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Cumin-Chile Corn Muffins

Try this recipe for savory corn muffins, which are delicious alongside chilis, soups, stews, and roasted or fried chicken. Any leftovers? Use day-old muffins as the basis for cornbread stuffing. Some folks like sweeter muffins; you can adjust the sugar to your taste.

[Credit: ©David Bishop]
Credit: ©David Bishop

Yield: 12 muffins

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Baking time: About 15 minutes

Spice meter: Mildly to moderately spiced

1 cup cornmeal, preferably stone ground

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne or other ground chile pepper powder

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons corn oil, melted butter, or shortening

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly grease them with butter, or line them with paper liners. Set the muffin tray aside.

  2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, cumin, cayenne, and white pepper in a bowl.

  3. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the beaten egg and milk and set aside.

  4. Add the corn oil to the dry ingredients and stir to mix. Pour the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon to mix. The batter should be lumpy.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, making sure they’re about 1/2 full.

  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool briefly and then turn the muffins out onto a rack. Serve the muffins with butter while they’re still warm.

You can make cornbread instead of muffins. Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan instead of muffin cups. In Step 3, use melted butter or shortening instead of corn oil. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan in Step 5. In Step 6, bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Make jumbo muffins. Grease only 6 regular- size muffin cups and fill the cups with batter. Bake about 25 minutes. If you’re using a 12-cup pan, remember to fill the empty cups halfway with water so that the muffins bake evenly.

Per serving: Calories 134 (From Fat 44); Fat 5g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 208mg; Carbohydrate 19g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 3g.

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