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Great Cornbread Muffins 2 Ways — Sweet or Savory

Posted: by in Culinary Delights, Culinary Trends

I love cornbread. When I was growing up, my Southern grandmother made cornbread in a variety of ways, usually the kind that isn’t sweet and sometimes she added fresh corn with cayenne pepper or sometimes even jalapeños. Then there’s the time she did it with big clumps of sharp cheddar. That would be my favorite recipe from then on and in the years since, I’ve played around with it, making it both sweet and savory and anyway you do it, if sharp cheddar is your thing, then this cornbread is a must. If sweet is the way you like to go, see the second recipe!

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Cornbread Muffins

This recipe calls for crumbled cheddar cheese. It’s very easy to do by hand. Put on a clean pair of prep or latex gloves. Take your block of cheddar, halve or quarter it to about an 8 ounce portion and then poke it with a knife or fork in a few places to help break it up. Then break it into big pieces by hand. Many cheddars will still have some curd in them and will break accordingly, others won’t be so yielding, so you’ll have to poke them again with your fork to get nice, uneven crumbles of cheddar. Sure, you can cube your cheddar too but I think crumbled looks better.

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon baking powder

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 8 oz. can corn
1 cup (crumbled by hand) sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12 regular (1/3-cup) muffin cups. Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.

In another bowl, whisk buttermilk and egg and add in melted butter. Strain corn and add to mixture and stir. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until incorporated (do not over-mix). Now add 1 cup of crumbled cheddar to the mix. Crumbles should be relatively large, about the size of a dime or a nickel. This will result in nice chunks of solid cheese in the muffins.

Once the cheese is stirred in, divide batter equally prepared into muffin cups. Bake for 12 minutes. Add shredded cheese to the top of muffins and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until muffin edges turn a dark golden color and toothpick inserted into muffin center comes out clean.

Cool on rack 10 minutes. Serve with sweet butter, honey butter or have them just as they are!

Maple and Brown Sugar Cornbread Muffins

If you’re a fan of honey butter (like me) go ahead and use honey on place of the maple syrup. If you opt for honey, you may want to cut back on the brown sugar just a tad since the combo can be a bit too sweet for some.

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 8 oz. can creamed corn
1/2 cup brown sugar (for topping)

Maple Butter Ingredients:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (pref dark) or honey

*Paper muffin cups are preferable with this recipe, so use them if you have them.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12 regular (1/3-cup) muffin cups or butter or grease tin. Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add creamed corn to mixture and stir.
Combine we mixture to dry mixture. Stir just until incorporated (do not over-mix).
Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers.

Bake for 12 minutes. Open oven and sprinkle ample amounts of brown sugar to the tops of muffins. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until muffin edges turn a dark golden color and toothpick inserted into muffin center comes out clean.

While muffins bake, combine maple butter. Ingredients can be mixed together by hand or with a food processor (2 or 3 pulses ought to do it).

Remove muffins and cool on rack 10 minutes. Serve with maple butter and enjoy!

Read up more on the interesting history of cornbread. It really is more American than apple pie!

Happy Eating!



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