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Callie’s Buttermilk Cornbread Muffin Recipe

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins // Flour and Fancy

Hi!  I’m Callie, and I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger today on Culicurious.  I am the mind, the mixer, and the mouth behind Flour and Fancy where I share recipes, stories, and photography.  Today, I’d like to share the love of cooking that has transcended three generations of my family.

My love for cooking is deeply rooted in the traditions of my family.

My grandmother, Mammaw, gave birth to my mother at an older age than other ’50s mothers.  As a result, I grew up with grandparents that were a bit older than those of my friends and classmates.  My grandparents lived through World War II and the Great Depression.  Mammaw’s cooking and tastes in food reflected both rich Southern tradition and the time in which she grew up.  I remember my grandmother telling me stories of having a glass filled with cornbread and milk for dinner.  It was a dinner she and my grandfather often enjoyed.

Mammaw was not one to use the words “I love you.”  I might have heard her say those words to me five times.  She expressed her love through food.  She said “I love you” when she baked her thick biscuits or multi-layered stack cake.  It was whispered in her buttery mashed potatoes, her dried green beans with fatback, and her golden cornbread.  In the era that my grandmother lived, when food could be scarce by our modern standards, sharing food was the ultimate show of affection.

I watched her cook for hours during my childhood.  Admittedly, it was an activity I engaged in when there were few alternatives, like riding my bicycle on a side street or watching “The Simpsons.”  Mammaw spent so many long hours wrangling a hot stove that she didn’t even need oven mitts when she pulled a hot Pyrex dish from the heat.  She didn’t use measuring spoons or cups.  After all, this was an act of love, and love can’t be measured.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins // Flour and Fancy

My Mom learned a thing or two from Mammaw, but most of her kitchen wit was developed independently.  She learned the ways of the kitchen the best way – through trial and error.  When I was growing up, it was just my Mom, my sister, and me.  We were the estrogen trio.  And Mom worked hard.  As a mental health provider, she often saw patients in the evenings and arrived home late, exhausted by the toils of the day.  I didn’t mind.  This time that I spent after school with my sister bred an independent spirit that I carry today.

Nonetheless, Mom’s work schedule meant that a homemade, from-scratch meal was a treat and regularly enjoyed on weekends.  My Mom is a talented cook and a master of the semi-homemade, taking grocery ingredients combined with scratch ingredients that remain forever etched in my childhood memories.  Her chicken and rice is worthy of legend.  Her Stroganoff is creamy perfection.  Her barbecued chicken – don’t get me started.  She loved these moments that she could cook for us and watch us chow down on the spoils.  Taking time out to enjoy a meal together was important in our family, even when adolescence didn’t permit me to appreciate it.  When I trek to visit my mother today, her considerations always center around the meal.  She’s often planning it days and weeks in advance.  While my Mom utters the words “I love you” far more often, cooking is no less an act of love for her.

Like Mammaw, Mom makes a great cornbread.  Mammaw’s cornbread was absent of sweetness.  It was traditional in every sense – make in a cast iron skillet with rich, dry corn flavor and a saltiness of sorts.  Mom’s cornbread is very similar.  Her cornbread is richly filling and the perfect accompaniment to a flavorful stew or a hot chicken dish.  She, however, employs a method that I emulate.  Skip the cast iron skillet; grab the muffin tin.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins // Flour and Fancy

When I think of the tradition of cooking in my family – intermingled in memories of family holidays, late night cake and milk, and excited trips to the grocery – I find myself instantly thinking of cornbread, a baked bread that has transcended three generations of southern women.

I love baking cornbread.  I have my own spin on this combination of flour and cornmeal.  While such an act would make Mammaw gasp, I add sugar.  Also, I’ve never baked it in a cast iron skillet.  My way involves using white cornmeal; Mom prefers yellow.  The beautiful thing about cooking is that it is an expression of self, and to truly master a dish, you have to place your own stamp on it.  You take the lessons of your family members and make them your own.

In that spirit, I wanted to share my recipe: Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins.  Each time I bake these, I feel like I’m celebrating Mammaw and the pride she infused in her food.  I’m celebrating my amazing mother whose smile was always beaming through the steam of a hot casserole dish.  I’m celebrating our family as I carry on traditions of making food for those we love the most.  I bake this recipe most frequently for my fiancé, a cornbread fanatic.  I live for watching him tear through the first cornbread muffin, still hot from the oven.

And as the crumbs fly about and that familiar smile creeps across his face at the first bite, I think, “I love you.”  After all, that’s what cooking is all about: love.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins // Flour and Fancy

 

Yield: 14 muffins

Callie's Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

This buttermilk cornbread muffin recipe appears courtesy of Callie Butler of the Flour and Fancy Blog.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 415 ºF.
  2. In your standing mixer, combine all dry ingredients on a low setting.  Should be well combined within two minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine butter, eggs, and buttermilk.
  4. With the standing mixer on a low setting, slowing pour the liquid mixer in, allowing to fully combine.  Ensure all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.  There will still be lumps.
  5. Spray cooking spray lightly in each of the cavities of your 12-cavity muffin tin.  Using your fingers, spread the spray around the cavity to ensure a thorough coating.
  6. Fill each cavity with approximately 1/3 cup of batter.
  7. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and remove muffins after a few minutes to a cooling rack.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe created and provided by Callie Butler of Flour and Fancy.

Prep:15 min

Cook:25 min

Total:1 hour

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Callie Elizabeth Butler is the baker and blogger behind Flour and Fancy.  She can be reached via email, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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