The Flour Handprint https://www.theflourhandprint.com A Food Nerd's Guide to Homemade Cooking Fri, 17 Jan 2020 06:40:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/cropped-Apron-32x32.png The Flour Handprint https://www.theflourhandprint.com 32 32 Maple Bacon Onion Jam https://www.theflourhandprint.com/maple-bacon-onion-jam/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/maple-bacon-onion-jam/#respond Fri, 17 Jan 2020 06:40:25 +0000 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=9238 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Deliciously sweet and salty maple bacon onion jam is a perfect condiment for burgers, omelettes, crackers, and so much more. This recipe is for a simple skillet bacon jam that caramelizes all in one pan with easy to find pantry ingredients. Bacon […]

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Deliciously sweet and salty maple bacon onion jam is a perfect condiment for burgers, omelettes, crackers, and so much more. This recipe is for a simple skillet bacon jam that caramelizes all in one pan with easy to find pantry ingredients.

cracker with bacon jam held over a white bowl full of bacon jam

Bacon maybe be a trend to some, but I have to say, I really, really, really love bacon. It’s this amazing protein that adds HUGE flavor to anything it’s added to, from sweet to savory. One of my favorite combinations is bacon with sauteed onions, like in my sauteed green beans and bacon, and I let that flavor pairing inspire this oh so delectable bacon jam.

This was an instant success in my family. I served it with crackers and cheese and literally every other jam I made was practically ignored in favor of this, it’s that good. It’s so simple, made all in one skillet and every ingredient is easy to find, you may even have them already!

What is Bacon Jam?

I debated for a while about what to call this, I mean…is it really jam? Jam, the typically fruit based sugary concoction as I discuss at length in my Difference between Jam and Jellies guide, is this really that? Bacon chutney, bacon relish, bacon marmalade…What I realized as I researched is that it really doesn’t matter.

They’re truly all one in the same, call what you will, but the result will be a caramelized bacon ‘jam’ that results from cooking bacon, onions, sugar and seasonings to thick, gooey perfection.

Maple Bacon Onion Jam Ingredients

There are lots of ways to make a savory jam like this, and none of them are wrong. My version includes maple syrup, onions, herbs, and just enough salty, savory umami flavor to compliment the bacon.

bacon with two onions, fresh thyme, beef stock, brown sugar, and maple syrup sitting beside it
  • Bacon – Any thick cut bacon will do, but if you really want to amp up the maple flavor, use maple bacon!
  • Yellow Onion – My preference whenever I cook onion with bacon is yellow onion, but you can use your favorite.
  • Brown sugar – It’s hard to make jam without sugar, and this recipe works best with brown sugar.
  • Maple Syrup – Provides big flavor and sticky sweetness.
  • Fresh Thyme – Just a nice addition to the overall flavor, pairs nicely with the bacon and onion.
  • Beef Stock – A secret for umami rich flavor without overpowering the bacon or onion.
  • Worcestershire – Another splash of rich, deep flavor that lifts up the sweetness.

How to Make Skillet Bacon Jam

From start to finish, it takes just one large skillet to make this. Depending on your stove and pans, it can take 45 minutes to an hour from the moment you start to warm your pan. It’s a labor of love to make a truly caramelized bacon jam, but it’s not hard work, and I PROMISE it’s worth every single bite.

collage beginning with chopped bacon and sliced onions, then the bacon being crisped in a pan, then the onions added to the cooked bacon, then the finished bacon jam in the pan
  1. I recommend you begin by placing a large skillet over medium high heat. While your pan heats, chop your bacon and onions.
  2. Add your bacon to the hot skillet and cook until almost crisp. I take this time to measure out all my other ingredients.
  3. When your bacon is browned and beginning to look crisp, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Reduce heat to medium low, and add in the onions, stirring to coat with bacon fat.
  4. When the onions begin to soften, 2-3 minutes, add in all your remaining and ingredients and stir. Cook slowly, stirring every couple of minutes until deeply caramelized and delicious!

Pro Tips

  • In order to properly crisp all your bacon at once, you need a large, wide skillet. Too small and your bacon will take longer to begin to crisp as it’s crowded in the pan.
  • I prefer my bacon in 1/2 inch chunks and onion in slices, feel free to adjust sizes to your preferences.
  • Don’t give into the temptation to turn up the heat after you add the onions, low and slow is the key to perfectly caramelized onions and prevents burned sugar.
a white bowl of maple bacon onion jam on a tweed placemat beside a green napkin with fresh thyme

FAQ’s

How long can I store this for?

I recommend storing this in the refrigerator for no longer than 2 weeks.

Can I water bath or pressure can this?

No. There is currently no guaranteed safe way to home can bacon jam for shelf stable storage that I’m comfortable recommending.

Can I freeze bacon jam?

Yes! Allow to cool and store in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Should I serve this cold or hot?

I recommend heating before serving. I don’t like the consistency of it cold, but it might be fine for you! When reheating only heat what you intend to consume immediately and store the rest in the fridge.

What do I use bacon jam for?

Honestly every time I’ve made this we’ve been unable to resist sampling it right out of the pan. It’s great served on crackers or toast, with cheese, on biscuits, burgers, eggs, sandwiches and so much more. Think about what you like bacon on, and try it!

You May Also Like…

I hope you enjoy this maple bacon onion jam as much as we do, it’s become a dish that I will bring to every potluck occasion, and will always appear on my appetizer table. Here are a few more recipes you may enjoy, and until next time, Happy Eating!

a white bowl of maple bacon onion jam with a fork lifting a bite out of it
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Maple Bacon Onion Jam

Sweet, salty, savory bacon jam with caramelized onions that makes a chunky perfect condiment for appetizers, burgers, and more.
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, bacon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 350kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs thick cut bacon
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbs beef stock

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Chop your bacon into 1/2" chunks and thinly slice onions.
  • Add bacon to hot skillet and cook until almost completely crisp, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low, and add in sliced onions and stir to coat completely. Cook until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cook slowly until onions are deep golden brown and jam is thickened.
  • Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months. Yields about 2 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 3Tbs | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

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Tequila Lime Wings https://www.theflourhandprint.com/tequila-lime-wings/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/tequila-lime-wings/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2020 06:08:32 +0000 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=9172 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Tequila lime wings are a version of drunken chicken wings in a sticky, irresistible tequila lime sauce. Whip up these margarita chicken wings as a crowd-pleasing appetizer, snack, or even an indulgent lunch. All the tips and tricks you need are here […]

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Tequila lime wings are a version of drunken chicken wings in a sticky, irresistible tequila lime sauce. Whip up these margarita chicken wings as a crowd-pleasing appetizer, snack, or even an indulgent lunch. All the tips and tricks you need are here to make these wings easy and delicious!

a pile of tequila lime wings on a piece of parchment paper with oranges, sliced jalapeno and lime next to it

I can’t be alone in my chicken wing craving, right? I’m not talking about healthy baked wings or frozen pre-made ones in a plastic bag. I’m talking deep fried, crispy wings in a delicious sauce that you have with a cool, preferably alcoholic drink. Are you hungry yet?

While I love a good buffalo wing, these tequila lime chicken wings are an easy to love alternative. The tequila lime sauce is sticky, sweet, and full of citrus and mild jalapeno flavor. It transforms a simple fried wing into a margarita inspired drunken chicken wing that is packed with flavor and oh so easy to devour.

Tools for Deep Frying

Before we get into the recipe I wanted to quickly share a couple of really helpful tools to make the deep fry process easier.

Tequila Lime Wing Ingredients

There aren’t any complicated ingredients that go into making the perfect tequila lime chicken wing, just a few things to cook down into the tequila lime sauce, chicken, and oil.

a plate of chicken wings, an orange sliced in half, a jalapeno, three limes with one sliced in half, a bowl of salt, bottle of honey, and a bottle of tequila
  • Chicken wings – you can’t have a drunken chicken wing without the chicken! You can buy a party pack of pre-cut drumette and wingette (also called flats) pieces, or you can buy them as one (cheaper) and butcher them yourself. Learn how here.
  • Oil – This is a deep fried recipe, and to deep fry you must have a high heat oil. I recommend grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil.
  • Tequila – Something magical happens to tequila when it’s reduced with the right additions, I like an anejo or reposado tequila for this recipe.
  • Limes – 3 well juiced limes are needed for this recipe.
  • Orange – The addition of fresh orange juice really help balance out the tequila and limes.
  • Honey – The needed sweetness, and the stickiness of the final sauce is thanks to the honey.
  • Jalapeno – 1 pepper, sliced into rounds and simmered in the sauce creates a lovely bite to the tequila lime sauce without making it really spicy. It can be left out, or the seeds removed to reduce or eliminate any spice.
  • Salt – always, always!

How to Make Tequila Lime Wings

If you’ve never deep fried a wing before let me put your mind at ease, it’s very easy! No flouring or coating is needed, just a heavy duty pot and some oil. I’ll walk you through it start to finish and you’ll be whipping up fried wings like a pro in no time.

a pot of liquid with sliced jalapenos, then the pot after cooking with the liquid syrupy on a white spatula, then a pot of oil for frying, and finally a plate of fried chicken wings
  1. Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange, juice, honey, salt, and sliced jalapeno in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rapid simmer.
  2. Stir the sauce occasionally until the liquid is reduced by 2/3 and syrupy.
  3. Place your oil in a large, deep pot over medium high heat and bring up to 375°F. Lay out your chicken wings on a paper towel and gently pat dry.
  4. When your oil is up to temp place your wings carefully in the oil, fry for 8 mins, or until golden brown, crispy, and the juices run clear. The internal temperature should be 165°F.
  5. Remove to paper towel briefly to rid of excess oil then place in a bowl and toss with finished tequila lime sauce.
  6. Serve immediately!

Pro Tips for Frying Wings

  • Do not overcrowd the pan of oil, this will bring down the oil temperature and lead to oily wings. Fry in batches to keep the oil temperature where it needs to be.
  • If frying in batches you can keep wings hot by placing them in a low oven (200°F) on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
  • Start with room temperature wings. Pull them out of the fridge 15 minutes before frying to prevent the cold chicken from reducing your oil temperature.
tequila lime wings on parchment paper with sliced oranges, limes, and jalapenos.

