RECIPE #32, DAY #31
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Basic Buttermilk Muffins” with the “Fresh Corn Muffins” variation, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison.*
TIMING: 45 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Nice and straight-forward
TOOLS: A cupcake pan and cupcake papers. A stand mixer would also be nice.
COOK TYPE: Oven. Baking.
HEALTH: There is less than a cup of brown sugar, as well as a fair amount of fat. But as far as a quick breakfast or an accompaniment for a hearty soup or stew, this is pretty nice. You have the whole grain of the corn meal, plus a real, actual vegetable in the mix.
EXPERIENCE: The next five recipes all have the same story. We were getting ready for a trip up the east coast, and I had an afternoon of avoiding packing in front of me in which to make the edibles for the long journey northward. Usually, I would have planned out the food and built the ingredients into our regular grocery run. This time, however, it hadn’t worked out that way, and I just had to use whatever was already in the pantry. So what did I think of? Baked goods.
I scoured my cookbooks for recipes which could use up the exact ingredients I had (including milk, eggs, buttermilk, etc.), with nothing too out of the ordinary. And I also wanted simple recipes–like bars instead of cookies or cakes–so that I could whip up any number of them in one afternoon. Thus, I was up to elbows in two kids of muffins and three bars, rotating things in and out of the oven, into the evening (and my poor husband had to pick up late carry-out for dinner which, yes, sort of defeated the purpose, but sometimes oneself just can’t be reasoned with).
I thought the corn muffins turned out great, especially since they were so sweet. Our family really likes our corn bread sweet. I could see re-baking these for many occasions.
NOTES: I always bake my muffins in cupcake pans. Why? First off, I think it’s a more reasonable serving size than those jumbo muffins. And second, I think cupcake papers are the bee’s knees. No wrestling with the pan to extricate your baked goods… just turn over the pan and the plop right out. (For a special occasion, I might change my mind.)
I also used frozen corn for this recipe. That worked fine, and all, but resulted in slightly (too) chewy bits in the muffins. For best results, I would use fresh, right off the cob.
- Preheat your oven to 375F and line a 12-cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
- In a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), crack 2 eggs and beat lightly. Add 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Over top of the liquid ingredients, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups spelt flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix quickly, scraping the bottom of the bowl, just until everything is incorporated. Quickly stir in 1 1/2 cups uncooked corn kernels.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake tins, distributing evenly among the 12 papers. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. (A clean toothpick means they are baked through.) Set muffins out to cook for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.
Serve with a soup, stew, or a Southern dinner spread, or just out of hand for a breakfast on the go.
*Recipe changed from the original.