While recently spending six days at the perfect, all-inclusive resort in Mexico, I routinely devoured steak, crab legs, lobster and tasty tropical drink after tasty tropical drink. On day five, however, I began craving a little comfort food. With a few mental flips through recipes I recently prepared, the perfect dish came to mind: Corn Chowder.
It would be the first at-home meal I’d whip up the next week, the ideal dinner to ease back into the brutal winter weather that has made national headlines. But this time I’d pair the chowder with a new recipe: Corn Muffins, as tested (and approved) by America’s Test Kitchen.
The recipe was fairly easy. The result was nothing short of fantastic. The muffins were moist and full of that unmistakable corn flavor they’re meant to have. They far surpass any corn muffin I’ve had at a restaurant, or any box mix I’ve prepared at home. The muffins are perfect on their own (served warm with honey and/or butter, if you please) or a great culinary accessory to Corn Chowder or any dish. Catfish or BBQ, perhaps?
Let’s eat. Better yet, let’s bake.
Makes 12 muffins
Whole-grain cornmeal has a fuller flavor than regular cornmeal milled from degerminated corn. To determine what kind of cornmeal a package contains, look closely at the label.
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (4-1⁄2 ounces) fine-ground, whole-grain yellow cornmeal
1-1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3⁄4 cup (5-1⁄4 ounces) sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3⁄4 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup milk
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk the eggs in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar to the eggs; whisk vigorously until thick and homogeneous, about 30 seconds; add the melted butter in 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add half the sour cream and half the milk and whisk to combine; whisk in the remaining sour cream and milk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix gently with a rubber spatula until the batter is just combined and evenly moistened. Do not over-mix. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide the batter evenly among muffin cups, dropping it to form mounds. Do not level or flatten the surface of the mounds.
Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin from front to back halfway through the baking time. Cool the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes; invert the muffins onto a wire rack, stand the muffins upright, cool 5 minutes longer, and serve warm.