FAQ’s

Can I make these ahead of time?

No, unfortunately. Wings, especially deep fried wings, pretty much peak in quality after being cooked. You can reduce the sauce ahead of time and reheat to toss with the fried wings.

Can I use an air fryer to cook the wings?

If you prefer to cook your wings in an air fryer go for it, all that matters is that you end up with super crispy wings to toss in your tequila lime sauce. Here is a reference for air fryer wings if you prefer that method.

Can you freeze wings?

I don’t recommend it for this recipe, no.

I’ve read about par-boiling chicken before frying, do I need to do that?

No, these will fry and be completely cooked in the hot oil without any extra steps.

My chicken wings are greasy, why?

Greasy or oily wings are usually a culprit of your oil being too cold. Make sure your oil is at 375°F before you drop your wings in, and don’t overcrowd the oil. In my dutch oven I usually stick to 6-8 wings at a time.

ENjoy! Other REcipes to Try

I hope you wind up licking gooey tequila lime sauce from your fingers like we do whenever I make a batch of these drunken chicken wings! It’s a great recipe for a casual lunch or snack, or as a game day appetizer, Superbowl Sunday anyone? Here are a few more appetizer recipes for you to add to your menu, and until next time, Happy Eating!

tequila lime chicken wings on a parchment sheet with sliced limes and oranges
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Tequila Lime Wings

Fried chicken wings in a sticky, delicious tequila lime sauce that make a perfect appetizer or party food.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, chicken, party food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 953kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup tequila* 3/4 cup
  • 6 tbs lime juice 3 limes, juiced
  • 4 tbs orange juice 1/2 to 1 orange, 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 medium jalapeno optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12-14 chicken wings
  • 8 cups grapeseed oil canola or vegetable work too

Instructions

  • Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, sliced jalapeno, honey, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rapid simmer.
  • Cook sauce, stirring occasionally until reduced by 2/3 and thickened to a syrup.
  • Meanwhile place oil in a large, heavy bottom pot with a deep fry thermometer. Heat over medium high heat until oil reaches 375°F.
  • Lay wings out on a paper towel and gently pat dry. Lay out a plate with clean paper towels for after cooking as well.
  • When oil is up to temp, fry wings. Be careful not to overcrowd in pot, frying in batches if necessary*. Fry for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy and the juices run clear.
  • Remove cooked wings from the oil and set briefly on paper towels to blot excess oil then move quickly to a bowl and toss with sauce.
  • Serve immediately!

Notes

* I recommend an anejo or reposado tequila for this. 
* If frying in batches, plate cooked wings on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet in a low 200°F oven to keep warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 953kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg

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Tomato Spinach Salad https://www.theflourhandprint.com/tomato-spinach-salad/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/tomato-spinach-salad/#respond Fri, 10 Jan 2020 21:42:24 +0000 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=9156 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. This tomato spinach salad is a simple, but delicious rendition of a basic chopped spinach salad, tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh shaved Parmesan. It takes only minutes to bring this quick dinner salad together, vinaigrette included! As a blogger, I […]

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This tomato spinach salad is a simple, but delicious rendition of a basic chopped spinach salad, tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh shaved Parmesan. It takes only minutes to bring this quick dinner salad together, vinaigrette included!

a bowl of tomato spinach salad with parmesan on a beige towel

As a blogger, I spend a LOT of time working on recipes, which means a lot of standing in the kitchen working out kinks. Sometimes by the time dinner rolls around I want clean, simple, to the point food that my family will still enjoy, but won’t take me forever to get on the table.

This super simple chopped spinach salad with tomatoes and Parmesan is tossed in a light homemade basil balsamic vinaigrette and often appears on our dinner table as an easy side dish. The combo of juicy tomatoes, sweet and herbaceous vinaigrette, and salty cheese is all the spinach needs to be the perfect bite. Try this salad for a perfect example of how simple from scratch cooking can be!

Salad Ingredients

The ingredient list couldn’t be much simpler! I’ve included the recipe for my preferred vinaigrette, but you can also toss this with your vinaigrette of choice!

a wooden cutting board with fresh spinach, a wedge of parmesan cheese, a vegetable peeler, a wooden bowl of cherry tomatoes and a carafe of dressing
  • Spinach – I prefer fresh whole spinach which I wash, store and chop myself. You can of course use baby spinach if you prefer that.
  • Parmesan cheese – If you have or want to get parmigiano reggiano (real, authentic Italian parmesan), please do! It’s delicious! But also expensive, I’m using an american Parmesan here.
  • Cherry tomatoes – I think the sweet bite of cherry or grape tomatoes works best in this kind of salad, but if you have bigger fresh tomatoes that you’d like to use, they work too.

For the Vinaigrette (optional)

  • Salt – Essential for the vinaigrette, and also a secret to the salad!
  • Pepper – For the vinaigrette, you’ll need some fresh cracked pepper.
  • Olive oil – A nice, fresh olive oil is the key to a good homemade vinaigrette.
  • Canola oil – I like to blend oils in my vinaigrette to make them cheaper to make, but also to prevent the olive oil from solidifying in the fridge when I store extra.
  • Balsamic vinegar – I like one that’s been aged a little, but isn’t too syrupy.
  • Basil – A handful of fresh basil leaves go into the vinaigrette, and really enhance the salad.

TIP for storing fresh greens: Dark greens stay good in your fridge longer when washed and dried. When you get home with your spinach, immediately wash, dry, and store in an airtight, but not compact container (think a large Tupperware, or ziploc bag that doesn’t compress the greens.) They’ll stay crisp and vibrant for longer!

How to MAke A Chopped Spinach Salad

Simple ingredients, simple process, delicious and satisfying flavor. What more can I say?

a bowl of chopped spinach with a sprinkle of salt and vinaigrette, then the bowl of greens tossed together, then a picture of the greens topped with tomatoes and parmesan
  1. I like to make my vinaigrette first, simply combine the ingredients into a jar and shake like crazy for a few minutes until the dressing comes together!
  2. For the salad simply wash and dry your spinach, a salad spinner is insanely useful for this, I use mine CONSTANTLY. Then give it a rough chop.
  3. Slice your tomatoes and shave your cheese, I use a vegetable peeler like this to shave hard cheeses and it works like a charm.
  4. When you’re ready to serve the salad, lightly sprinkle the greens with a pinch of salt, then add a drizzle of the vinaigrette around the outside of the bowl, rather than dumping it on top. I use 1 to 2 tablespoons.
  5. Toss the salad by gently moving the greens on the outside of the bowl down and then under, like you’re folding cake batter, so that they all gently get coated with the vinaigrette clinging to bowl without becoming soggy in one area.
  6. If you’re serving in one big bowl, add your toppings, or separate into portion sized bowls and add toppings in each.
  7. Just before serving, drizzle the tops of the salad with a touch more vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy!

Interested in making a different vinaigrette for this salad? Check out my How to Make A Vinaigrette Guide for ideas and tips!

a bowl of tomato spinach salad with a vinaigrette being drizzled on top

FAQ’s

Can I make this ahead of time?

I don’t recommend doing much ahead of time aside from washing your greens and making the vinaigrette. The cheese will dry out, tomatoes would need to be refrigerated after slicing (the cold greatly affects flavor and texture), and dressing the salad too far in advance would lead to soggy greens.

Serve your salad within 15 minutes of making it for best quality.

Can I use a different hard cheese?

Of course! I usually have Romano, Asiago, and Parmesan in my fridge and have used them all on this type of salad frequently.

How many does this serve?

That depends on your appetite! I’d say 2 large dinner salads (could be your entire dinner, especially with sliced chicken added!), or 4 side salads.

Why should I add the toppings after I dress the chopped spinach?

When making salads with leafy greens, toppings inevitably fall to the bottom of the bowl where they sit in a puddle of dressing. By dressing the greens first (and by dressing them lightly with the technique I suggest) you avoid the puddle, and you actually get a bite of toppings with your greens. How it’s composed makes a big difference!

I hope this fills a gap in your weekly meal plan when you need some quick and easy, but still flavorful! I must make this salad once a week when tomatoes come in season, and I’d love to hear it becomes a favorite for you too. Below are a few suggestions for what to serve with it! Until next time, happy eating!

Serve This with…

a bowl of tomato spinach salad with parmesan on a beige towel
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Tomato Spinach Salad

A chopped spinach salad with sliced cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and a light basil balsamic vinaigrette, tossed and enjoyed fresh.
Course dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword dinner side, easy lunch, salad, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 -4
Calories 338kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • 6 cups spinach chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 1/2 tbs fresh basil, finely sliced about 2-3 leaves

Instructions

Vinaigrette Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until it comes together, a minute or two. Set aside.

Salad Instructions

  • Wash and dry spinach, then chop roughly and add to a bowl.
  • Slice tomatoes in half and shave cheese, set both aside separately.
  • Lightly salt the spinach and pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette around the outside of the bowl. Toss the spinach in a folding motion, gently incorporating the vinaigrette until it is all lightly coated.
  • Keep in large bowl for serving, or portion spinach into individual serving bowls. Add toppings to top of spinach.
  • Lightly drizzle another teaspoon or two of vinaigrette over the top of the tomatoes and Parmesan once added.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

*Nutrition facts are based upon 2 servings

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 572mg | Potassium: 665mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8928IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 3mg

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Orange Ginger Pork Chops https://www.theflourhandprint.com/stove-top-pork-chops-with-orange-ginger-sauce/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/stove-top-pork-chops-with-orange-ginger-sauce/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2020 17:56:42 +0000 http://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=7728 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. These orange ginger pork chops are easy and full of flavor. A simple stove top recipe for pan seared pork chops in a sweet, sticky, orange and fresh ginger sauce all cooked in the same pan. They make a fantastic dinner, especially […]

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These orange ginger pork chops are easy and full of flavor. A simple stove top recipe for pan seared pork chops in a sweet, sticky, orange and fresh ginger sauce all cooked in the same pan. They make a fantastic dinner, especially served over rice.

bone in pork chop

Oh pork. I have a serious love hate relationship with pork. On the one hand, bacon, pork belly, and pork butt are among my absolute favorite cuts to work with…on the hand other pork chops and loin are temperamental to cook. I’ve made it a personal challenge to master them, because nothing is worse than a dry pork chop.

