Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins

Nick Evans, TheKitchn.com Published June 19, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
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The simple corn muffin is a beautiful thing. You can serve it as a make-ahead side dish for a summer barbecue, then reheat one of the leftover muffins for a quick breakfast.

But we can do better than just tossing some corn meal into a bowl. These muffins are laced deliciously with shredded sharp cheddar and slivered jalapenos. The flavor combo is a perfect match.

For jalapeno prep, I recommend scraping out the seeds, then slivering the pepper into half-rounds instead of dicing it. That will make the peppers really stand out in the finished muffin.

You might also think a whole jalapeno is a lot for just a few small muffins, but the spice is mellowed by the roasting and also by the cheese, so don’t fear the pepper.

Don’t be afraid to really fill your muffin tin with the batter. These will puff nicely, but not to the extent of cupcakes. You don’t need to worry about the muffins overflowing.

I also like to top each muffin with a few slivered jalapeno slices for effect.

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins

Makes 9 large muffins or 12 small muffins

Ingredients:

1 large jalapeno pepper

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 large egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a 12-cup muffin tin — but 9 cups for large muffins or all the cups for smaller muffins. Cut the jalapeno in half, and scrape out the seeds. Then thinly slice the pepper into half-round slivers.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk, egg and melted butter. Fold in cheese and the jalapeno, reserving a few slivers of pepper to garnish the tops.

Divide batter between 9 or 12 muffin tins. Fill any empty muffin tins half-full with water for even baking. Top the muffins with a sliver or two of jalapeno.

Bake the muffins until golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. A tester should come out clean from one of the center muffins.

Let the muffins cool briefly before removing from the tin and serving.

Recipe notes: For high altitude, reduce baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon. To reheat leftover muffins, microwave for 20 seconds on high.

Nick Evans is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit comments or questions to kitchn@apartmenttherapy.com.

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