With autumn making her appearance here in the Midwest (love the cooler mornings and looking forward to sweatshirt weather!) I'm sharing one of our favorites. Serve these with a big bowl of chili or bean soup and enjoy. These also make a great after school snack.
Corn Bread Muffins (with some 'extra' yumminess mixed in):
Corn Bread "Base"
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease (or use cooking spray) muffin or mini-muffin pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Here's where we ramp it up ....
Get 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. of bacon. This is your call. How much do you love bacon? Do I really need to ask that?! I fry bacon in the oven - MUCH less mess and faster - but you can also do this in a skillet if you prefer.
Line a cookie sheet with foil (make sure the cookie sheet has sides!) and lay bacon slices on it side by side. Place in 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Check after the first ten minutes. There is no need to turn the bacon but I usually rotate the pan at least once. Easy!
While the bacon cooks, grab a large onion and dice it up. Heat a skillet on medium high with a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon or so) and add onions. Throw in a pinch of salt, pepper and a little bigger pinch of sugar. Stir and allow the onions to caramelize. This will take about 5 minutes.
When the bacon is cooked, take it out of the pan and blot it on paper towels to get rid of excess grease. Then, crumble it up ...
Grab those onions ....
... and stir both into your batter. To make these EVEN better, at this point you can also throw in about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I didn't do it this time, but trust me, you should definitely try it. Diced jalapenos or a little crushed red pepper could also be added now for some 'heat'.
Spoon batter into muffin tins. I almost always use the mini-muffin pans and fill them to the top. This pan holds 24 minis ...
Bake muffins for about 12 minutes then check. If you use the mini pan, 12 - 14 minutes should be good. Larger muffins will obviously take a little longer (probably about 20 minutes). Just keep an eye on them and when they spring back from a finger poke and the edges are a little golden, you're good to go.
Do I even need to tell you what comes next? Eat them warm with butter. Butter is necessary, required, a must.