The third muffin this week is a bit of a departure from the others, because it is a savory one rather than a sweet one. I was pretty excited about these Bacon-Cheddar Corn Muffins, since they really are so different from any muffin I would normally make. They're similar to cornbread, with that same grainy texture that comes from baking with cornmeal. The bacon is chopped finely so you can ensure many small bits are well incorporated throughout. There's a decent amount of shredded cheddar cheese in there, which of course is delicious with the bacon. Then, for an extra little something, you throw in a finely diced jalapeno pepper for heat.
Despite my excitement about making these, I was disappointed to discover that my husband was not the biggest fan of these. I thought a savory muffin would be right up his alley, but he told me that when he eats a muffin, he expects it to taste sweet. So in other words, biting into these was a bit of a letdown for him. As for me, I really loved them! They're best warm from the oven, and I know they'd be great with a little pat of butter to spread on them, though I ate them plain. They're not overwhelmingly spicy if that scares you (and obviously you could just leave out the jalapeno altogether), just slightly kick-y. These would be equally great with some kalamata olives tossed in to replace the hot pepper. And if the idea of a savory muffin is daunting to you, as it was to my husband, I say you should still bake these, but serve them with a nice soup or chili at dinnertime!
Bacon-Cheddar Corn Muffins
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 12 muffins
4.5 oz. (about 1 cup) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup (2 oz.) reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 center-cut bacon slices, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in bacon and jalapeno; make a well in the center of the mixture.
2. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray (I simply sprayed my muffin cups, with no liners, and baked them right in the muffin tin, no problems). Divide batter among muffin cups.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in tins for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.