Monday 27 April 2020

Jalapeño-Cheddar Corn Muffins (with honey butter)

I wasn't planning on posting this recipe but I whipped these up a few days ago and posted it on my Instagram and my personal Facebook page. They just blew up! Three of my friends scattered across the country have already recreated their own versions of this recipe and a producer from CBS News asked my permission to use the photo for a segment they ran on a morning program about what people are baking under quarantine. I shared them with my roommate and my neighbours and they were a huge hit. I have to say, they're probably the best muffins I've ever made, so after some thought I decided this recipe deserved a feature on the blog.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I hope everyone is currently staying safe and keeping well during this COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing global quarantine which we're well over a month into already now. A lot of people are stuck at home, cooking more of their own meals and it's made me realize how important little blogs like this are to help inspire people during times of uncertainty and inconvenience. 

I feel like a bit of a fraud. This isn't really my own recipe. It's a recipe that I used from bon appétit and changed only slightly. The original recipe calls for the addition of fresh corn which I swapped out for jalapeño peppers and grated aged cheddar. Adapting recipes to suit your taste is one of the best parts of homecooking to me. Most of my recipes are ones that can easily be adapted and altered as you wish. One friend of mine omitted the jalapeño and used yogurt instead of sour cream for just one example. I won't bother including this in the recipe because it's very optional but I also added a bit of hot sauce to my wet ingredients. I seeded the jalapeño that I diced and added to the batter for presentation but in doing so I removed most of the heat, which I quite like. Hence the reintroduction of it by way of hot sauce. If you're a fan of spice, like me, you may want to consider that option. I also sliced a whole jalapeño into rings and topped each muffin with one for a personalized touch.


Not-stick vegetable oil spray 
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼  cups cornmeal
¼ cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
2¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp pepper (or to taste, I never measured that part)
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
3 jalapeño peppers (2 seeded and diced, 1 sliced into 12 rings)
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
¾ cup sour cream
⅔ cup milk
½ cup (1 stick) of melted unsalted butter, cooled

Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit/205 Celsius and generously coat a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick spray. If you don't have the spray you can use a bit of vegetable oil and and a paper towel to rub it in. 

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Lightly whisk eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl, then whisk in sour cream, milk, and melted butter. The butter should be liquid but cooled enough that it doesn't scramble the eggs.

Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour egg the mixture into the well and add the diced jalapeño and grated cheddar. Use a combination of folding and gentle stirring until the batter is just combined. This is the most important rule to making any muffin. Don't overmix your batter or they won't be lusciously moist. I recommend even leaving it a little lumpy, it will all work out when it bakes.

Divide the batter into the muffin pan to make 12 muffins. Depending on the size of your muffin pan, you may have a little extra batter. Don't fill the cups of the muffin pan much higher than the rim. They will rise on their own and form perfect individual domes that way. 

Gently press a jalapeño ring on top of each muffin. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning halfway until risen and golden brown. 

Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring the individual muffins to a cooling rack to cool for a few more minutes. Definitely enjoy them when they're warm though. In the original bon appétit recipe they made a honey butter to accompany them. You don't need a recipe it's just a matter of mixing honey with room temperature unsalted butter until you're happy with the level of sweetness and season with a pinch of salt. I really recommend it. The honey butter was literally half of the experience. They worked exceptionally well in this case because the sweetness of the honey balanced with the heat of the jalapeño for a symphony-in-your-mouth effect.

And that's it! Everyone has loved these. I will definitely use this cornbread recipe in the future too, except maybe minus the sugar. That's just a personal thing with me. I prefer my cornbread without sugar but I'll add sugar to corn muffins. I mean, they're muffins. lol

I hope these are just as much of a hit for you as they were for me! 

Stay safe, healthy and well.


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