This simple recipe for orange ginger pork chops was inspired by a recipe given to me by my aunt, and I tinkered and tested until I finally had a delicious, moist pork chop, seared to perfection then simmered in a sticky orange sauce infused with fresh ginger.

A Note on Pork Chops

One of the main reasons I keep coming back to pork chops is that they’re an inexpensive and quick cooking protein. I recommend one of these types of chops:

  • Bone in rib chop – Most inexpensive, good fat, and my usual choice.
  • Bone in center cut chop – Good fat, more expensive, with a nice small piece of tenderloin.
  • Boneless chop – Least fat, hardest to cook, and arguably the least flavorful.

Regardless of your choice, look for a bright pink color with decent marbling.

For all pork chops the KEY to moist tender meat , is cooking to the proper temperature. Pork should be cooked to 145°F. Many years ago, due to fear of food borne illness, cooking pork well-done was standard and recommended. The risk of that has long been eradicated and it is now not only safe, but recommended to cook to a nice medium.

Go over that and that’s when you get dry tough pork. The best way to accomplish that is to cook your chops quickly with high heat. Broiling, grilling, or in this case, pan searing.

The Ingredients

I love a good simple recipe with simple ingredients, but I often find that going with simple ingredients makes choosing them even more important.

raw pork chops beside orange juice, wine, salt, pepper, fresh ginger, and brown sugar
  • Pork Chops – Any chop of your choice, I went with a bone in rib chop.
  • Oil – Just enough to sear off your pork chops.
  • Salt & Pepper – This is all you need to season your pork chops for searing
  • White Wine – Choose a light, white wine with citrus notes to compliment the orange juice, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are my recommendations.
  • Orange Juice – You can use freshly squeezed orange juice from 2 to 3 large oranges, or no pulp, natural orange juice (not from concentrate) for best flavor.
  • Brown Sugar – Essential for the sticky, sweet notes of the sauce that you definitely want!
  • Ginger – About 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled (like your thumb length and width), is perfect.

How to Make Orange Ginger Pork Chops

With those simple ingredients a similarly simple cooking process follows.

seared pork chops
  1. Heat a pan over medium high heat until very hot. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork while it heats.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan when it’s ready, and when the oil begins to shimmer, add the pork. Sear for 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until both sides are caramelized. If your chops have a thick cap of fat along one side, sear that as well.
  3. Remove to a rack set over a baking sheet. (This prevents soggy or steamed sides from forming)
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the wine, using a flat edged spoon to scrape the brown bits from the pan.
  5. Add the orange juice, sugar, and ginger, then bring the entire mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally, until reduced by 2/3.
  6. When the sauce is reduced (darkened in color, and the consistency of a loose syrup), return the pork to the pan and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, turning to coat both sides of the pork.
  7. When the chops reach 140°F, remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Serve, spooning sauce liberally over each chop.

That’s it! One pan, no problem pork chops with orange and ginger sauce that is lick your spoon clean good!

a pan of stove top pork chops in orange ginger sauce

Tips for the perfect Orange Pork Chops

Just a few final tips to make sure you enjoy these pork chops!

  • Sear in a pan that retains heat well and can sear properly. If at all possible, try to use something other than nonstick, like a heavy duty cast iron or enameled cast iron pan.
  • Do not cook your pork cold. Remove from fridge 30 mins before cooking. This ensures even cooking within and without.
  • Don’t overcrowd your pan when searing, if you pan isn’t large enough to leave room between the chops sear in 2 batches instead. This avoids steaming the meat. When you return to the pan with the sauce later you can add them all at once.
  • When in doubt, use a thermometer. A quick instant read thermometer will make it much easier to remove the pork at the correct temp. It takes only a minute to over cook, so if possible use one!
  • Don’t have a thermometer? Touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your ring finger and touch your palm at the base of your thumb. This is how a medium cook feels when touched.
  • Remove pan from heat BEFORE the pork reaches 145°F. Residual heat from the pan and sauce will bring the pork up 5° or so.
a white plate with pork chops, green beans, rice, and a slice of orange

FAQ’s

Can I use ground ginger instead?

Yes, technically you can. About 1/2 a teaspoon should do. However this may leave a slight texture to the otherwise smooth sauce.

Can I use another sugar?

If you don’t have brown sugar I’d recommend turbanido, or white sugar and a small drizzle of honey as a substitute.

I hope you enjoy these pork chops as much as my family does! Here are some recommendations for sides to serve with your orange ginger pork chops, and until next time, Happy Eating!

bone in pork chop on a white plate with green beans and white rice
Print

Stove Top Pork Chops

Quick and simple stove top pork chops with a sticky, citrus orange ginger sauce.
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword dinner, entree, main dish, pork, pork chop
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 249kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 2 in thick pork chops Bone in Rib Chop suggested
  • 2 Tbs grapeseed oil*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine*
  • 1 cup orange juice*
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 1/4 in slices of fresh ginger

Instructions

  • Pull pork chops out of fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat a heavy duty pan over medium high heat. When very hot, salt and pepper both sides of all 4 pork chops. Add oil to hot pan then carefully lay in pork.*
  • Sear each side 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set on a rack to rest while you prepare the sauce.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the wine and use a spoon to gently lift brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add orange juice and sugar and stir to combine. Peel and slice your ginger then add to the pan.
  • Bring the sauce to a rapid simmer (increase heat if necessary), and reduce by 2/3, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or so.
  • When sauce is a dark caramel color and thickened to a loose syrup, carefully taste and if necessary adjust salt with a few pinches.
  • Return pork to pan and simmer until pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F, turning the pork over occasionally to coat. Remove pan from heat.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*Any high heat oil is okay for searing, grapeseed, canola, vegetable, or avocado. 
*I recommend Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, look for one with citrus notes. 
*Use 100% pure, no sugar added orange juice or fresh squeezed oranges. 
*It’s important not to overcrowd your pork in the pan when searing. Sear in 2 batches if necessary to avoid steaming the meat. If there is a thick fat cap on the chop, you can also use tongs to press the fat cap against the pan and sear it to a nice crisp.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1175mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Recommended Tools

Originally published 7/10/19, Updated 1/6/20

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Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette https://www.theflourhandprint.com/basil-balsamic-vinaigrette/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/basil-balsamic-vinaigrette/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2020 15:50:00 +0000 http://theflourhandprint.com/?p=6426 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette is an easy, flavorful homemade dressing recipe with a few simple ingredients. Whip up this fresh basil vinaigrette with a rich balsamic vinegar to add big flavor to fresh salads or chicken. A homemade vinaigrette is hard to beat […]

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Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette is an easy, flavorful homemade dressing recipe with a few simple ingredients. Whip up this fresh basil vinaigrette with a rich balsamic vinegar to add big flavor to fresh salads or chicken.

A homemade vinaigrette is hard to beat when it comes to easily adding flavor to your food. They’re so easy and delicious, I have a whole post dedicated to the vinaigrette! But…I’ll be honest, I’m not a big salad fan, I’d much rather eat a giant bowl of pasta…but my health sometimes demands those greens, and nothing makes it better than this simple but flavorful basil balsamic vinaigrette.

What makes this recipe even better than how quickly you can make it? It lasts a week in the fridge and you can easily drizzle your basil balsamic dressing over more than just greens. Try it on chicken, roasted potatoes, and yes, even that big bowl of pasta.

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

You’ve got it in your cupboard, you love it, but what exactly is balsamic vinegar? Balsamic vinegar is a rich, deeply concentrated fermented product of grape must.

Grape must is basically crushed sweet grape juice that is boiled, concentrated, fermented and then aged for 12+ years until it transforms into rich, slightly sweet balsamic vinegar. At least that’s how the traditional stuff is made.

Most commercial balsamic vinegar is made with a combination of grape must and wine vinegar to expedite the process, and it’s aged for months, not years. While it still has big flavor, it’s different than the traditional balsamic you’d get out of the Modena region in Italy.

These vinegars can range in sweetness, acidity and thickness based upon how long it was aged and how it was made. I recommend looking for a small batch production, or one that is certified by IGP, DOP, or PDO (European authenticity labels) for the biggest flavor for your buck.

Ingredients

To whip up a quick batch of basil balsamic vinaigrette you only need a few basic ingredients, 6 to be exact. (2 are salt and pepper, so let’s call those freebies).

The ingredients for a Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette are easy: Vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and canola oil.
  • Olive Oil – A nice, fresh extra virgin olive oil for flavor and richness
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil – Make the dressing cheaper to make, and prevents solidifying in the fridge.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Get a good one! I prefer a thinner balsamic for this, not a thick syrupy one. Avoid products labeled balsamic reduction for this recipe.
  • Fresh Basil – Use 7 to 8 fresh, bright green leaves of basil for this!
  • Salt & Pepper – Coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper are my preference when making this.

How to make Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

To whip this up, it will only take you a few minutes and it stays good in your fridge for up to a week. This recipe makes about 1.5 cups, perfect for a week of drizzling. There are a few ways to make this, and I’ve listed details for each below.

By Hand:

  1. First, layer the leaves of your basil on top of each other, then roll tightly into a cigar shape. Slice thin ribbons then set aside.
  2. Combine balsamic, salt, and pepper into a large bowl.
  3. Combine your oils, then while whisking, begin to slowly drizzle them in.
  4. When the dressing begins to come together (look uniform, without oil separated out), begin adding the oil a little faster.
  5. Add sliced basil, whisk, and use.

With Blender

  1. Slice basil as directed above.
  2. Combine the balsamic, salt, and pepper into your blender, and pulse to combine.
  3. Add oil to blender and pulse in 5 to 10 second increments until it comes together.
  4. Transfer to a storage bowl or jar and add basil, stirring or shaking to combine.

I like to use my immersion blender for this, as it allows me to control the blending speed a little better, and I can mix it in my storage container.

With Mason Jar

  1. Slice basil, and combine with all other ingredients in a large mason jar.
  2. Shake vigorously until the vinaigrette has come together.

