Tiffany Howard of Oh Honey Bakes Blog Shares Her Holiday Recipes
The holidays are officially upon us as Thanksgiving nears. Planning table décor, checking off to-dos and preparing your favorite recipes are just a few of the many tasks that go into a lovely holiday event.
Tiffany Howard, creator and baker of the blog Oh Honey Bakes, started her baking journey baking bread for her local church in Houston before moving to south Seattle.
“I just fell in love with it,” she says.
Tiffany started her blog two years ago after close friends and family urged the baker to share her passion. Featuring original recipes as well as her film photography, Oh Honey Bakes, is a local baking icon. As a full-time mom, wife and now graduate student, Tiffany spends extra time to bring her sweet dreams to her table.
Tiffany welcomed Bellevue Lifestyle into her lovely south Seattle home, to do some baking with Tiffany, blond, blue-eyed 4-year old son, David, and her perky pup, Olly.
“I love all of the spices,” Tiffany says. Calling David over, the mother and son duo sugarcoated and rolled molasses cookie dough, adding in love and laughter as they pleased.
“It started with pancakes,” the proud mom says of how she and David became such a great baking duo. “He knows the way you mix things, he knows how to crack eggs. He is really good.”
As the cookies rose in the oven, Tiffany brought out her next recipe, the cream cheese buttercream frosted pumpkin cake with gingersnap toffee. Topped with elderberries that she picked herself, Tiffany knows how to prepare a spread.
“My mom baked a lot growing up; there were always homemade chocolate chip cookies,” she says.
Tiffany’s delicate, sophisticated touch leaves everything she creates memorable. From her holiday table to yours, Tiffany shares some of her holiday recipes with Bellevue Lifestyle.
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free 1 to 1 flour blend (All-purpose flour works perfectly here, as well.)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter 3-by-6 inch cake pans, line with rounds of parchment paper, dust with flour and tap out the excess.
- 2. Beat the oil and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer) on medium speed for about 3 minutes, then reduce the speed and add the eggs one at a time. Beat on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.
- 3. Sift the dry ingredients together and add slowly, mixing on low speed until combined. Add the pumpkin and mix by hand until smooth.
- 4. Distribute the batter evenly in the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven, then rotate the pans and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the pans on cooling racks for 15-20 minutes or until the pan is cool enough to handle.
- 5. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pans to loosen cakes, then turn them out onto the cooling racks, remove the parchment paper and allow to come to room temperature. To assemble, level cakes if desired. Roughly chop the pecans. Place the first layer on a cake board or a serving plate smooth side down and spread a generous layer of buttercream on top. Sprinkle with candied pecans. Place second layer face down, gently press and ice the top with buttercream. Sprinkle with pecans, place final layer face down and ice the top and sides of the cake. If your kitchen is warm and at any point the cake feels unsteady, pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up the buttercream. Decorate with flowers, fruit or more pecans and serve. Keeps well for 3-4 days; allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Butterscotch (for Buttercream)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon flaky salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cream and whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove it from heat, stir in the salt and vanilla and taste, adding more salt or vanilla if desired. Pour into a jar or other heat-proof container and refrigerate.
Butterscotch Buttercream (for Pumpkin Cake)
7 large, fresh egg whites
1¼ cups granulated white sugar
3 sticks (1½ cup) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into cubes
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (cooled) butterscotch sauce
Pinch of salt
- 1. Wipe the metal bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk attachment and a whisk with vinegar or lemon juice and a paper towel to remove any trace of grease.
- 2. Prepare a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bringing to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place a metal mixing bowl over the pot of simmering water (bowl should fit snugly but should not touch the water) and add the egg whites and sugar. Stir constantly with a whisk until the temperature reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer or until all the sugar has dissolved, the egg whites are hot and the mixture is foamy. Remove from heat.
- 3. Beat egg whites and sugar on high speed until the bottom of the bowl is completely neutral, about 10 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and turn mixer on low speed.
- 4. Begin slowly adding the butter pieces and mix until the texture is smooth. If the buttercream curdles, keep mixing and it’ll come back together.
- 5. Add the vanilla extract, butterscotch and salt and mix well. You can store buttercream in the fridge in an airtight container for three days, or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. If made it advance, bring it back to room temperature and beat until smooth and creamy again before using.
Candied Pecans (for Pumpkin Cake)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
3 3/4 to 4 cups (about 1 pound) pecan halves
- 1. Preheat the oven to 250 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- 2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until foamy. Toss the pecans in the egg white mixture, then mix in the cinnamon sugar until the pecans are coated. Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Spelt and Molasses Cookies
1/2 cup melted butter, browned, if desired (directions below)
2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
Turbinado (or other coarse-grained sugar) for rolling the cookies
- 1. To brown the butter, place it in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally as it melts. The butter will foam as it cooks, continue swirling the pan occasionally, keeping a very close eye on it. Once the milk solids begin to brown and the butter smells toasty, remove it from heat and pour it into a heat-proof bowl, scraping the milk solids from the bottom of the pan as you pour. Allow the butter to cool.
- 2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, white and brown sugars and molasses. Stir in the cooled butter, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- 3. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper and set aside. Taking spoonfuls of dough at a time, form the dough into balls, roll in turbinado sugar, and place on the cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- 4. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then with a spatula transfer them to cooling racks. If you’re using them for ice cream sandwiches, pop the cooling rack into the freezer once the cookies are room temperature to firm up the cookies and make them easier to fill, about 10 minutes.
Ginger Ice Cream (to make Ice Cream Sandwiches)
6 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
3 tablespoons water
2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
4 whole eggs
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ginger liqueur, optional
- 1. Combine the ginger, water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for about 5 minutes. While the ginger cooks, gently whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar and set aside. Add the heavy whipping cream and whole milk to the saucepan with the ginger, reduce the heat to medium and scald—bring it nearly to a boil, until the milk is steaming and bubbles are starting to form. Remove it from the heat and temper the eggs by pouring about a cup of the cream into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in salt, ground ginger and vanilla extract.
- 2. Pour through a strainer into a heatproof container and chill. When you’re ready to churn, add ginger liqueur, stir and process according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until solid.
- 3. To assemble ice cream sandwiches, once your ice cream is frozen and your cookies are chilled, place a scoop of ice cream on one cookie and sandwich with the second cookie, pressing down gently. Smooth the edges with your finger if desired, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.
Figs with Honey and Black Pepper
12 fresh figs
1/4 cup honey
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1. Give your figs a taste to determine how much honey you’ll need as some varieties are sweeter than others. Gently wash and dry them, then quarter the figs from top to bottom, leaving them connected at the bottom, so the figs open like a flower. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with black pepper and serve.