Cakey Cornbread for the soul…..

This cornbread is not a Southern cornbread. There. I said it. It’s sweet, cake-like, and moist. Add a pat of butter to a just-out-of-the-oven slice, and you will find happiness. I smile thinking about this. The recipe is simple and needs nothing more than a bowl and whisk. I use a cast-iron pan but these can be poured into muffin tins to make corn muffins. Muffins take less time to bake and freeze well. Wintry days are made for baking and enjoying the fruits of your labor by a roaring fire.

My “friend” has made this recipe. She once accidentally  used twice the amount of butter. Another time she forgot the vegetable oil. Both times it was still delicious. Obviously, it’s best if you follow the recipe. My “friend” sometimes hurries in the kitchen. So silly!

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup melted butter cooled slightly

Heat oven to 350 degrees. If using a  9″ cast-iron pan, lightly oil it and place in the oven to heat. If you’re making muffins, you can skip this step. Put papers in the muffin tin or grease them generously. I use oversized muffin tins. These tins make 6 muffins, a regular 12 muffin pan works also.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.  You can reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil. Don’t add the melted butter. Not yet!

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the melted butter and stir just until mixed.

Remove the cast-iron pan from oven. Place it on the stove. Careful. It’s very hot! Pour batter into hot pan and bake for 1 hour. I set the timer for 45 minutes and start checking for doneness.  If you are making muffins, depending on the size, they will take 20 -30 minutes. I always set the timer for 5 minutes less and start checking with a knife or toothpick. They should come out clean. The cornbread should also be slightly browned on top.

Sit back. Make a cup of tea, open your newspaper, and enjoy a slice of warm cornbread with sweet butter. You will forget your worries!

Enjoy!

Here’s the original recipe from East Coast Grill in Cambridge.

 

Do You Know the Muffin Joy?

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I love muffins. They are the perfectly sized treat. Today I had a hankering for corn muffins. I’ve made plenty of those yummy boxed muffins. I’ve searched the web endlessly for a muffin recipe that’s not too sweet, not too heavy. I wanted an easy recipe that was purely about the cornmeal. I found this recipe in the NYT Cooking section. I don’t understand the concept of a muffin mix to be stored for later, yet only has directions to make the whole batch of muffins. How hard is it to mix together some dry ingredients and then some wet ingredients? My batch made more than the 12 muffins the recipe says it yields. When I read the comments, most people agreed.  The comments were rather amusing. So much concern for nutritional informational swapping ingredients. Really? These are corn muffins. What do you expect? Just enjoy the muffin.

Let’s get baking!

Dry Ingredients

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

2 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups milk (not skim)

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Are you still with me? I like to let the mixture sit for a minute or two at this point. The baking powder is magical. The batter becomes wonderfully thick. Fill the buttered muffins tin about halfway. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes. Always check on anything you bake a minute or two earlier. Oven temperatures differ. My mix made 16 muffins, even with my thorough batter taste-testing.

These muffins are best served warm. A smear of butter and raspberry jelly will make you want to close your eyes and hum. Follow with a sip of coffee or tea. If you can eat these in the early, dark hours of the morning while alone….even better! Treat yourself!!

Here is the original recipe.

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