ENOUGH with the cookies and sweets!!
We’re going the opposite direction now….
We’re going spicy.
Yes, salt is involved.
Sugar plays a minor role.
Make mini muffins for an awesome appetizer tonight!
They’re spicy and fun.
Don’t worry, though, you can control the heat level-from none at all to “help my face is on fire”.
I made pleasantly sneakily spicy!
We’re talking thin crunchy outer layer, moist, cheesy inside, just the right amount of heat to finish it off…
You want these. Let’s do this thing.
The requisite bowl o’ flour
Oil, sugar, eggs in a different bowl. Then cornmeal comes to play! Man I love cornbread.
Now…let’s talk about peppers. Peppers can be tricky.
I used serrano because that’s all they had at the store and let me tell you what…I was nervous.
I was nervous because I’m used to jalapeno peppers. I know how spicy they are, I know how much seed-age to include so my muffins are nicely spicy instead of flaming little balls of lava.
I looovveee spicy food. But you know…there’s a limit. At some point it’s just not enjoyable.
Luckily, we have this thing called the internet. You’re on it right now in fact.
So I did a little research and kind of took a guess..
and it was a winner!
Spicy levels are tricky because something that is flaming out of control spicy to one person could be barely anything to the next person.
I found a site that uses a little chili pepper rating system. I like it because I can compare spicy levels of peppers I’m familiar with.
Jalapenos got 3 little peppers. Serrano got 4. Habanero (the crazy ones) got 5.
Peppers get their heat from their seeds. If you take the seeds out you take the heat out. I needed 4 serrano peppers to make 1/2 cup but including 4 peppers worth of seeds would have been straight up batty. I included only 1/2 of 1 pepper’s seeds in the batter. That gave the muffins a hint of heat that kind of sneaks up on you. Totally manageable.
Honestly…I like things spicier…I would have liked a whole pepper’s worth of seeds.
Half a pepper is a good crown pleaser, though. Choose your own adventure.
(Side note: I hate those choose your own adventure books. I used to get so overwhelmed because I wanted to read every possible version of the story and I would lose track of what decisions I had already made. Terrible. Also not at all relevant.)
Now that you’re finished agonizing over your pepper seeds (sorry to do that to you)…throw them in your batter with some cheese.
This is another choose your own adventure situation.
The specific amount of cheese I added comes to about “2 big handfuls”
I should have measured but…I didn’t. Sorry. 1/2 cup is skimpy I’ll tell you that. You need at least a cup.
Also, I used sharp cheddar. You can use whatever you want! Or none at all! Or green onions instead of peppers! Or herbs! Or just cheese! Or shoot…throw some honey in there instead of savory! Add in some bacon! Chop up a hot dog and make them corn dog muffins!
Whoa…things just got weird.
Anyway…fill some well greased muffin tins about 3/4 full, bake and voila!
Mine aren’t mini but yours could be!
Savory muffins tonight then sweet muffins tomorrow morning?
I think yes.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May all your resolutions come true.
Cheesy Spicy Corn Muffins
Recipe slightly adapted from here
1½ cups King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup whole or 2% milk
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup diced serrano pepper, including 1/2 of 1 pepper’s seeds
1- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
**Oven 400 degrees F
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and milk.
- Add cornmeal and flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. The batter will still be lumpy, that’s ok.
- Fold in the pepper and cheese (or whatever you’re adding if anything)
- Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 400 degrees F for 17-20 minutes until cooked through and lightly brown on top
Enjoy as an appetizer or with a hot cup of chilli or soup! Makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins