Friday, 14 November 2014

Cornbread Muffins

Today was absolutely freezing. It's supposed to get even colder over the next few days and with my entire flat switching rooms and adding a new flatmate, I figured we could use some hearty snack food to see us through the weekend. Enter my Texan-based obsession with cornbread.

This unnatural love of cornmeal, mixed with my latest obsession - a new, non-stick muffin tin - and a few veggies that needed to be used up gave me the perfect excuse to experiment.

I made two batches of muffins, the first was vegetarian, with caramelized onions, chopped up chives, and shredded cheese, while I added lardons into the second batch.

First, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, chop up one onion (see instructions for this here), place a sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of butter, and add the onions. Let them cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure they don't burn. Once the onions have a nice, translucent, caramel tint, remove from heat and place in a prep bowl.

Add the packet of lardons (these are chopped slab bacon bits - you can also use thick cut bacon if you have that on hand) to the now-vacant pan, lowering the flame to a medium heat. Give the lardons 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice and be careful not to overcook them (they will start to smell burnt and be chewy). Remove from heat and place in a prep bowl when done. Chop a fresh bunch of chives and set aside.

Layer #1
The process for making the actual cornbread batter is fairly simple and takes about five minutes. First, place equal parts cornmeal and flour in a medium to large mixing bowl. Add baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix thoroughly and add the milk, oil, honey, and beaten eggs. Mix until combined and add a tbsp more of milk if you want a thinner consistency.

Layer #2
Lightly grease the muffin tin and place about 1/4 c batter in each cup. Add roughly a tsp of caramelized onions, cheese, and a sprinkling of chives, layering this with another 1/4 c batter. Top with more cheese. Each cup should be about 3/4th full. *If you want to skip straight to the bacon-filled muffins, you can either add lardons to each layer or mix everything into the batter, filling each cup with 1/2 c of batter.

Vegetarian muffins, fresh from the oven
Bake for 15-20 min. Muffins will be done when the top is just turning golden brown and a knife inserted into the top comes out clean.

Muffins with lardons (notice that the consistency is slightly more dense)
I made one vegetarian batch, layering the batter and ingredients as directed above and one non-veggie batch, mixing all of the remaining ingredients into the batter and topping with cheese. I loved both outcomes and all of my taste-testers were happy.


- 2 c cornmeal
- 2 c flour
- 6 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1 1/2 c milk
- 1/2 c oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2 eggs 

- 1 c lardons
- 1 bunch chives
- 3 c shredded cheese
- 1 large sweet onion (Vidalia)
- 1 tbsp butter

- bake at 425 for 15-20 min
- makes 24 muffins 

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