Monday, June 15, 2009

Golden Honey Thyme Corn Muffins














I am in the midst of moving back the US and have been trying to use up as many of my ingredients as possible before I do. One thing I seem to have overflowing in my pantry is cornmeal.. or more specifically, polenta. I eagerly bought a huge bag of it the first time I saw these Italian golden yellow grains sitting on a shelf in, of all places, a small Middle Eastern foods market. I had been missing my American style cornbread and was certain I would make tons of it. Well, I did make plenty of cornbread and muffins, but this was a rather huge bag, so I have quite a bit left.

In my effort to deplete my supply, I decided to make this reliable and delicious sweet corn muffin recipe. This is great as a breakfast treat or with a salad. In fact, the leftovers taste great torn up in salad, sort of like soft croutons. The polenta I have is really no different in texture from coarse cornmeal, so I have not made any adjustments to any of my recipes when I have used it.

These muffins are based on the bones of a recipe found here, but the following includes some changes I made based on my tastes and my peculiar need to stick herbs into things whenever possible.

Golden Honey Thyme Corn Muffins
(makes 12-14)

4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2/3 cups sugar
1/8 cup honey (I used honey flavored with thyme)
1/8 cup golden syrup (or you can use more regular honey)
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
3/4 cup cornmeal or polenta
1/4-1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1/2-1 tsp fresh thyme, de-stemmed)
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh (cooked), frozen (thawed), or canned (rinsed & drained)

Preheat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C). Line at least 12 muffin tins with paper liners. (A tip: you just might want to grease the top of the pan, and also wipe the rims of each muffin tin as well, in case they puff up beyond the paper liners. Tugging corn muffins free of the pan is not fun).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled melted butter and the sugar until blended well. Add the honey and syrup, stirring to combine. Add the beaten eggs and mix well. Set a fine sieve over the mixing bowl and dump in the flour, shaking to sift the flour into the butter mixture. You can now remove your sieve and add the cornmeal and the thyme to the bowl as well. Give it a good stir, but don't be too vigorous unless you like muffins with the texture of glue. You just want to blend everything together and not have any streaks of dry flour. Fold in the corn.

Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins. If you are patient and like nice full puffy mufins, you really can squeeze every drop of batter into just 12 muffin tins. Really, I kid you not. I know it looks like too much batter, I have been there. This would be why we greased the top of the pans before, remember? Ok fine, if you really want to, you can stretch this batter to make 14, maybe even 16 muffins if you are really stingy with the batter. Maybe you have a bake sale to go to, if so - go for it.

Once you have your tins filled, pop them into the oven and bake them for 20-25 minutes until golden and puffed. You can test them with a toothpick - the pick should come out with a few crumbs, but not any goopy batter when ready.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful looking muffins Heather. It is such a pain having to move. I remember it well and trying to get everything used up. You are doing much beter than I ever did!

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  2. Thanks Marie, they are really easy and yummy. Yesterday I pulled out all of the food I still need to use up out of my pantry - there is still quite a bit. It really makes me realize just how much excess I have, and hopefully can cut back next time. I have used up an awful lot though, so I don't feel too badly.

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