Corn Muffins

cornbread

Corn muffins and I have a love affair. It’s almost like one of those cheesy romantic novels of love-at-first-bite, love lost and love found…

My first memory of corn muffins was from a neighborhood rib restaurant somewhere in Vancouver. My mom would take my 4-year-old self there from time to time (it was our secret place), and I would put on my rib-bib and bounce happily in my booster seat. I’ve long forgotten the name of the restaurant, or where it is located. What I do remember, however, were those oven-fresh, piping hot corn muffins that they would serve in a basket every time we visited. I was young and naive, and I thought our love would last forever. But alas, there came the day when I was whisked away, to live my life in Hong Kong, and I would never taste those tender crumbs for another 12 years. As fate would have it, I never asked for the name of those muffins ( I called them yummy buns), and it was love lost and love forgotten. But fate was kind, and I moved back to Toronto for university some 17 years later. And one wintery afternoon, one of those blisteringly cold days in Toronto, fate smiled upon us – Yes, Mr. Muffin and I- when I stumbled upon a Corn Muffin recipe on the internet. I immediately baked a batch, and when I took a bite out of those golden brown muffins, I was brought back to those blissful corn-muffin-munching childhood years of mine. Overly dramatic? I can’t help it. It’s food.

Here’s is one of my favorite corn muffin recipes. It’s not as dense as corn bread, and not as sweet and fluffy as a cupcake. In essence, it is juuuuuuust right. Crumbly on top, and soft in the center.  Here’s to Corn Muffins! (And another Nommy Noms recipe.)

Corn Muffins

Yields: 12 Medium Muffins                          Prep Time: 15 Mins                        Cook Time: 20 Mins

Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour ——————————————- 2 Cups
  • Cornmeal (fine, preferably stone milled) ————- 1 Cup
  • Baking Powder ———————————————– 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda ————————————————— 1 tsp
  • Salt ————————————————————- 1/2 tsp
  • Eggs (Large)————————————————— 2
  • Sugar ———————————————————- 3/4 Cup
  • Butter (melted, cooled) ————————————- 1 stick (1/2 cup)
  • Sour Cream ————————————————— 3/4 Cup
  • Milk (homogenized) —————————————— 1/2 Cup

The Fun Part

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C), and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil.                                              IMG_6276                                                                          Side Note: INVEST in an oil sprayer! It’s perfect for evenly spraying oven tins, and is indispensable for low fat oven-fried recipes! I bought mine at Crate & Barrel and it’s been a great tool!
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In another bowl, whisk eggs until combined.
  3. Add sugar to the eggs and whisk vigorously until thick and full incorporated.Add the melted butter in 3 successions, whisking well to combine each time.                                                                                                                                                           IMG_6280
  4. Add 6 Tbs of sour cream and 1/4 cup milk until combined. When combined, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, folding in gently until combined.                                                                                                                                                                   IMG_6282
  5. Drop batter into muffin molds, dividing evenly. Do not level the muffins, just let them form into their natural mounds. IMG_6284
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and skewer inserted in the muffins come out clean.                                  IMG_6295
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, serve warm. ENJOY! 🙂

Why stone-milled?

For muffins with good corn-flavor, go for those labelled with stone-milled (usually found in the health/organics section in grocers). Unlike other corn-meal, stone-milled corn meal still has the germ and hull attached to it, preserving the rich, flavor-filled oils which gives the muffins a distinct corn flavor. Avoid at all cost, any corn meal that is labelled with “instant” or “quick”. Instant corn meal have been par-cooked, which equates to a loss of flavor.

Does (grain) size matter? IT DOES!

Go for the finely ground. You will still get flavorful muffins with medium stone-milled corn meal, but be prepared to do some heavy grinding with your teeth! (Trust me. Not fun.)

Here’s a comparison of a finely ground cornmeal and a medium ground one:

Medium Ground Corn Meal

Medium Ground Corn Meal

Fine Ground Corn Meal

Fine Ground Corn Meal

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