A few weeks ago I had brunch at a restaurant that had generally amazing food, but before any of that came out the server brought out some stale corn muffins that were kind of dry and bland and just not worth the chewing effort honestly.
When I got home I was itching to make some really good corn muffins. I went a little crazy and spiced them up with some chili powder and gave them some extra flavor with a few handfuls of cheddar cheese.
Turns out that both of those additions were good ones for corn muffins.
When making corn muffins one of the most important things to decide, shockingly, is what kind of corn meal to use. You can use a really finely ground corn meal and your muffins will be smooth and almost like a corn cupcake or you can use a more medium grind and your muffin will be much more sturdy.
I went with the sturdy version because I figured it would hold up to the cheese and stuff a little better.
1) Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl.
2) Mix your wet ingredients separately and then add them to the dry ingredients.
3) Quickly fold in your corn and cheese if you are using those.
4) Line 10-12 muffin tins with paper cups or you can just grease or butter the tins.
5) Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out of the center of a muffin clean or they look golden brown and delicious.
6) Let cool briefly before serving.
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe.
Making the batter
This is a no-sweat batter to pull together. You’ll need the standard dry ingredients. Like I said, you can play around with the corn meal choice I think.
You’ll also want the standard wet stuff for corn muffins. I’m a pretty big fan of not substituting buttermilk. It gives such a richness to the final product. Just go with it. I forgot the oil in this photo but don’t forget it in the recipe.
Then there are the sort of optional ingredients. Ok. The salt isn’t really optional, but I forgot to add it to the normal dry stuff. I was kind of spacing some of the photos on this day. My apologies.
Anyway, you may want some or all of these things. If you wanted your muffins to have even more of a kick you could use cayenne pepper instead of chili powder. I was going for more of a savory taste than a spicy taste.
Throw all your dry ingredients in a bowl. Seriously, how easy is this?
Mix your wet ingredients separately and then add them to the dry ingredients. It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy. It’s kind of a rustic deal. Then quickly fold in your corn and cheese if you are using those. I highly recommend both.
Baking the muffins
Line 10-12 muffin tins with paper cups or you can just grease or butter the tins obviously. I used the paper cups because I had them.
Bake these guys at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes. Mine definitely needed 20, but I believe that my oven is pretty much horrible.
You know they are done when a toothpick comes out of the center of a muffin clean or they look golden brown and delicious like this:
I thought this was an awesome savory muffin. The flavor is good, but the texture is really good. The medium corn meal has a lot of bite to it and the cheddar and corn kernels give it even more texture.
Next time you are in the mood for some savory muffins, these are definitely worth the very minimal effort.