We're big fans of spicy food, so I amped up the heat for these muffins. I also made some changes to improve their nutritional profile:
- I used 6 T butter and substituted 2 T fat free Greek yogurt for the rest of the butter. This cut the fat content and provided a great moistness to the muffins.
- My flour was a white/whole wheat blend. I figured the extra heartiness of the whole wheat would match the savory ingredients of these muffins.
- Dorie says to add chili powder to taste - in my case 2 tsp. Of the stash of chili powder in my spice cupboard, the stuff I bought at Fresh Market tasted like it would be the best for adding to muffins - it was the mellowest. Since jarred chili powder is a mixture of spices and chile peppers, its flavor can vary quite substantially.
- There was no bell pepper in my fridge, so I used 1/8 c. canned green chiles and 1/4 c. chopped scallions (the light green parts).
- I used a red finger hot pepper instead of a jalapeno.
[edit: I chopped my frozen corn kernels because I don't like whole corn in my muffins.]
- It was extremely tempting to add some cheese, but I figured I'd better leave well enough alone!
- I tasted the dry ingredients after I whisked them and I could tell the muffins would be too sweet for us. Without getting too mathematical (!) here's what I did: I added another round of all the dry ingredients (except the sugar), divided the mixture in half (thank goodness for digital scales), and baked one recipe’s worth. I found that with half the sugar, they still have a hint of sweetness but it didn’t ruin the muffins for me. I actually like sweet cornbread just fine (and also un-sweet cornbread), but I figured less sweet would fit with all of the savory and hot ingredients I had stirred into the batter.
I served these muffins straight from the oven with some chili (two chili recipes will be posted on Wednesday, I hope). They were moist (I think the yogurt helped), not too sweet, and packed quite a flavor kick with the hot peppers, scallions, and extra chili powder. The whole wheat paired quite well with all of the savory and hot ingredients I'd stirred in. We thought the muffins were perfect!
I popped the leftover muffins in the freezer and pulled them out a few days later for Sunday brunch, accompanying my version of Huevos Rancheros - essentially eggs scrambled with onions, hot peppers, salsa and cheese (my secret ingredient is Asiago cheese, which gives a great sharp edge to the eggs). I re-warmed the muffins and they were great with the eggs. This recipe is a winner in our book!
By the day after I baked these, the chili powder had "bled" at bit. I thought the muffins looked like they had the chicken pox.
I'm excited to have a bag of the dry ingredients all ready to whip up another batch of these yummy muffins.You can find the recipe for these treasures on page 6 of of Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book Baking From My Home to Yours., or on Rebecca's post for these muffins. To see a bunch more corn muffin posts, check out the blogs of TWD blogroll. We're up to 388 members now (!) and there are sure to be lots of muffins out there.