Friday, April 24, 2009

I made some corn muffins...

Wow, I made these a long time ago. The occasion was a lovely brunch at Laura's house and I decided to make some muffins. They seem like a distant memory by now. BUT, it is never too late to revisit a good corn muffin recipe. These came to me via Smitten Kitchen (what else is new) but the original recipe is by Dorie Greenspan. Until recently, I did not know who Dorie Greenspan was, but now that I have been reading a fair share of food blogs, apparently Dorie is a pretty big deal.

I was drawn to these muffins because they were described on smitten kitchen as being not too sweet or heavy. I love muffins, but I don't love how dry and dense they can be sometimes. As I recall, a year or two ago I attempted to make banana muffins with wheat germ or flax seed meal or something healthy, and they came out really dry and heavy. They may have been healthy but they were totally disappointing. I was sad.

Luckily, these muffins are really fluffy and light. And although they are not too sweet, they still taste like MUFFINS and not CORNBREAD (even though you could still totally serve them with come chili if you wanted to.) I actually had fantasies of making chipotle lime butter to serve alongside these muffins, but did not have time. Instead, I attempted a blueberry butter, which was tasty. But these muffins don't need flavored butters or fancy spreadys to taste good. They are delicious served plain too.

Here's the recipe, which I followed basically as is. Go for it, make some muffins one Sunday morning. Bring them to a brunch or eat them while you watch a crappy movie on channel 11. Eat the leftovers Monday night with some of Sarah's sweet potato chili. It will be great.

Dorie Greenspan’s Corniest Corn Muffins
from "Baking from My Home to Yours"

Yield: 12 regular-sized muffins or 48 miniature ones

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons corn oil (I used olive oil)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels (add up to 1/3 cup more if you’d like) - fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry) - I used frozen, thawed and patted dry.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg, if you’re using it. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough - the batter will be lumpy, and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (12 minutes for minis), or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

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