A sunny Sunday morning, coffee brewing, puppy lazing, paper waiting... Yep, time to bake...something. Not sure exactly what I was craving, I reached for one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book. A treasure, this book, packed full of clever breakfast ideas and perfect recipes. Today, based on available ingredients, and because they sounded just right, I chose Peerless Corn Muffins.
As with most muffin recipes, these stir up in just a few minutes. Why don't I bake muffins more often? Mostly because there are so many meh muffin recipes out there, right? And they have to compete with pancakes, French toast, coffee cake, biscuits...
Anyhow, these made it into the rotation. I confess that I made a few changes to the recipe. For one, I didn't have cake flour, so I used just shy of one cup of all-purpose; worked just fine. Also, I used only 2 (vs. 4) Tbsp. of oil. And, I threw in some blueberries (and an extra tablespoon of sugar since the berries were quite tart), which turned out beautifully.
I fried some crispy bacon to have alongside, which got Nathan and me thinking... We decided that next time I'd put the bacon in the muffins (in lieu of berries). Yeah. The smell of bacon had Puppy Louis at the back door in no time (he has discovered alone-time in the back yard and is loving it). I smell bacon! (That's Whole Foods brand nitrate-free, thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon - it's fantastic.)
The muffins baked up notably light and tender for cornmeal muffins, and not-too-sweet, which made them extremely honey-friendly. Split open a warm muffin, add a bit of butter, when it's melted, drizzle away. Warm honey, warm berries, warm butter, warm muffins. Strong, hot coffee to wash it all down. Now that's what I was craving. (When I make them next, with bacon, we'll drizzle with a bit of warmed maple syrup. Lordy.)
Suitably fortified, it's time for a walk in the sun. I am so happy that winter is over. Have I said that yet? No less than 100 times? Lalalaaa!
Peerless Cornbread Muffins
Adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
Makes 12 muffins
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 c. vegetable oil (I used 2 Tbsp.)
1 c. milk, warmed
1 c. cake flour (I used 1 scant c. all-purpose)
2/3 c. yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar (I used 2 Tbsp., since I added berries)
3/4 c. blueberries (add 1 Tbsp. sugar; before stirring in the berries, toss them with a bit of flour so they don't sink to the bottoms of the muffins)
4 slices bacon, fried until very crispy, crumbled into small pieces
butter and honey (or maple syrup)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the muffin tins.
Beat or whisk the egg, melted butter, and oil in a mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in the warm milk. Combine the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar in another bowl and stir with a fork until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until blended. This is a light, medium-thick batter. (Stir in blueberries or bacon, if using.)
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins so each cup is 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Remove from tins and cool a little on racks, or simply serve in a basket, hot from the oven.