The interplay of sweet and savory carries through both elements of this simple brunch dish. Sweet corn, touched with just a bit of salt and black pepper, complements smoky candied bacon.
These muffins make a great contribution to a potluck, or can be used as a sweet and savory side for a hearty chili or stew. Versatile quick breads like these are a great addition to your culinary arsenal, especially when you need that one extra dish to fill out a brunch table when unexpected guests stop by.
To me, the star of the show is the candied bacon, which is why the recipe calls for eight strips even though you only need six for the muffins. when you really only need six for the muffins. Trust me, you'll be thankful for those extra two pieces one you give them a taste.
- Yield:Makes 16 muffins
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 6 strips (about 1/3 pound) bacon
- 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Adjust oven rack to 8 to 10 inches below broiler element and preheat the broiler to high. Place bacon strips in a single layer on a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle the bacon with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Broil until the sugar is bubbling, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon from the oven and flip it using a pair of tongs, place the bacon back in the oven until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Remove the bacon and let drain on paper towels, sugared side up.
Turn off broiler, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with muffing liners, or grease with cooking spray or butter.
Whisk together flour, sugar, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, a large pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper. In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter, vegetable oil, eggs, and milk. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients then divide batter between muffin cups.
Bake muffins until golden brown on the top, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool, meanwhile divide 6 strips of bacon in half. Cut a small hole in the top of each muffin and slide a half piece of bacon into each muffin.