Sometimes in life, bigger is better. Imagine a muffin that’s larger than a teacup. That translates to more crunchy muffin top to enjoy and more tender muffin to savor. This recipe won’t disappoint. It’s big, versatile, and beautiful. And if you’re on the go, wrap one up and take it with you. Nothing’s better than a freshly-baked muffin to munch on while you’re in transit.
Corn-Cheese Mighty Muffins
Sunset Magazine, October 1986
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (4 oz.) firmly packed shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, melted
1. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder.
2. Reserve 2 tablespoons of cheese: stir remaining cheese into flour mixture.
3. Form a well in center of flour mixture.
4. In a small bowl, beat to blend milk, egg, and butter; pour into well in flour mixture. Stir just until lightly blended; batter should be lumpy.
5. Spoon batter equally into 4 greased 6-ounce custard cups (set cups at least 2 inches apart on a shallow baking pan) or 6 greased muffin cups 2½ to 2¾ inches in diameter (fill alternate muffin cups); cups will be heaping full.
6. Sprinkle reserved cheese evenly over muffins.
7. Bake filled custard cups in a 375°F oven, filled muffin cups in a 400° oven, until browned and a slender wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes for custard cup-size muffins, 25 to 30 minutes for smaller ones.
8. Let cool about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from cups or pans and serve hot or warm.
Makes 4 mighty or 6 large muffins.
1. The sprinkling of cheddar cheese on top gives these muffins an extra nice crunch.
2. I added some finely minced ham (leftover from Easter) into the batter just after adding the liquid components. This is a versatile recipe: you could also add corn kernels, chopped green chilies, or even bacon. Take some creative liberty!
3. Do not over-stir the batter. It’s okay for the batter to have lumps. Too much stirring overdevelops the gluten in the flour which can result in tough and rubbery muffins.
4. Grease the top rims of the custard cups or muffin tins. This will help the muffins release more easily from the cups, especially as they rise and bake over the edges.
5. All ovens vary in temperature and heat distribution. Be careful not to over bake muffins or else they will be dry.