Pro TIPS

  • Regardless of the method you use, store any extra in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake well before using.
  • This vinaigrette contains no emulsifiers, meaning oil and vinegar are fighting pretty hard to stay apart. Even with the blender, your vinaigrette will have some natural separation in the fridge. Shaking well will return it to it’s mixed state long enough to use.
a small glass carafe of basil balsamic vinaigrette on a beige towel surrounded by fresh basil leaves

FAQ’s

Can I use dried basil?

This recipe is really for a fresh basil vinaigrette. Using dry is possible, but will not produce the same flavor or texture in the dressing.

Eat & Enjoy

Simple, right? It’s hard to beat how simple this is to make, and it’s equally easy to use it, one more than just your salads. Below are some recommendations for using this basil balsamic vinaigrette, and until next time, Happy Eating!

a small glass carafe of basil balsamic vinaigrette on a beige towel surrounded by fresh basil leaves
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Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

A simple, herbaceous dressing full of summer flavors to top fresh salads. 
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword condiment, dressing, pantry staple, vinaigrette
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 2 Tablespoon Portions
Calories 167kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil about 7-8 leaves

Instructions

  • Layer your leaves of basil, roll into cylinder (cigar shape) and slice into ribbons, set aside.

By Hand Mixing

  • Add salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar to a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Combine your oils and begin slowly drizzling into your vinegar, whisking continuously until all your oil is added.
  • Add chopped basil to vinaigrette and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve*, up to 1 week.

Blender Mixing (Immersion or Upright blender)

  • Combine vinegar, salt, and pepper and pulse to combine.
  • Add oil and pulse in 5 to 10 second increments until completely combined.
  • Transfer to a container, add in basil and mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to one week.

Mason Jar Mixing

  • Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously until it all comes together.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 week.

Notes

*I highly recommend prepping this vinaigrette at least an hour before serving. Allowing the basil and vinegar to sit will amplify the herb flavor.
*Shake before serving

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 6mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Originally published 1/8/2018, Updated 1/1/2020

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Apple Pecan Chicken Salad https://www.theflourhandprint.com/apple-pecan-chicken-salad/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/apple-pecan-chicken-salad/#comments Sun, 29 Dec 2019 13:16:00 +0000 http://theflourhandprint.com/?p=7192 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Apple pecan chicken salad is an easy meal that packs big, satisfying flavor. With either leftover chicken or canned chicken you can easily mix up a delicious chicken salad with pecans, granny smith apples, and the right blend of seasoning. Crispy, crunchy, […]

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Apple pecan chicken salad is an easy meal that packs big, satisfying flavor. With either leftover chicken or canned chicken you can easily mix up a delicious chicken salad with pecans, granny smith apples, and the right blend of seasoning. Crispy, crunchy, creamy, all in one bite!

Chicken salad on dark sliced bread

As a stay at home mom, I’m always looking for satisfying quick lunch I can toss together while my son eats or plays. This apple pecan chicken salad recipe is one of my favorite go to meals. I can throw it together in minutes, and it keeps well so I have an easy meal for a few days. The combination of crisp, tart apple, buttery pecans, and a creamy light sauce is delicious and can be enjoyed on your favorite sandwich bread or a crisp cracker!

Ingredients

The ingredients for making this chicken salad with pecans are easy to get and very likely in your pantry already. While I recommend mayo for the best flavor, I also have an option to lighten it up should you wish.

Shredded chicken, a green apple, lemon wedges, pecans, mayo and spices
  • Chicken – Either drained, canned chicken or shredded chicken breast work well here.
  • Mayo – A nice, olive oil based mayonnaise is perfect. If you’re wanting to cut back on fat and calories, feel free to substitute up to half with plain greek yogurt.
  • Apples – Use a tart, crisp apple. I prefer granny smith, but pink lady apples will do in a pinch.
  • Pecans – Buttery, crunchy, delicious. Chop up and throw in. Almonds are also delicious, and I use them just as often in this exact recipe, depending on what I have on hand.
  • Garlic Powder – A little goes a long way in adding big flavor.
  • Dried Thyme – One of my favorite fresh herbs, I always have dried on hand to use when I’m out of fresh. It holds up so well in the creamy sauce and no chopping required.
  • Sugar – If this has you scratching your head, just trust me. It’s so incredible how just a little bit transforms the entire salad.
  • Lemon Zest & Juice – The tang of the juice and the mellow citrus of the zest with the tart apples lift through the mayo.
  • Salt & Pepper – The cornerstone seasonings for every dish, they’re just as essential here.

Mix your Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Making chicken salad is about as simple as it gets. In a big bowl combine everything…then eat! In less than 20 minutes you can prep, mix, and be eating a very tasty apple pecan chicken sandwich!

Chopped apples with mayo and lemon on top of chicken breast
  1. Shred your chicken, or drain the canned chicken you’re using well and place in a large bowl.
  2. Chop your pecans and apples. I prefer small squares for my apples, and pecan pieces no larger than a dime. This ensures even distribution of ingredients and a nice coating on everything in every bite. Add both to the chicken in the bowl.
  3. Zest and juice the lemon, and assemble your seasonings.
  4. Add the mayo (or your mayo/greek yogurt combo) and toss lightly just to start mixing.
  5. Sprinkle on the seasoning evenly across the top and add the lemon juice and zest.
  6. Mix well and enjoy!
  • If you’re using canned chicken – It tends to be moist, and in large chunks. Break them as you mix so you don’t have large chunks of undressed chicken.
  • If you’re using shredded chicken breasts – It tends to ‘drink’ up the mayo, mix gently so it doesn’t get mushy and be willing to add a bit more mayo if needed.
Mixed apple pecan chicken salad in a bowl

FAQ’s

Is this salad healthy?

I’m no diet or health food expert. This salad does contain mayonnaise and a negligible amount of sugar, but as I said, you are welcome to replace up to half the mayo with non fat plain greek yogurt. Mayonnaise often contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for you, and I personally think this is a rather healthy lunch option, especially when added to whole grain bread or crackers.

Do the apples get brown in this?

No, thanks to the mixture you create and refrigeration of any extras, I’ve never had any issues with the apples browning in this.

Can I use different nuts?

Yes, you can use your preferred nuts. Walnuts are a nice alternative to pecans, but I prefer almonds when I need to make a substitution.

Can this be frozen?

I don’t recommend that, no.

How far in advance can I make this?

This salad can be made 3 days in advance for best quality.

an apple pecan chicken salad sandwich on a white plate in front of a second sandwich and a loaf of bread

Well…Eat it!

This is often a meal prep recipe for me, and the amount it makes is enough for 4 days easily. It’s really great on fresh sliced bread, or even just a good quality cracker. I’m not gonna lie, there have been days I just sat there and ate it straight out of the bowl with a fork.

There are so many delicious ways to make chicken salad, but I really hope you enjoy this version of one. Apple pecan chicken salad is just my current favorite, and I’m fairly sure in a few months I’ll have a new one I’m dying to share. Until then, happy eating!

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Try this Pecan Chicken Salad recipe on…

Also check out these other lunch sandwiches!

Two Apple Pecan Chicken Salads
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Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Simple, but delicious chicken salad with crisp, tart apples, crunchy buttery pecans and a creamy dressing.
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken salad, easy lunch, lunch, meal prep, recipes, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 498kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces shredded chicken canned or fresh*
  • 1 medium granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4* cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar

Instructions

  • If using canned chicken, drain well. Add chicken to a bowl.
  • Chop pecans, and finely dice apples. Add to chicken.
  • Top with remaining ingredients and stir until well coated.
  • Serve on sliced bread, crackers, or just eat it!

Notes

* Canned chicken is moist, but needs to be drained. Also break down the larger chunks with your spoon either before or during mixing. Fresh shredded chicken will absorb mayo differently, avoid rapid or overmixing or it can get mushy.
*If using fresh chicken it may require a little more mayo (3/4 cup) to taste well dressed.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 576mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2.1mg

Originally published 5/29/19, Updated 12/29/19

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The Vinaigrette Ratio: How to Make Vinaigrette Dressing https://www.theflourhandprint.com/how-to-make-vinaigrette-a-complete-guide/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/how-to-make-vinaigrette-a-complete-guide/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2019 15:50:00 +0000 http://theflourhandprint.com/?p=6377 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Homemade vinaigrette dressing is one of the easiest and most delicious way to dress up your food. With the vinaigrette ratio you can learn how to make vinaigrette dressing in just a few minutes. This complete guide walks you through the ratio […]

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Homemade vinaigrette dressing is one of the easiest and most delicious way to dress up your food. With the vinaigrette ratio you can learn how to make vinaigrette dressing in just a few minutes. This complete guide walks you through the ratio and both emulsified vinaigrette and classic vinaigrette salad dressing, with tons of recipes to inspire!

One of the most versatile, easy to prepare things you can learn to make is a homemade vinaigrette dressing. With little more than a whisk and your pantry, you can make a vinaigrette salad dressing that can also be a marinade or finishing sauce for proteins, veggies, and numerous other dishes.

With the vinaigrette ratio in hand I’m positive I can help you not only master a basic vinaigrette dressing recipe, but unleash your creativity with tons of new combos and flavors. I think you’ll find yourself whipping them up all the time!

The Vinaigrette Ratio

Vinaigrette, at its core, is simply a mixture of vinegar and oil with some flavor added to it.

With a good quality oil, a flavorful vinegar, and a pinch of salt, a classic vinaigrette salad dressing can transform even the most mundane greens. First, you need to know the most important tool for building a homemade vinaigrette – the ratio.

1 Part Vinegar to 3 Parts Oil. This very simple vinaigrette ratio is the secret to a successful oil and vinegar salad dressing.

While that alone is all you truly need – the vinaigrette ratio is a starting point, a platform from which to develop flavor to your tastes. From there you add salt, spices, sweeteners, fresh ingredients or pantry staples to create flavorful and unique dressings. Once you’ve mastered your favorite combos, you can even tweak the ratio for a punchier – or less punchy – dressing!

