite combo was to get a big o’l puffy roll with a scoop of mashed potatoes, a helping of corn, gravy and top it all off with honey butter. In my subsequent visits, I discovered that the charm of this hodgepodge was through the lens of childhood. Only one thing held up to my mind’s eye…….you guessed it, the honey butter!
I tried to replicate the honey butter of my dreams, too no avail. This perplexed me. How could such a seemingly simple condiment be so hard to pin down?
A few years ago I was feeling uninspired and burnt out so I decided to peruse the internet for recipes to play with. As luck would have it, on this seemingly nondescript day, I came across a honey butter recipe from allrecipes.com. I almost bypassed it since my honey butter efforts had been meet with despair. Luckily I took a glance. Immediately I saw an ingredient that I had never tried before but appeared to be genius……sweetened condensed milk! Long story short, this was the missing link.
With a few adjustments, I transformed this recipe into the honey butter of my dreams. I also came up with a few variations on this traditional honey butter and all of them are seriously yummy! Honey butter makes otherwise ordinary dishes sing with flavor.
I’ve made a meaty version and a vegan version which I’m gonna share with you here, today. Pick your passion or make both, I think they’re equally tasty.
Another great thing about honey butter is that you can add additional flavorings for an even more gourmet treat. Some of my favorite additions are smoked paprika, bacon drippings, chili powder, cinnamon powder, vanilla and orange zest (not necessarily together or in that order). I encourage you to play around with flavor combinations that suit your fancy.
Honey butter is amazing with so many dishes. I like to add honey butter to mashed sweet potatoes or roasted root vegetables after baking. One of my favorite ways to enjoy honey butter is to combine it with warm, freshly popped popcorn. You end up with a treat reminiscent of kettle corn. For me, the pinnacle of the honey butter experience is to spread it over a hot, fresh from the oven, roll or biscuit.
Look at me wax poetic about honey butter for multiple paragraphs. Really though…….it’s that good!