What's Baking: Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter

Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter || A Less Processed Life

A huge pot of chili definitely calls for a side of cornbread muffins. For our Sunday potluck, I made two dozen muffins -- one dozen was plain cornbread and the other was flavored with jalapeƱos and cheddar cheese.

Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter || A Less Processed Life

I jazzed up the "plain" cornbread muffins with the addition of whole corn kernels. But the real highlight was the maple butter served on the side. I'm not talking about the confection made purely from maple syrup (sometimes also referred to maple cream). Instead, this is a simpler concoction made by beating maple syrup into softened butter.

Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter || A Less Processed Life

The maple butter is lightly-flavored with maple, but none the less delicious. One of our friends might've even frosted the top of an entire cornbread muffin with the stuff. No judgement here.

Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 muffins

For the maple butter:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
pinch fine sea salt

For the cornbread muffins:
1 cup medium-ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

1. To make the maple butter, add the softened butter to the bowl of an electric mixer with the beater attached and beat until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and a pinch of salt and continue beating until fully incorporated. Spoon the butter into a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate. Let the butter come to room temperature before serving.
2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until almost completely incorporated. Then stir in the frozen corn kernels. Do not overmix!
4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. The muffins will be light golden in color. Remove from the oven and cool the muffins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve with maple butter. Store any leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.

(adapted from this Epicurious recipe)

Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter || A Less Processed Life