Oil & Vinegar: Your Basic Go-to’s

So which vinegar and oil should you choose? There are TONS of options out there, and if you’re new to homemade vinaigrette how can you decide? There’s no wrong decision! But here’s a quick list of the basics that can get you going.

Oil Options

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the gold standard of vinaigrette and for good reason. Fresh, quality olive oil can have a variety of background notes, from herbaceous to spicy depending on the region it was harvested from.
    • Choose an oil that has either a production or harvest date listed on the bottle, and if possible a certification from the AOC or DOP (European oils) or the CA olive oil council to ensure the freshest oil. (Selling rancid or fraudulent extra virgin olive oil is a real thing!)
  • Grapeseed, Canola, Vegetable, or other neutral oils – There are no hard or fast rules that say you have to use olive oil, even if I’d personally recommend it for flavor. If you want to give a neutral (and often cheaper) oil a try, they will work! Blending olive oil and a neutral, less expensive oil is also a great idea.
  • Infused oils – One fun way to flavor a classic vinaigrette is with an infused oil. You can buy them, I often find them at farmers markets and festivals, or you can make your own! Be aware, using all infused oil in a vinaigrette can be strong! Try substituting 1 of the 3 parts oil with infused oil to start.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola oil are perfect for vinaigrettes, neutral and light.

Vinegar Options

  • Balsamic Vinegar – If olive oil is the standard oil, balsamic is the standard vinegar choice. While classic balsamic is great, golden balsamic is also a delicious choice!
  • Wine Vinegar – Red, white, champagne, rice, they’re all great and classic additions.
  • Apple cider vinegar – I love this vinegar for adding a mildly sweet touch to my vinaigrette, especially if I’m using complementary fruit flavors.
  • Infused vinegar – Just like there are infused oils, there are TONS of infused vinegar out there, especially flavored balsamic. You can find these at specialty shops, farmers markets, and festival stalls, often sold along with those oils!
Basic vinegars that can make many different types of vinaigrettes.

TIP: Different vinegar can have different strengths, the 1:3 ratio will work, but adjusting the level of vinegar to oil to your tastes is always a good idea.

Jazzing up your Vinaigrette

Alright, you’ve got your oil and vinegar choices all picked out, now let’s chat about other additions, there are literally hundreds of combinations you can make to create unique homemade vinaigrette.

Pantry Staples

You may be surprised at the HUGE variety of vinaigrette dressings you can make with just the things in your cupboard and fridge, there are always options!

how to make vinaigrette pantry and fridge flavoring components, honey, mustard, capers, and worcestershire.
  • Mustard – Dijon, yellow, whole grain, the choice is yours! There are tons of mustard varieties and each can have a lovely affect on the flavor of your vinaigrette.
  • Sugar – white, brown, or maple syrup, a little bit of sweetener can go a long way in giving your vinaigrette a rounded flavor.
  • Capers, olives, pickles – salty, briny, tangy, I highly recommend experimenting with these!
  • Hot Sauce – Spicy vinaigrette is delicious!
  • Horseradish – a great addition to a creamy vinaigrette, especially on a salad with steak!
  • Tahini – A little bit of this, or other nut or seed butters can make a vinaigrette creamy and interesting.
  • Soy sauce – As an alternative to salt, especially paired with a rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and a bit of brown sugar can make a lovely Asian inspired salad dressing.
  • Seeds – Adding seeds may not add a lot of flavor, but poppy and sesame can have a great texture to your salad.
  • Dried spices & herbs – raid your spice cupboard if you need inspiration, paprika, cumin, and dried oregano are just a few of my favorites.
  • Cheeses – Hard cheeses like Parmesan, Asiago, Romano, and more can make lovely flavorful additions.

Fresh Ingredients

Perhaps more common, and for good reason, making homemade vinaigrette with fresh ingredients can produce BIG flavor, and permanently turn you off of the store bought stuff.

how to make vinaigrette citrus and fruits are wonderful for adding flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs – Chopped fresh herbs of any kind can be all you need to take a vinaigrette from basic to phenomenal. Basil, thyme, and dill are my 3 favorites.
  • Onions – A classic addition to a vinaigrette. A bit of diced shallot goes in almost all of mine. You can choose your favorite onions, or experiment with them to see which have the best flavor for you.
  • Garlic – Another staple addition, again, just a finely minced clove can elevate a basic dressing to a fantastic one.
  • Honey – A farm fresh local honey can have as much flavor variety as olive oil. Clover, Beechwood, or wildflower (to name only a small few) all taste wildly different – and so would your dressing!
  • Citrus – There is no wrong choice when it comes to citrus, lemon, oranges, limes and all the varieties they come in can make delicious homemade dressing. When using citrus juice, be sure to reduce or even eliminate the vinegar, as the acidity of the citrus replaces it.
  • Berries – Muddled or pureed fresh berries are a popular vinaigrette addition. I’m sure you’ve seen, and probably enjoyed a raspberry vinaigrette. Try them each, or even a blend for unique, sweet and tart dressing.
  • Fruits – Beyond berries, other fruits and fruit juices like apple, pomegranate, or tomato can all be full of fantastic flavor.
  • Vegetables – Yes, even these! Roasted red peppers, roasted pureed carrot, or roasted beets are just a few examples of vegetables being incorporated into a delicious dressing.

How to Make vinaigrette Dressing

Now that I’ve got your mind reeling through the possibilities of combinations, it’s time to put the vinaigrette ratio to work. There are a few methods that you can employ to make vinaigrette.

Method 1 – By Hand

  1. Combine your vinegar, salt, pepper, and any other flavoring ingredients in a bowl. Make sure it’s a big enough bowl to tolerate whisking.
  2. Begin whisking, once all your ingredients are combined, begin slowly adding your oil while continuing to whisk. DO NOT STOP WHISKING.
  3. Continue to add your oil in a stream, continually whisking, until all your oil is added.

Method 2 – MAson Jar SHaker

  1. Combine all your ingredients in a large enough mason jar, seal tightly.
  2. Shake vigorously until your vinaigrette comes together.

MEthod 3 – Blender Method (either Immersion or Upright)

  1. Combine your vinegar, salt, and any flavoring ingredients into a blender (or a bowl if using an immersion blender). Pulse to combine.
  2. With the blender running, begin pouring in your oil. Don’t dump in all at once, but also don’t go to slow or you’ll end up with a VERY thick vinaigrette. A strong steady stream is perfect.

*For this method be sure to leave any ingredients you want to stay intact after you blend (such as herbs).

Creamy Vinaigrette – The power of Emulsifiers

What the heck does an emulsified vinaigrette mean? It means creamy, dreamy vinaigrette dressing. To make an emulsified vinaigrette, or a dressing in which the oil and vinegar combine thoroughly into a creamy dressing that doesn’t separate (separation is their natural state), you need an emulsifying ingredient.

An emulsifier is any ingredient that can bind the oil and vinegar molecules into a uniform mixture. The most common of these are:

  • Egg yolk – If you’re worried about raw eggs, use pasteurized eggs…also consider that it’s not so different than eating and over easy or poached egg. Egg yolk can cause the vinaigrette to foam while mixing.
  • Mustard – Prepared mustard is an excellent emulsifier and great for flavor, dijon is the most popular.
  • Tomato Paste – Tomato paste makes a great emulsifier, and a great stabilizer, meaning your vinaigrette is unlikely to break.
  • Mayonnaise – If you’re not a fan of egg yolk, this can provide a similar effect with a neutral flavor.
  • Honey – It can work as an emulsifier, but it works best when used in conjunction with another, it can act as a stabilizer against breaking.
  • Yogurt – Works like mayonnaise! Greek yogurt is my preference, original or plain.

To utilize these, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of emulsifier per 1/2 cup of oil. For best results, combine the emulsifier with your vinegar and begin adding oil slowly, once it begins to appear creamy you can add the oil more quickly.

It’s possible to make these in a blender or in a jar, you’ll have to shake like mad for a jar recipe, and for the blender, be aware of it thickening too much (especially with egg yolks). I find that adding oil slowly until it comes together, then adding the rest all at once and blending to combine works best for my blender.

Vinaigrette Recipes to Enjoy!

You’re ready to go make some vinaigrette! Still need some inspiration? Here are some amazing recipes to get you started. With these fun, flavorful dressings you’ll see how a homemade vinaigrette can be exactly what YOU want. Some use less vinegar, some use less oil, but each are delicious and can dress up a salad, veggies, and so much more.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette – Ryan at Chisel and Fork has an easy, creamy bright dressing for you with this recipe. Great for your salads, or as a marinade!

Pomegranate Vinaigrette – Zesty, fruity and oh so pretty, this pomegranate dressing from Alisa at The Delicious Spoon is a bright and yummy way to dress up your salad.

Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette – Full of garlic flavor and easy to make, this versatile vinaigrette from Chef Markus at Earth, Food, and Fire will become a favorite in no time.

Parmesan Lemon Vinaigrette – A lemony, simple ‘make and shake’ vinaigrette with fresh Parmesan from Lisa at Delicious Table. An easy win for your dinner salad!

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette – The classics are classic for a reason, and this creamy, tangy, just sweet enough Balsamic vinaigrette from Katie at A Fork’s Tale hits all the right notes.

Citrus Lime Vinaigrette – Sweet, tangy, tart, and spicy…what else do you need? This dressing from Lisa at Downshiftology is packed with big flavor.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing – The perfect example of fresh fruit in a dressing, this sweet, tangy, and savory dressing from Rebecca at Sugar and Soul will have you enjoying raspberries all summer.

Maple Pumpkin Butter Vinaigrette – Toni at Boulder Locavore has some love for your fall and winter salads with this pumpkin butter dressing. Easy to make and full of seasonal flavor!

Strawberry Vinaigrette – Summer in a bottle! Fresh strawberries emulsify this bright, beautiful and vibrant homemade dressing from Robin at Mom Foodie.

a small glass carafe of basil balsamic vinaigrette on a beige towel surrounded by fresh basil leaves

Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette – Fresh, easy, and full of rich flavor, this simple vinaigrette uses only a few ingredients and can dress up any salad or veggie side dish.

FAQ’s

Do I have to stick to the ratio of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts oil?

