When people tell you they like cornbread, they typically have something specific and nostalgic in mind. There are infinite ways to prepare the bread and how you prefer yours not only depends on tradition but also what you’re serving alongside it. In our house, cornbread is nearly synonymous with dessert - even at breakfast or dinner. That’s because we prefer a cakier, sweeter version with just enough grit to support some fresh corn, a drizzle of honey and, on a decadent day, a pat of salted butter.
These flat muffins fit the bill. They have an old-fashioned texture – grainy with small holes running through the light crumb – and a wholesome flavor – nutty from the addition of whole wheat, tangy from the buttermilk, and sweet from both the cornmeal and corn kernels. The addition of chives, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese would be an excellent savory twist. Best of all, preparation is simple – even for the most novice of bakers - and there’s no cast iron pan or deep fryer required.
Whole Wheat Corn Muffins, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used half white whole wheat and half regular)
1 cup cornmeal (stone ground)
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk (I used low-fat)
3 tbsp (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter or Earth Balance, melted and cooled
3 tbsp 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
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line or spray a regular-sized 12 muffin tin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
- In a large glass measuring cup with a spout or in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, agave, egg and yolk.
- 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 molds.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Carefully lift each muffin out of its mold and onto a rack to cool.
Serving: The muffins are great warm or at room temperature and particularly great split, toasted and spread with butter, jam, honey or agave.