Confession time: cornbread is my favorite food.
Actually anytime “bread” appears in the name of a food, you could bet that I probably like it. But cornbread really is one of my favorite foods and I also feel like it’s sort of in the spirit of Thanksgiving, so appropriate for this time of year!
But first, the cornbread back-story (if it needs one): I keep some turkey chili in my fridge pretty much constantly (every time it runs low, I just make a new batch) because chili is one of the easiest things to make, ever. And it’s cheap! Brown some ground meat, throw it in a crock pot with some cans of beans, tomatoes, maybe some corn if you’re feeling adventurous, add some spices, and leave it for like 6 hours.
Honestly, it’s the easiest thing and a whole crock pot costs under $10, meaning I have chili a lot.
But. Stop right there. You CAN’T have chili without a little cheddar cheese on top and a piece of cornbread on the side. It’s a rule, clearly. So, because I pretty much always have chili in the fridge, I pretty much always have cornbread in the freezer, waiting to be eaten.
I periodically vary the specific type of chili and cornbread I make to get a little variety in my life. Once I was going to make chili with these great chicken sausages you can get at Trader Joes, but, as I was opening the fridge, Junior stuck his little muzzle in and just took a chicken sausage off the plate it was on. Just grabbed a whole sausage and gobbled it down! Then, he proceeded to look at me questioningly, wondering if I’d open the fridge again so he could snatch another.
Anyways, this story is about the cornbread, right? This was Junior’s response to me making this batch of cornbread:
In other words, he was oblivious and just slept right through the whole adventure. When it was about done and delicious maple smells were wafting through the apartment, he did wake up to see if whatever that smell was coming from was for him to eat. I really believe that whenever I’m in the kitchen, Junior thinks I’m making something for him. Spoiled dog.
But this cornbread was not for Junior; it was for me and it was (is? there’s still some in my freezer!) delicious. I have been experimenting with adding a little maple flavor to my cornbread because I think the two go really well together. My usual cornbread recipe is not super sweet, but adding a touch of maple syrup gives it a hint of sweetness and a little kick of maple flavor. So, if you need a cornbread recipe, try this one! Who knows–it’s almost Thanksgiving and cornbread stuffing is always delicious so maybe I’ll try that next week!
makes and 8×8 pan (or 9 inch round if you don’t have one of those!)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8×8-inch pan (or a 9-inch round pan if you’re a poor graduate student making it work with what you have!). Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Brown sugar can be a little lumpy, so you might end up with a few lumps sticking around, but don’t worry–they’ll just form little nuggets of deliciousness in your cornbread! Add in the milk, vegetable oil, maple syrup, and beaten egg, and whisk to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserting in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy! If you’re like me and
have to stop yourself from can’t eat a whole pan of cornbread in one sitting, it freezes well. Either let it defrost on the counter for a few minutes or freeze it in toaster-sized slices for easy reheating!