No. As I stated, it’s a starting point for a perfectly good basic vinaigrette! Begin there and adjust per your tastes. Different vinegar, additions, or oils will affect how much of each you prefer.

My vinaigrette solidified in the fridge, why?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil becomes partially solid at cold temperatures. This does not mean your dressing is bad or spoiled. Simply remove from the fridge, and allow to come to room temp (or run under warm water) and mix before using.

Alternatively, using other neutral oils in an emulsified vinaigrette can prevent this from happening!

How long is a homemade vinaigrette good for?

You can safely store for 1 week in the fridge. I usually find that 1/4 cup vinegar to 3/4 cups oil makes just enough for a week of dressing.

If your dressing shows any discoloration or signs of spoilage before a week, dispose of it immediately. (Solidified oil does not apply, see question #2)

My vinaigrette keeps separating, why?

Either you didn’t use an emulsifier, or your dressing didn’t contain enough emulsifier to keep the vinegar and oil stuck together. This doesn’t mean your dressing is wrong or bad, simply shake and use.

I hope this guide to the Vinaigrette Ratio and how to make a delicious homemade vinaigrette will help you add some easy, big flavor to your cooking. I’d love to hear your favorite flavor combos – or your favorite way to use a vinaigrette, they go so far beyond salads! Until next time, Happy Eating!

Check out some of my Other Guides

Originally published 1/3/2018, Updated 12/27/2019

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Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting https://www.theflourhandprint.com/spice-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/spice-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting/#respond Sat, 21 Dec 2019 23:44:59 +0000 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=9037 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Soft, fluffy, and sweet spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are easy to make and even easier to eat! Simple but scrumptious spice cake cupcakes will be a hit at any fall or winter gathering, especially a holiday party. Step by step […]

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Soft, fluffy, and sweet spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are easy to make and even easier to eat! Simple but scrumptious spice cake cupcakes will be a hit at any fall or winter gathering, especially a holiday party. Step by step instructions and an easy recipe can have these ready to eat in an hour.

a spice cupcake with cream cheese frosting unwrapped on a grey towel beside a cinnamon stick in front of more cupcakes

There’s something so enticing about the combination of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Every year as soon as the hint of fall weather hits the air I can’t resist tossing them into almost everything I bake. All the delicious flavors during those months are enhanced by them, pumpkin, apple, pear…but sometimes, I really just want that spice combo to shine!

These spice cupcakes are exactly that, a celebration of warm winter spices, in scrumptious mini cake form. And…since you can’t have spice cake without a delectable icing, I topped these cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that’s ready to pipe in 5 minutes.

What are Winter Spices?

I’m sure you’ve heard the term before, but what exactly are the winter spices that are needed to make delicious things like spice cake cupcakes?

Winter, or warming spices, are exactly that, a collection of spices that are known to produce warming flavors when added to food. Why winter? Well, when the big flavors of fresh produce go out of season in colder months, they’ve been historically replaced with the bold flavors of dried spices like the ones we use today.

While there are many different spices that fall under the category of a warming spice (cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and so on), it takes the perfect blend of 4 to make spice cupcakes.

  • Cinnamon – A sweet and woody spice harvested from the inner bark of several different trees that belong to the Laurel tree family. It’s an ancient spice, used in Roman times, and popular still today for its recognizable and versatile flavor.
  • Nutmeg – The inner seed of the Indonesian nutmeg tree (the outer seed becomes mace!). It’s intensely flavored, and can impart warm, spicy flavors into both sweet and savory dishes. Ground nutmeg loses flavor quickly, while whole nutmeg has a long shelf life and a very intense flavor.
  • Allspice – Once believed to be a combination of many spices, allspice actually comes from 1 single cured berry from a Jamaican evergreen tree. It’s got big flavor and well loved by many cultures in both sweet and savory dishes. Look for deep colored allspice with intense aromas.
  • Clove – The dried flower bud from another Indonesian tree, these spices can be pierced into foods (like your ham) like little nails for big flavor and pretty presentation. You want whole cloves that still have the little round ball on top, and for optimal flavor, it’s best to grind your own! (You can use a coffee grinder)

What’s in Spice Cupcakes?

Aside from those few essential spices, there are a couple more vital ingredients that are necessary to make these tasty treats.

a large bowl of flour and of sugars, four eggs, a bowl of butter, a bowl of spices, a bottle of vanilla, and a carafe of milk on a white granite surface
  • Flour – All purpose does the trick here, no need for cake flour.
  • Brown & White Sugar – The perfect balance of brown and white sugar amplify the flavor of the spices and create a beautiful texture in the finished cupcake.
  • Winter Spices – Wouldn’t be much of a spice cupcake without them!
  • Baking powder – The leavening agent needed for that perfect fluffy texture.
  • Salt – Always!
  • Eggs – A few large, room temperature eggs provide structure to the cupcake so you end up with nice round tops.
  • Butter – Flavor, fat, texture, yum!
  • Milk – the sugar and the proteins in milk are also helpful for the overall structure of the cake.
  • Vanilla – Rarely do I bake a cake without it!

As always with my baking recipes, though I provide a volume measurement option, I recommend a kitchen scale as an inexpensive, but highly effective tool to ensuring consistent baked goods.

How to Make Spice Cupcakes

The process to make spice cake cupcakes follows the creaming method. It’s a simple, two bowl technique that can have cupcakes baking away in 10 to 15 minutes. After 18 minutes in the oven, you’ll have a dozen beauties cooling on the counter. This batter makes a total of 18 cupcakes.

a bowl of flour and spices blended, then an image of butter and sugar blended together, then of it mixed with eggs and vanilla, then it mixed with the flour
  1. First preheat your oven to 325°F and line a muffin tin with liners. Then I like to measure out all my dry ingredients and whisk them together. Set that aside for when you need it.
  2. Next combine the sugars and softened butter in a large bowl and beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy. Just a few minutes on medium speed will do.
  3. Begin adding the eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Then beat in the milk and vanilla. You should have a fluffy, pale brown batter.
  4. Add in all of your dry ingredients, no need to do this in steps. Then begin to fold it in gently, using a silicone spatula to lift, fold, and repeat. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It’s essential not to over work it at this stage, so don’t continue to use an electric mixer.
  5. Only mix until all the flour is incorporated, this should be a thick brown batter. Then you’re ready to portion into a muffin tin, I recommend a cookie scoop for consistent size in all your cupcakes. Don’t fill more than 3/4 of the way.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown, and spring back at a gentle touch. You can also use a toothpick in a center muffin to see if it comes out clean.
  7. When the cupcakes come out, move them out of the muffin tin onto a cooling rack. Don’t let them sit in the pan. This can cause overcooked cupcakes and the wrapper to stick to the outside of the cupcake rather than pull away clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting or storing.

As this batter makes 18 spice cupcakes, you’ll have batter left, it’s perfectly okay to sit on the counter while the first batch bakes.

A brown lined spice cupcake with white cream cheese frosting on a granite table with other cupcakes behind it

Spice Cake Frosting

There isn’t a question for me as to which frosting belongs on spice cake, it’s cream cheese all the way! You can of course frost your cupcakes with whatever you choose, but if you’re like me and want yummy cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, follow these simple steps:

  1. Cream together 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and 4 ounces of softened butter with a teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  2. Beat in 4 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time (obviously the last addition would only be a half cup).
  3. Add to a piping bag and decorate cool cupcakes!

I love this decorating kit, and the reusable piping bags that came with it are fantastic!!

FAQ’s

How do I store these?

Frosted cupcakes are safe to store at room temperature for several hours. If serving the next day or later, place in an airtight container in the fridge and pull out a few hours before serving to let them come up to room temperature again.

Unfrosted cupcakes are safe to store at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, or up to a week in the fridge before they lose they’re textural quality. Keep in an airtight container.

Can these be frozen?

Cake freezes very well, yes! Keep tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to three months. I would not freeze frosted cupcakes.

Can I double the batter?

Yes, I’ve done it and it works without a problem!

Can I bake this as a cake instead?

Yes, I’ve done this in mini springform pans (2 4 inch rounds and 12 cupcakes). For a standard 9 inch round cake pan I would double this recipe and get two round cakes from it.

Other Recipes you may Enjoy

Do you LOVE fall and winter flavors in your cupcakes? Check out these other amazing cupcakes…

Looking to up your baking game? Check out these guides:

a wooden board of cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
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Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fluffy and sweet spiced cupcakes with an easy to make cream cheese frosting are perfect for the fall and winter seasons
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword baked goods, baking, cupcakes, dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Second Bake time 18 minutes
Total Time 51 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 377kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour 1 3/4 cups
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup
  • 6 ounces brown sugar 3/4 cup
  • 3 ounces white sugar a shallow 1/2 cup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces milk 1/2 cup

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

Baking the Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, spices, salt, and baking powder, in a bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl beat the sugars and butter together until blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Add one egg at a time, beating each addition into the sugar/butter mixture completely before adding the next one.
  • Add in the milk and vanilla and beat until completely incorporated as well.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet batter and using a rubber spatula or spoon, fold the flour into the mix. Continue to gently lift and fold, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl until all the flour is incorporated and no dry spots remain.
  • Scoop into the cupcake liners so they're 3/4 of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18 minutes. When the tops are golden brown and spring back against a gentle touch, or a toothpick inserted comes out clean, remove from the oven.
  • Take baked cupcakes out of the tin and onto a cooling rack to cool, then repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting or storing. Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature or in the fridge for 1 week.

