...When to substitute honey for sugar? How do you decide when to substitute raw sugar instead of substituting honey?
So asked one of my friends the other day and I thought it was an excellent question that deserved to be addressed in its own post. Here was my response to her:
I substitute honey for refined sugar in everything except recipes where I don't particularly want the honey taste. For example, I've been making different kinds of sweeter salad dressings lately and use raw sugar for them (or the "less refined," less coarse, light brown sugar that's usually found near the raw sugar). If it were a honey mustard dressing, honey would probably be perfect, but not for poppy seed, etc. But for anything you bake, such as cookies, cakes, and sweet breads, honey is the perfect substitute.
Raw sugar is the better option when making things like homemade ice cream or frosting (or something like that cranberry-orange caramel popcorn that calls for more than one type of sweetener). Part of it is also a texture issue. Raw sugar is crunchy because the grains are so large, so for those items you don't want crunchy, you need to heat it till it melts.
Short answer: I try to use honey as the substitute as much as I can, since it is healthier than raw sugar. But it's nice to have another option for those times when I prefer a natural granular sweetener with less harmful effects than refined sugar.