Just-about-spoonbread quick corn muffins

No matter where I live, no matter where I go, I will always hold the standard high for Iowa sweet corn. It’s hands-down fabulous, whether in a dish or on its own, and I plan to eat at least a few corn-only meals this summer, just in honor of its sheer amazingness. I don’t know if it’s what’s in the soil, or the water, or just that there’s so much of it the farmers have to get it right, but whatever it is, it’s working for this state.

I froze some of that sweet corn last summer—in fact, if I recall correctly, the corn I froze was purchased on the day the farmers were yelling to customers at the farmer’s market that it was the last day it would be available—and repurposed it to some Sunday afternoon corn muffins that made a regular Sunday afternoon taste much more like a Saturday night.

These muffins start with a basic cornbread and muffin mix (I used a pouch of Betty Crocker’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix as my starter), but I added or changed a few key ingredients to take it from normal to sublime.

Sure, it would probably be amazing if you made the muffin batter from scratch, but I had a lot to do on SCorn muffins pre-bakingunday and wanted muffins in a speedy fashion. I chose the shortcut option, but didn’t suffer for it.

The sweet corn studded the sunny batter and made it look interesting even before it went into the oven. I had made them in brightly colored, rubber-ducky paper muffin cups that were probably more appropriate to a baby shower than a Sunday afternoon brunch, but hey, one does what one can with what one inadvertently bought and abandoned in one’s kitchen closet.

The muffins came out of the oven browned and piping and ready for a pat of butter. A word to the wise: these aren’t nearly as crumbly as standard muffins – the addition of the corn and the cheese contribute to a spoon-bready texture. But let that butter soften or, like Patsy Cline, these muffins will fall to pieces.

Corn muffin post-bakingJust-About-Spoonbread Quick Corn Muffins
(Makes 6 muffins)

1 package cornbread and muffin mix (any commercial kind that requires the addition of butter and that says it makes 6 muffins)
Olive oil
1 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels (I recommend Iowa sweet corn, but that’s a limited-time-option in a very localized area)
1 handful shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven as directed on the package. In my case, it was 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the cornbread and muffin mix as directed, with these exceptions: Substitute extra-virgin or virgin olive oil for the butter, and add just less than the amount of milk called for. In my case, the package called for 1/3 c. milk, and I poured about 90 percent of that into the bowl. You can add the eggs exactly as the mix directs.
  3. Fold in the corn and cheese.
  4. Bake as directed, until the muffins are firm and brown on top. Serve immediately with butter.

This is my contribution for Weekend Herb Blogging, which will be hosted this week by Kel from Green Olive Tree. Stop by Kel’s place after the weekend for a full round-up of recipes!

16 Responses to “Just-about-spoonbread quick corn muffins”

  1. 1 Jodi DeLong March 13, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Oh, yummy! Corn bread, corn muffins, we just love them especially with chili. Thanks so much for posting this, and I’ll probably try it this weekend.

  2. 2 Kalyn March 13, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    The muffins sound just delicious. I’m sure I’ve never had actual Iowa corn, but any kind of corn is pretty tasty.

  3. 3 Suzanne Langley March 13, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Great recipe and article.
    Highly recommend this site it is tops.
    It is early morning here in Aussie and I’m hungover from the Flu so will make further comment when I feel a little better up to it.

  4. 4 ourfriendben March 13, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Genie! These look just beautiful! But tell me about the olive oil for butter thing–is it a texture issue?

  5. 5 Crescent D March 14, 2008 at 11:17 am

    They do look delicious, and my late husband was from Iowa, so I know whereof you speak. I just want to add a slight whimpering plea to you-all – please make cornbread from scratch! It is SO easy, and so so SO much better! If you go to http://www.cornbreadgospels.com you’ll see why I’m so passionate on the subject! Dear Inadvertent G, my publishing company will be glad to send a review copy for you to look over, if you like. I just need your snailmail address. P.S. I live in Vermont these days and we also have incredible fresh corn here… alas, much later in the season than you.

  6. 6 gillie March 14, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    That looks so yummy. It’s ages and ages until our sweetcorn will be ready and I have none in the freezer I wonder if it would work as well with a bag of shop bought sweetcorn …. well I suppose there’s only one way to find out!!! No cornbread mixes in the UK, but I reckon I could find a recipe, maybe try the one above :)

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener March 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Jodi, let me know how it goes!

    Kalyn, yes, I’m a big fan of corn…

    Suzanne, hope you’re feeling better quickly!

    Ourfriendben, I think it does affect the texture a bit, but even more so affects the flavor.

    CrescentD, I wholeheartedly agree with you on the homemade bit — it’s quite delicious. Your book sounds terrific — an email will be coming your way!

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener March 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Jodi, let me know how it goes!

    Kalyn, yes, I’m a big fan of corn…

    Suzanne, hope you’re feeling better quickly!

    Ourfriendben, I think it does affect the texture a bit, but even more so affects the flavor.

    CrescentD, I wholeheartedly agree with you on the homemade bit — it’s quite delicious. Your book sounds terrific — an email will be coming your way!

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener March 14, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Gillie, I’d say trying the frozen kind would be just fine!

  10. 10 Curtis March 14, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Looks like something one could make a meal out of. Or at least me.

  11. 11 katie March 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I bring back seeds from the US to plant in my garden. The French (and Spanish) have no comprehension of decent sweet corn – or how to eat it. White corn??? Never! Pig food!
    I don’t share with the neighbors, either. No sense wasting it on people who won’t be properly appreciative…

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener March 15, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Curtis, yeah, I definitely could have made a meal out of that stuff…

    Katie, definitely don’t waste the good stuff on those who don’t appreciate it!

  13. 13 Robin at Bumblebee March 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Yum! Am printing it now for my recipe book…Sadly, sweet corn seems very far away right now. And I was not clever enough to freeze any.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  14. 14 inadvertentgardener March 17, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Robin, I think if you squeeze your eyes very tightly closed and click your heels together three times, you’ll be transported to sweet corn season. I’m off to try that right now…

  15. 15 looktotheleft March 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Just ran out of the kernel gold about a week ago. I’m so with you on the Iowa sweet corn. It is truely a taste to be experienced. Along with morel mushrooms which are just around the seasonal corner. Something to look forward to as we wait out the last of winters blasts. Get ready to plant spinach, peas, and some salad greens for early freshness. By the way I’m 50 miles away from I.C.

  16. 16 inadvertentgardener March 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Looktotheleft, I am definitely ready to start planting salad greens. Now that the snow is melting off, I’ve got to get my garden bed cleaned up — might do that next weekend, depending on the weather.

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