Making the Frosting

  • Beat together cream cheese, butter, salt, and vanilla until well blended and creamy.
  • Add one cup of sifted powdered sugar at a time, beating between each addition until all the powdered sugar is added and you have a creamy, sweet frosting with no lumps.
  • Add to piping bag or decorate cool cupcakes as desired.
  • Store unused frosting in the fridge for 1 week, and store frosted cupcakes in the fridge for up to 1 week. Allow to come to room temp before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 556IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

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Peanut Brittle {Microwave Peanut Brittle} https://www.theflourhandprint.com/peanut-brittle-microwave-peanut-brittle/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/peanut-brittle-microwave-peanut-brittle/#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2019 00:26:45 +0000 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=8964 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Homemade peanut brittle is easy to make with this microwave peanut brittle recipe. In less than an hour you can have crunchy, caramelized sugar with salted, roasted peanuts ready to eat! My mom’s peanut brittle was always the best. It sat in […]

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Homemade peanut brittle is easy to make with this microwave peanut brittle recipe. In less than an hour you can have crunchy, caramelized sugar with salted, roasted peanuts ready to eat!

a white surface with broken chunks of microwave peanut brittle on it

My mom’s peanut brittle was always the best. It sat in a tin on the counter sometime near the beginning of the holiday season. When I moved out I took with me a hand copied notebook of all the recipes I loved, and this microwave peanut brittle recipe was among them.

Truth is, it’s taken me a while to master! Microwaves are finicky things, mine probably doesn’t work exactly the same as yours. But with practice, and then some more practice, I’ve finally mastered the tricks and tips to making perfect homemade peanut brittle every time – with only your microwave. Nifty right? This is a perfect holiday food gift, or just a delicious treat to have around the house.

What is peanut brittle?

The origin of peanut brittle is a bit hazy, maybe it was a kitchen accident, or a primitive first candy made hundreds of years ago, the stories are unclear and vary!

But do know that peanut brittle is just one of many possible variations of brittle. Different countries and cultures across the world use other nuts and seeds and flavorings to make unique and delicious forms of hard sugar brittle. However here in the US, peanut brittle is top dog.

The basics of brittle remain the same no matter it’s additions. Sugar is cooked to the hard crack stage (300°F), mixed with optional additions (nuts, seeds, spices, extracts, butter, baking soda), and poured to cool until set.

Ingredients

With so many options for additions, where does one begin? Luckily from generations of testing I have the perfect ratio of a select few ingredients to make a salty, caramelized sweet sugar candy.

Ingredients for peanut brittle: a bowl of peanuts, a bowl of sugar, a bowl of karo syrup, a teaspoon of butter, and baking soda, and a bottle of vanilla on a wooden table
  • Sugar – Granulated white sugar is perfect.
  • Light Corn Syrup – The combination of corn syrup and white sugar allows the candy to harden to that delicious crunch without being grainy. DO NOT SKIP!
  • Roasted, salted peanuts – Technically you can use any form of peanut, but roasted, salted peanuts produce the best final flavor in my opinion.
  • Butter – Fat is another important addition to prevent the sugar from becoming grainy when it hardens. Just a touch!
  • Vanilla Extract – Yum! That’s all I need to say.
  • Baking Soda – When mixed with hot sugar it produces a foaming reaction that creates bubbles in your brittle, which leads to a crispy, crunchy brittle that doesn’t crack teeth.

Read more about the science of sugar in candy making in this article!

Equipment I RECOMMEND for Making Brittle

For the easiest process, and the easiest clean up, I recommend a few specific tools.

  • Instant Read Thermometer – Because you’re using a microwave, a candy thermometer would take too long to read the temperature, use an instant read to make sure you’d hit the necessary hard crack stage.
  • A silicone spatula or scraper – You’re going to be stirring hot sugar, and this makes getting the sugar back into the bowl so much easier.
  • A baking mat – The EASIEST clean up I’ve ever had was using this. There’s no prep needed, just pour on the brittle until set, and it lifts right off. It’s just a quick wipe clean too!
  • A clear glass bowl or casserole dish – Part of making peanut brittle in the microwave is watching the color of the sugar. A clear cooking vessel makes it so much easier. I recommend something no smaller than 1.5 qt.
  • Pot holders or hand protection – the bowl you’re cooking in gets HOT! Handle with caution!

How to Make Microwave Peanut Brittle

The greatest part about microwave peanut brittle is the quick and easy process. In about 15 minutes, measuring, stirring, microwaving, and pouring included, I had my peanut brittle cooling on the counter. 30 minutes later it was ready to break and enjoy!

6 part process collage for making microwave brittle, the sugar mixed, then boiling, then it beginning to caramelize, then it darker with peanuts in it, then it foaming with baking soda added, then it spread on a baking mat

For the easiest time making homemade peanut brittle, I recommend getting all your ingredients measured out and reading the recipe ahead of time! Get your baking mat (or a lightly buttered cookie sheet) ready and your ingredients laid out in an step by step fashion.

  1. Mix the sugar and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl until most of the dry sugar is absorbed. This doesn’t need to be a perfect blend.
  2. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes. You’re looking for rapid bubbling and a completely melted mixture. When the surface of your mixture is covered in pale, clear bubbles pull it out. Remove with pot holders and stir in the peanuts quickly.
  3. Return to the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes (it was 4 1/2 minutes exactly for me), until the sugar syrup has changed to a light brown. Think the color of butterscotch. This stage is the most tricky as your sugar can burn quickly, it’s COMPLETELY OKAY to pause the microwave and check the color during the 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Using pot holders remove the bowl again and add butter and vanilla, and stir it in. This will deepen the color and sizzle quite a lot. That’s normal and expected! Return to the microwave with your potholders.
  5. Heat for another 1 to 2 minutes. The color will deepen further, the peanuts will be lightly browned, and the bowl will be very hot. Check the temp with your thermometer and remove (carefully) if at 300°F. Add in your baking soda and stir! The brittle will foam pretty swiftly but stir until all the baking soda is completely dissolved.
  6. Quickly pour the brittle onto your prepared surface. Use your spatula to spread quickly, but gently. If you wait too long to spread it, it will collapse the bubbles so don’t wait!
  7. Let cool. When brittle is completely cool to the touch and feels firm and hard (anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour) break it apart. I just use my hands!
  8. Store in an airtight container. If planning for longer storage, layer between sheets of wax paper and store in a dark, cool place for best quality. It can be stored for up to 2 months.
a jar of peanut brittle with a few pieces taken out on a wooden table.

Extra Brittle Making Tips

  • Don’t wait too long between microwaving sessions, the sugar can cool and it will take longer than the times I’ve listed to get it back up to temp.
  • If you’ve gone past or needed much less than the advised time at any stage that’s OK! Your microwave may work differently than mine, which is why I provided average time ranges.
  • Do NOT flour the baking sheet if you’re using a buttered surface to cool your brittle.
  • If you want to break the brittle with a knife or rolling pin, cover with wax or parchment first. Shards can fly off and they end up all over the place!

FAQ’s

Can I use a different nut?

Yes! You can substitute your preferred nut, cashews, pecans, and almonds are all highly recommended. You can even make a mixed nut brittle.

Do I need a thermometer?

It’s possible to do this without a thermometer if you’re confident you can tell the stages of sugar by color. My mom does it this way and it always works (it’s a secret power I’m convinced), if you’re AT ALL unsure, go with a thermometer.

Can I make this on the stove?

In theory yes. Sugar can of course be cooked on the stove top, but the steps and processes will differ. It would be a process of cooking the sugar and corn syrup to 300°F, adding in the peanuts, butter, and vanilla, stirring, then adding in the baking soda and pouring onto a prepared surface.

If you try this before I do, I’d love to hear how it works out!

Can I freeze brittle?

No, I don’t recommend it.

Why is my brittle sticky?

If it’s slightly sticky to the touch, that’s okay. I often find that I prefer brittle a day or two after I’ve made it the best as it dries out a little bit.

If however it is sticking horribly to your teeth when you bite in (a little is normal but if it’s like jaw glue…) then it was likely not cooked to the proper temperature.

My brittle tastes bitter, why?

The most likely cause is that some of the sugar or nuts burned during the cooking process. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on the color and temperature of your brittle. If anything turns a deep brown color, it’s burned.

If your microwave is old school like mine and doesn’t have a turn table, rotate it manually every minute or so.

Stacked peanut brittle on a white burlap strip with scattered brittle shards around it

Enjoy!

The beauty of such an easy to make, long lasting treat is that in one hour you can be eating your homemade peanut brittle, and still be enjoying it two months from now. I’ll be straight up – no way is it going to last that long, but for homemade gifts, it’s the ideal present. No need to worry about staleness, dryness, or any other food gift woes. Since it’s so easy to make, you can whip up a new batch and have it cooling on your counter in 20 minutes. That’s my kind of candy making.

I hope you enjoy crunching on your brittle, and until next time, Happy Eating!

Other Food Gifts You May Enjoy

Other Homemade Candies!

Four pieces of peanut brittle stacked on a burlap sheet on a wooden table with scattered peanuts and brittle around it
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Microwave Peanut Brittle

A quick process that results in crunchy, sweet and salty peanut brittle that lasts up to 2 months.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword candy, dessert, gifting, snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cool Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 269kcal
Author Mikayla M

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanuts, roasted and salted
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter 4.73 grams
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  • Prepare all your ingredients, have them measured out and ready to go. Prepare a non stick baking mat or a lightly buttered baking sheet.
  • Stir together karo syrup and sugar in a microwave safe bowl.* Place in microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the surface of the mixture is covered in clear rapid bubbles.
  • Remove carefully from microwave*. Stir in peanuts quickly and return to microwave and heat for another 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar and peanut mixture has turned a pale butterscotch color. Watch carefully, pausing the microwave to check if necessary to avoid burning of your sugar.
  • Remove from microwave carefully, and stir in the vanilla and butter. The mixture will sizzle and deepen in color.
  • When completely mixed in, return to microwave and heat another 1 to 2 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature, when it has reached 300°F, remove from microwave.
  • Quickly add and stir in the baking soda. It will cause the mixture to foam rapidly. Stir the soda in completely then pour on your prepared cooling surface. Try to spread the mixture evenly as you pour.*
  • Let cool for 30 minutes (up to an hour). When completely cool and hard, break into shards and store in an airtight container. Layer between wax paper and store in a dark, cool place for longest lasting quality. Safe to store up to 2 months.

