Woodford Reserve Recipes by Chef Ouita Michel

Onion Walnut Muffins
The tangy sweetness of the onion pair with the walnuts to really bring out the nutty flavors of Woodford and lengthen the finish, slightly sweet, savory and nutty—all great flavors for a Woodford Reserve Cocktail

1 cup pureed onion
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
6 Tbsp. Sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. Baking Ppowder
1 ½ cups Walnuts, chopped
1 ½ cups flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
1. Puree the onion in a food processor.
2. Beat the melted butter together with the eggs. Add the Puree of onion and mix well.
3. Add the sugar—beat for 2-3 minutes.
4. Stir in the salt.
5. Stir in the baking powder
6. Stir in the walnuts—fully incorporate each ingredient.
7. Mix in the flour. Stir until no flour lumps and all well mixed.
8. Scoop into a sprayed mini muffin pan with a 1 ounce scoop or 2 Tbsp. of batter per little cup.
9. Bake about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Note: We split these and serve them with country ham—the saltiness of the ham is a great counter point to Woodford.
We also serve them with a gingered cream cheese or apricot preserves—all delicious.

Holly Hill's Cheese Wafers
Makes 4 dozen silver dollar size
Cheese is a wonderful pair with Woodford Reserve. Aged Cheeses natural saltiness and sweetness makes it a great combination with Woodford. These little morsels are perfect at Derby.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature—some times when making an extra large batch we leave the butter out over night in a cooler spot of the house
2 cups flour
1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese—we use sharp white cheese
¼ tsp. cayenne or more to your liking
Fresh thyme leaves or a pecan piece if you want to get extra fancy
1. Bring the butter and flour together quickly to form a very soft dough. They should be well combined but do not over knead. I use the paddle attachment of a Kitchen Aid mixer for about 4-5 minutes.
2. Add the grated cheese and the cayenne- bring together until the cheese is well incorporated but not over mixed. In the mixer, this would be about 3-4 minutes.
3. Roll the dough into logs about 3 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze at this point.
4. Slice each log into 1/8 of an inch discs. If you've decided to get fancy, press a leaf of thyme or another hearty fresh herb or pecan piece into the center of the circle. Bake on parchment or lightly sprayed cookie sheet 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. They are a little soft when first removed from the oven. Let them cool just a bit on the cookie sheet, and then you can lift them off to a plate.
Spiced Nuts
Nuts are classic with Woodford Reserve. Here we are trying to echo and enhance the wonderful nutty flavors already present in Woodford.
1 pound of your favorite nut-- I like pecan halves, walnuts, unsalted roasted peanuts and pistachios. You can also mix the nuts together
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of sugar
1 Tbsp. Cajun Spice Mix we make our own—or if you don't have a mix, just add ½ tsp. or so of cayenne- what ever your spicy inclinations are.
1. Whisk the egg white in a large bowl until frothy and no liquid remains.
2. Toss the nuts, sugar, salt and spices with the egg whites until evenly coated.
3. Spread on a sheet pan and bake at 300-325 degrees until golden and slightly crunchy. The nuts will harden and crisp when they are removed from the oven.
Notes: Sugared nuts like these keep for a long time- especially if you freeze them. They provide a finish ingredient for me—I sprinkle them on lentil salad or roulade of pork or pair them with a Kentucky Cheese plate. We have also done pumpkin seeds from our Jack o lanterns this way! Delicious.

Benne Wafers
¾ cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
5 Tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2cup toasted sesame seeds—spread them on a cookie sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven until nice and brown and nutty smelling.
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Scramble the eggs together and drizzle into the butter and sugar whipping as you go. Take a pinch of batter and rub it, if you can feel the sugar, keep whipping until it is almost gone or less pronounced.
3. Combine the flour with the salt and the baking powder; sift it into the sugar mix and fold in. Fold in the vanilla and finally the sesame seeds.
4. Drop by the ½ teaspoon full on to a non stick cookie sheet, silicone baking sheet or buttered cookie sheet. This is the tricky part-- They will spread quite a bit during baking so get out the little measuring spoon, don't use one from the silverware drawer or your wafers will be too big! Leave plenty of space on the sheet for spreading. Bake 8 minutes at 375 degrees.
5. Cool briefly and remove with thin spatula while still a little pliable. Don't wait too long or they will break when lifted! As they cool, the wafers become crisp.

Passed County Ham on Baby Cheddar Biscuits

2 dozen biscuits
2 cups AP flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
2 ¼ tsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. Crisco shortening
1 Tbsp.  Butter
1. Sift dry ingredients together.
2. Cut in butter and shortening until pebble consistency.
3. Add cheese.
4. Beat yolk and milk together. Add to flour mix- until proper consistency—just bringing the dough together—do not work or knead, should be fairly stiff.
5. Roll on floured board to about 14" thick. Cut with a small- no larger than 2"  biscuit cutter.
6. Place on a buttered baking sheet. Brush with a little melted butter and bake in 400 degree oven til golden and done- about 15 minutes.
To assemble the country ham biscuits:
Cool the biscuits- gently split- add shaved country ham in the middle. Apple or pear butter is great here either inside or on top but not necessary.
To make a nice biscuit, count on a little less 1 ounce of thinly sliced ham per biscuit. 1 pound of country ham should be enough for 24 biscuits.