Preface: this recipe is not a proper cornbread recipe. Consider yourselves warned, Texans! But suspend your outrage, because this recipe is delicious. And that’s all that really matters in the end, isn’t it? Yes? Yes.
The traditional way to bake cornbread is in a cast-iron skillet. It gives the cornbread a crunchy exterior that some people prefer. However, since many people don’t have access to that lovely piece kitchenware known as a cast-iron skillet (which can be used as gym equipment and an assault weapon – so versatile!), we’ve modified the recipe for a muffin pan. Plus, mini muffins! Everyone loves mini muffins. You can eat eight in a row and never feel the slightest ping of guilt.
Cornbread-Bacon-Blue Cheese Muffins
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. mild soft blue cheese (room temperature)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 6 strips of bacon, diced (or pancetta)
- 2 Tbsp. bacon drippings
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix cornmeal and buttermilk together. Set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Fry bacon until crispy. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet and place on paper towel to drain, leaving drippings in pan. Turn heat off and leave pan on stove.
In a large bowl, beat room temperature blue cheese and olive oil together until smooth. Add eggs and beat well. Add honey, sugar, cornmeal/buttermilk, and bacon drippings and stir until smooth. (Note: if you don’t have enough bacon drippings after frying, supplement with vegetable oil or melted butter.) Stir bacon into batter.
Add flour mixture and gently stir until combined.
Pour batter into muffin pan, filling each cup halfway. Put muffin pan in oven and immediately lower temperature to 350 F. Bake 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm, with a pat of butter if you’re feeling decadent.
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