Many a spirited conversation has surrounded this question. Frankly I don’t prefer one over the other, it’s a matter of what I’m making for dinner, which works best with what I’m making for dinner and what my husband is in the mood for with dinner (sometimes he even gets his way LOL!). The sweet vs savory debate is a regional thing, think Mason-Dixon line.
I’ve made many varieties of cornbread over the years, in fact during hurricane Sandy I made it on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet, no oven needed (good thing, since without electricity it was out of commission). But no matter how I make it, sweet or savory, in the oven or on the stove top, my base recipe remains the same. Creature of habit.
So when my mother-in-law asked me to make some mini cornbread muffins for Thanksgiving this year I thought I’d have a little fun and make both a sweet version and a savory version. I’ll be curious to see who likes which. (Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t tell!)
This recipe evolved quite some time ago from a cornmeal package label but at this point it doesn’t really resemble the original recipe much…other than the cornmeal part. It’s incredibly versatile and super easy to make. If you want to keep the mix on hand, simply combine all the dry ingredients minus the ingredient that makes it either sweet or savory – you know, sugar or herb/spice (in this case rosemary) – and store in a container in a cool dry place until ready to use.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy carb for Thanksgiving, this is it.
Ingredients – Base Recipe
1 ¼ cups stone ground cornmeal
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
½ cup milk
¼ cup neutral oil like canola or grapeseed
1 large egg
For Savory: Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary in with the dry ingredients (Thyme would be nice too).
For Sweet: Add ¼ cup sugar in with the dry ingredients.
1. Preheat your oven to 400°. Grease your 24 well mini-muffin tin (I use cooking spray) and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together to blend well.
3. Now you need to make a decision: sweet or savory? If you are going the sweet route add the ¼ cup sugar. If you are going the savory route, add the 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary.
4. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup (that’s what I did) combine the buttermilk, milk, oil and egg; whisk together to blend well.
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined. Be careful not to overmix!
6. Using a small ice cream scoop or ladle, pour the batter into the muffin tin.
7. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until lightly golden.
8. Allow to sit in the tin for about five minutes then remove to a wire rack.
Both the sweet and savory are nice served warm but room temperature is perfectly fine.