Great with spicy southern cooking, especially barbecue and Cajun, these sweet corn muffins use whole grain cornmeal for a fuller, richer taste.
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (about 5 ounces) fine stone-ground 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 and cooled slightly
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
2. 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 homogenous, 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 a large spoon sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking, divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, dropping it to form mounds. Do not level or flatten the surface of the mounds.
3. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool the muffins in the tin 5 minutes; invert the muffins onto a wire rack, stand the muffins upright, cool 5 minutes longer, and serve warm.
Corn and Apricot Muffins with Orange Essence
1. In a food processor, process 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest until pale orange, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) dried apricots for ten 2-second pulses, until chopped fine. Transfer to a medium microwave-safe bowl; add 2/3 cup orange juice to the apricots, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until simmering, about 1 minute. Let the apricots stand, covered, until softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Discard the plastic wrap, strain the apricots, and discard the juice.
3. Follow the recipe for Corn Muffins, substituting 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar for an equal amount of granulated sugar and stirring 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest and the strained apricots into the wet ingredients before adding to the dry ingredients. Before baking, sprinkle a portion of orange sugar over each mound of batter. Do not invert the baked muffins; use the tip of a paring knife to lift the muffins from the tin one at a time and transfer to a wire rack. Cool the muffins 5 minutes; serve warm.