There's about two feet of snow carpeting the ground. Icicles decorate the eaves troughs. The evergreens slouch under the new weight. The streets haven't been plowed all Winter. A single Autumn leaf clings stubbornly to the frozen ground. The temperature has plummeted to uncomfortable depths.
There's only one thing to do when the weather turns this chilly. Make Chili! The natural partner for a steaming hot bowl of Chili is, of course, Cornmeal Muffins. These aren't your average Cornmeal Muffins, folks. They're Maple Bacon Cheddar Cornmeal Muffins.
A little sweet to compliment the spice. A little hot inside to contrast the cold outside.
How else are you going to work up the nerve to shovel the driveway? Or scrape ice off the windshield? Or risk frostbite to check the mailbox? I suppose you could always just stay toasty warm inside and eat muffins for dinner. Like I did.
Maple Bacon Cheddar Cornmeal Muffins
Makes about a dozen muffins.
Source: Adapted from my family recipe.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
8 – 10 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp pure maple syrup for topping
Note: These muffins are best enjoyed buttered and paired with a delicious chili, but they're also great on their own.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Lightly grease a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray or a light coating of oil then set it aside.
In a large bowl combine the melted butter, egg, milk and maple syrup. Lightly toss it with the shredded cheddar and chopped bacon.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cornmeal. Add the dry ingredients to the first bowl and gently fold it together with a spatula. Make sure not to over mix the batter and just stop when it's moist and all the bits appear evenly incorporated.
Divide the batter between the 12 cups of the prepared muffin tin. Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes until they turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn them out onto a cooling rack and, while they're still warm, brush the tops with the reserved maple syrup. Enjoy!