Lately I’ve been trying my hand at adapting and creating my own recipes, and so far it’s been a blast. Granted, I’m still keeping it simple by revisiting food classics and putting my personal touches on them, but it’s a start. And even though I’m taking small steps toward recipe development, that certainly doesn’t mean it has been easy.
Take this cornbread for example. I absolutely love how it turned out, with it’s extra dose of vanilla that creates a “dark and brooding” loaf – since the vanilla tints the hue of the cornbread ever-so-slightly – but this recipe certainly made me work for it. By the end of the day I had to make three different batches of cornbread until I was able to nail down just the right consistency, baking time, and baking temp. Balancing those ratios is no joke.
I’ve always liked cornbread that had stronger flavors than just cornmeal, so that was my goal with this recipe: to create the uncorny cornbread. I used an extra high concentration of honey and vanilla to achieve this, and during my taste tests I definitely noticed difference – and I was also vaguely reminded of peanut butter, even though that’s not in the ingredients at all. Sort of makes me wonder – is peanut butter cornbread a thing? Could that actually work?
I guess that question will have to wait for another day, because after all that baking I was so done and ready to just veg out on Netflix while snacking on some seriously delicious extra dark honey vanilla cornbread. Which I totally did. And I’ll probably do the same thing today, too.
So bring on the holiday dinners, because I’ve so got this!
Honey Vanilla Cornbread
Classic honey cornbread with an extra dose of vanilla.
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- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a small bowl with warm water and submerge eggs so that they can be brought to room temperature. Spray a baking dish of your choice (9" cake pan, muffin tins, etc) with cooking spray.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter until melted, roughly 1 minute. Allow butter to cool while preparing the next step (I typically set mine in the refrigerator).
- In a medium bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
- Pour melted butter into a large bowl. Add half and half, vanilla, honey, and eggs, then whisk together until blended.
- Pour the entire bowl of dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Using a whisk, slowly stir everything together, sweeping the whisk around the edges of the bowl and turning and lifting as you go. Continue mixing until there are no longer large patches of dry ingredients visible, then stop. Do not overmix. Batter will be clumpy - this is okay.
- Pour cornbread mix into baking dish of your choice. If using muffin tins, fill 1/2 to 3/4 full.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until edges of the cornbread begin to darken and a tester comes out with moist crumbs attached.