Yum! Cornbread Muffins! And these are made ever so much better by the addition of fresh cilantro and big chunks of cheddar cheese! This cornbread is very moist, a little sweet, but not like some of the really sweet Southern cornbread you may have come across. Delicious all on its own, but completely awesome slathered in butter with a big bowl of chili! I baked these muffins to go along with the Gringo Chili we served up a short time ago. You can also make this cornbread in a 9×9 pan, if you prefer. This recipe is highly customizable as far as ingredients go as well. Substitute any add-ins you wish. I did cheddar and cilantro, but you could add in bacon, chives, green onions etc. Let your imagination run wild! Just remember you may have to increase the baking time by 5 minutes or so with each addition. When I make corn muffins, I like the exterior of the muffin to be really crispy. A good way to achieve that texture is by oiling a cast iron pan or muffin tin as the case may be and placing it into the preheated oven. Once the oiled pan is nice and hot, you add the batter into the hot pan and pop it back into the oven to bake. You can use any old oil, but I like to use reserved bacon grease. Yup….just like Grandma, I’m saving those bacon grease drippings and using them to cook with later. Unlike Grandma, I keep my bacon grease in the fridge, not just sitting next to the stove in a jar. (Now that was a bit scary if you ask me…) The bacon grease really does give things a wonderful flavour, and who doesn’t like bacon! I know some folks might be a bit freaked out by the old bacon grease trick, but hey, don’t knock it til you try it. Those Grannies were onto something. However, if you haven’t had a chance to cook up a batch of bacon (and this would give you an excuse, if you need one. Personally I believe it’s always a good time to cook up some bacon…) you can just use whatever oil you might have on hand. You will love that crispy exterior, I guarantee it! Make up a big batch today!
Cheddar & Cilantro Cornbread Muffins
yield: 12 muffins
recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 3-4 oz. cheddar cheese, chopped into 1″ chunks
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon bacon grease or oil into each well of a muffin tin.
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2) Stir in any desired herbs, cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings.
3) In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and egg.
4) Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. Remember, Now when making muffins, you don’t want to beat the batter to death. Mix it just until the ingredients are combined, otherwise your muffins will turn out tough.
5) Place prepared muffin tin into preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove tin.
6) Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the hot, oiled muffin tin.
7) Return pan to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan and a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
8) Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes; serve warm.