Top Muffins

I'm all about muffins. My mom says it was my first word...but that it sounded more like "muff-me". In high school the other girls on my dance team all had great nicknames like "Princess", "Kellie-Bean", "Charlie", and "Coco", and I didn't. I was always just "Heidi". (Truth: my Dad called me "Boomer" but no one was allowed to know that) We had to select either our name or a nickname to have embroidered on our team bags, we traveled for dance competitionsso I chose "Muffmie". I thought my spelling was clever, yeah-it didn't go over well. The football players thought it was hilarious and made jokes about it, some innocent, and some not-so. Whenever I tried to explain that muffin was my first attempted word and yada-yada, that spaced-out look would come into the person's eyes and I walked away sulking in embarrassment. Sheesh, all for a dumb nickname that wasn't.

Fast forward to today, my loving husband has all manner of nicknames for me. I am not going to share them, but they mainly revolve around food- specifically and ironically baked goods. When I made these texture-rich natural corn muffins today, I smiled just thinking about how my husband has never called me "muffin", and given our current culture's obsession with the term "muffin-top", I'm super-OK with it.

The corn muffin recipe I used here friends, is from-scratch and dairy-free. The prep is slightly more involved than say, following a Jiffy box which takes 40 seconds...because I've timed it. These suckers have a lot chew-quality because they are not overly conditioned and crumbly, like box mixes (of course sometimes I want that). This is a muffin with strength to hold a thick smear of butter and preserves, AND to satisfy me after just two. Also the nutty corny flavor is nice, very natural- in a way that makes you imagine your regular dining room table has been turned into one of those reclaimed driftwood numbers. This recipe makes 12...and uh, I was too impatient and ate 3 of them before taking the pic above. Honesty.

Dairy-free Corn Muffins


1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup unbleached white flour
Scant 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners, then spray with cooking spray. Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture, then pour in the egg mixture. Stir just to combine- remember muffin batter should be l u m p y. Spoon the batter into muffin liners about 2/3 full, then bake for 15 minutes. I usually do a tiny "faerie" dusting of sugar on top immediately upon removing them from the oven, but that is optional.


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