Notes

*Using a clear bowl is recommended. Use a bowl no smaller than 1.5 qts. 
*USE POTHOLDERS! The bowl will be hot and only get hotter, do not handle without hand protection. 
*Once poured, you can also quickly spread it with your spatula to even it out. Do this quickly to prevent collapsing the air from the baking soda. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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Pear Butter Recipe https://www.theflourhandprint.com/pear-butter-recipe/ https://www.theflourhandprint.com/pear-butter-recipe/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:22:58 +0000 https://www.theflourhandprint.com/?p=8926 This page contains affiliate links. For more information please read my Disclosure Policy. Lightly sweetened cooked pears with citrus and warm spices transform into a delicious thick pear butter that makes a fantastic spread or cheese topping. This no pectin pear butter recipe is easy to make, and canning pear butter makes it shelf stable […]

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Lightly sweetened cooked pears with citrus and warm spices transform into a delicious thick pear butter that makes a fantastic spread or cheese topping. This no pectin pear butter recipe is easy to make, and canning pear butter makes it shelf stable and enjoyable all year long. Read on for the easy walk through on how to make it!

Six jars of pear butter on a wooden table with a whole pear and a few cinnamon sticks

Have you ever had a fruit butter? If you’re scratching your head at what the heck pear butter is, prepare to have your world blown. If you’re familiar with it, you know how incredibly delicious a sweet, thick fruit butter can be. It’s a lovely topping for cheese, a delicious spread on your pb&j’s, and a wonderful mix in for yogurt or granola. Or you know, just eat it off a spoon!

This pear butter recipe is a truly beautiful way to preserve the flavor of pears at their peak. Mixed with a touch of orange and lemon, warm winter spices, and just enough sugar to thicken and sweeten the butter, it’s a delicious canning recipe to make for loved ones as food gifts, or just to stock your cupboard.

Choosing your Pears

Just like apples, there are many different varieties of pears out there, and each have their own distinctive taste, texture, and level of sweetness.

three bartlett pears on a brown towel

We used a very common, easy to find pear called the Bartlett pear. It’s sweet, and gets soft and juicy when ripe. Since the pears are being cooked down, you can use a pear with a firmer texture, but be sure to use one with comparable sweetness. Here’s a handy pear variety list you can check out, but these are the pears I recommend:

  • Bartlett Pears – both the green and red varieties
  • Red & Green Anjou
  • Starkrimson

Ingredients for Pear Butter

There are tons of different ways to make a pear butter, but for this particular pear butter recipe, it’s a combination of citrus and spice that enhance the natural flavors of pear for a decadent spread.

A bowl of frozen pear chunks beside two white bowls with lemon and orange juice in front of a pile of cloves, a cinnamon stick, and orange and lemon peels beside a bowl of sugar
  • Pears – You need 4 lbs, which should be around 8 to 10 pears. You can use frozen peeled pears, or fresh peeled pears. In the photograph above is 4 lbs of pears we previously processed and froze for later use.
  • Sugar – Unlike jams and jellies, this doesn’t require a ton of sugar to set. Simple white sugar works, granulated, cane, or coconut.
  • Orange Juice & Peel – You’ll need about 1 orange juiced, don’t discard the peel! You’ll need to slice two strips, about 1/2 inch wide from the peel. scrape off as much white as you can.
  • Lemon Juice & Peel – 2 Tablespoons of juice and same process for the peel as above.
  • Whole Cloves – You’ll need about 14 whole cloves.
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1 good cinnamon stick will do.
  • Vanilla – Learn how to make your own vanilla here!
  • Nutmeg – Just enough to finish off the spices.

Equipment for Canning PEar Butter

If you’re interested in making this recipe shelf stable (a great idea for long term enjoyment and as an easy gift during the holiday season!) you’ll need the follow equipment.

Your pear butter can also be frozen if you prefer, which requires only freezer safe containers of choice.

How to Make Pear Butter

The process of making this pear butter recipe is as simple as dump, stir occasionally, and then store. This makes a total of about 52 ounces of pear butter, so six 8 ounce jars plus a little extra to use right away (we stuck it in a little 4 ounce jar in the fridge), or whatever combination of jar sizes you prefer. It can go as fast as an hour, to several hours, depending on your stove and how closely you’re willing to pay attention.

A large steel pot containing cooked pear butter on top of a granite slab on a wooden table
Cooked pear butter
  1. First prepare your ingredients as needed.
    1. Peel and chop pears if using fresh. We prefer an applesauce texture to our fruit butter so you can either pulse lightly in a blender now, use an immersion blender during cooking, or cook and mash with a potato masher by hand.
    2. Juice and prepare your citrus rinds. For each strip of citrus rind (2 orange, 2 lemon) be sure to scrape as much white as you can from the back to prevent bitterness.
    3. Pierce both orange rind strips with 4 cloves each, and both lemon rind strips with 3 cloves.
    4. Combine the pears, sugar, citrus juices, rinds with cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, and a broken cinnamon stick into a large pot.
    5. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
    6. Now you have choices….
      1. Cook low and slow, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and scorching on the bottom of the pan.
      2. Cook over higher heat and be more attentive to the pan, stirring more frequently to ensure the bottom of the pan doesn’t scorch.
    7. Continue cooking until pears have thickened. They should mound on the spoon and run off slowly. It will also be a deeper, richer yellow color.
    8. Remove the citrus rinds and cinnamon stick pieces. If cloves have fallen off into the butter, you can fish them out, or leave them in, it won’t hurt anything, simply remove when eating.
    9. For freezing, ladle into freezer safe containers, leaving about an inch of space for expansion at the top, and let cool to room temperature. Then freeze!
a small jar of pear butter piled thickly on a spoon in front of a fresh pear and several other jars of sealed pear butter

How to can your Pear Butter

If canning, there are a few extra easy steps.

  1. While pears are cooking down, go ahead and prepare your canning pot. Place in your canning rack and fill it with enough water to cover your chosen jars by 1 inch. Bring to a boil.
  2. When pears are almost done, heat your jars. This can be done by briefly submerging in the boiling water or by running them through a rinse and dry cycle on your dishwasher (without anything else in it).
  3. When pear butter is done cooking remove jars and flip to dry if needed. Then ladle in pear butter using your funnel to keep the rims clean. Leave between 1/4″ and 1/2″ of head space between the butter and the seal of the jar.
  4. If there are any drips on the top of the jars, wipe clean with a damp paper towel then dry.
  5. Using hand protection place seals and lids on your filled jars and screw them down as tight as you can by hand.
  6. Submerge your jars into the boiling water and let them process for 10 minutes. Make sure the water is at a full boil the whole time.
  7. Remove and set on a towel until the lids pop. You’ll hear this, or you can check by pressing down on the center of the lid, if it moves and make a clicking sound it hasn’t sealed yet. This can take a few minutes to a few hours. Once they’ve sealed and are cool to the touch, store in the cupboard for up to 18 months!
several jars of pear butter after being processed in a water bath on a tan towel

FAQ’s

Can I use ground spices?

Yes. If you don’t have whole cloves substitute the whole cloves for about 1 teaspoon of cloves. For 1 cinnamon stick, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Can I half this recipe?

Yes, you can split this recipe in half and it will work. You can also double it.

I don’t need pectin for this?

No, this won’t ‘set’ like a jam or a jelly, its a thickened cooked fruit spread.

How long will this last in the freezer?

About 1 year.

An 8 ounce jar of a pear butter recipe with two cinnamon sticks sitting beside it on a wooden table.

I hope you enjoy spooning this over everything like we do. It’s just sweet enough with a nice hint of citrus and spices. Plus its much lower in sugar than your average fruit preserve so I feel okay spreading a layer on my son’s peanut butter sandwiches. Boy does he love it! Enjoy, and until next time, Happy Eating!

Other Preserve REcipes you May ENjoy

ENjoy your Pear butter on…

Six jars of pear butter on a wooden table with a whole pear and a few cinnamon sticks
Print

Pear Butter

Sweet pears, warm spices, and a hint of winter citrus make this pear butter recipe a winter canning favorite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Canning Time, optional 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 104 2 Tablespoon servings
Calories 21kcal

Equipment

  • Canning pot with rack
  • ladle
  • Funnel
  • Seven 8 ounce mason jars
  • Jar clamps

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs pears fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 14 whole cloves or 1 tsp ground
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • If using fresh pears begin my coring, peeling, and dicing your pears. You can also pop them into a blender or food processor and pulse lightly to finely chop (not puree). Or place them in your cooking pot and use an immersion blender.*
  • Juice your lemon and orange, reserving the peel. Cut two 1/2 inch wide strips from each the lemon and the orange peel and using a small sharp knife, scrape off as much of the white pith underneath as possible.
  • Pierce each peel strip with the knife and stick a clove through it (unless using ground then skip this step).
  • Add pears, sugar, citrus juice, spices, and citrus peel to a large pot. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer the pears until they've thickened and reduced, stirring every few minutes. About 1 hour.
  • The pear butter is done when it mounds on the spoon (holds it's shape when scooped up) and slides very slowly off the spoon. It will look deeper in color and thicker.
  • If freezing, ladle into freezer safe containers, leaving 1 inch of space at the top for and allow to cool before sealing and freezing for up to 1 year. For canning, move to next step.

Canning Instructions

  • While pear butter is cooking, bring a large canning pot full of water to a boil. You need a canning rack and enough water to cover the jars you use by 1 inch when submerged.
  • When pear butter is very close to done heat clean jars by submerging in boiling water then removing and turning upside down on a towel to dry a minute or so. Set new seals and clean lids close at hand.
  • When pear butter is done place a funnel in the mouth of warm jars and fill each jar, leaving only 1/4" to 1/2" of space between the butter and the rim of jar.
  • If any butter is on the rims carefully wipe off and place seals and lids on jars. Using hand protection tightly seal the lids as much as you can by hand.
  • Place the jars in the boiling water and let process for 10 minutes. When done, remove to towel and let sit until the lids pop (no longer move or click when pressed on). Store in cupboard for up to 18 months.

Notes

*You can use frozen pears, simple thaw and pulse in blender or food processor to break down or cook from frozen and use an immersion blender or a potato masher when thaw and beginning to break down. If using an immersion blender, you’ll need to momentarily remove the citrus peel and cinnamon stick. 
*Times may vary depending on the stove you’re using and the temperature you’re cooking at. To speed up the cooking, keep at a rapid simmer and stir frequently to prevent sticking. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbs | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

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