While I can never get enough of sweet, cornmeal-based muffins and cakes, I wanted The Bug to feel like this month, the Baketogether project was almost entirely hers to drive. So following her preference, we headed in a savory and spicy direction with our muffins.
Our “mix-ins” made our corn muffins a natural complement to our Sunday dinner of grilled chicken marinated in The Homesick Texan’s marvelous barbecue sauce, a white corn and English Pea saute and a crunchy green salad, featuring lettuce from our garden. We chose an aged cheddar — a three-year rather than a five-year-old cheese — so while the sharp flavor came through, the younger cheese melted softly into the muffin. A heaping teaspoon of finely diced jalapeno pepper provided an unexpected kick, the scallions a mild onion flavor. Fresh California white corn? What can I say, it’s a welcome, sweet addition in every dish where it makes an appearance.
Following Abby’s suggestions, we made a few changes to the original recipe — reduced the amount of sugar, increased the amount of salt — but we also used a mild olive oil instead of the vegetable oil the recipe called for. I handled prep for the mix-ins (too much knife work for my almost-11-year-old), The Bug measured and whisked the remaining ingredients together, and then scooped the batter into the muffin pan. The muffins baked for a little more than 20 minutes until their tops were lightly golden. Underneath their wonderfully crunchy tops lies a tender crumb — buttermilk and The Bug’s light hand when mixing made the difference.
We loved the soft crumb with the savory flavors. The Bug even suggested we increase the amount of jalapeno next time around for extra heat. And, for a match made in heaven, we served our muffins with pats of homemade butter. The Bug learned to make this treat a few months ago on a visit to MrsWheelbarrow’s Kitchen.
Our take on Abby’s recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins with mix-ins and a change or two is below. And, here’s a link to Abby’s May Baketogether post with her original recipe and more ideas for making this muffin your own. This recipe is now part of my cornmeal collection and I’m certain that we’ll be making a sweet version of this light-as-air muffin very soon.
|The Bug Bakes Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeno, Scallions and Fresh Corn for #Baketogether||
- 2 Tablespoons scallions (white and light green parts only), finely chopped
- 1 heaping teaspoon very finely diced jalapeno pepper (remove membrane and any seeds)
- 3/8 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh white corn (about 1/2 of an ear of corn) or frozen corn
- 3/4 cup (3 3/8 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) finely ground yellow cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons mild olive oil
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 6 regular-sized muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
- Prepare the “mix-ins” (scallions, jalapeno pepper, grated cheddar and corn) and put them in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well blended. Measure the buttermilk using a 2 cup glass measure (if you don’t have one, measure the buttermilk and pour into a small bowl). Add the egg and oil, and mix with a table fork until well blended. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and add the “mix-ins.” Using a rubber spatula, gently fold (no stirring) until just blended.
- Using an ice cream scoop, portion the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (1/4 cup of batter per cup will be about three-quarters of the way full). Bake until the tops are pale golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes (ours baked for a little over 20 minutes).
- Move to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and set them on a wire rack.
- Serve immediately or cool completely and store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I like them best when they are served warm so please reheat before serving.