Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zucchini Corn Muffins

Another zucchini recipe, you say? I've spent quite a bit time handling the zucchini my garden so graciously bestowed upon me and I've got a few more recipes to share before the season has completely left us. Without ever having seen a particular recipe, the notion of zucchini cornbread got stuck in my head. A quick Google search led me quickly to some reputable source material that I only had to tweak slightly to fit my needs. I'm more of a fan of corn muffins than cornbread because it means you get more crispy edges and I can make big batches and freeze the extras in individual portions. This recipe is not too far from your standard cornbread/corn muffins recipe, but swapping in whole wheat pastry flour provides a nice textural and flavor contrast to the cornmeal, light and nutty where the cornmeal is sweet and dense. A healthy amount of butter and eggs keeps these corn muffins luxurious and moist, nicely accented by the rich tang of buttermilk. Sugar is present in the perfect proportion to add a hint of sweetness to this savory muffin that pleases the eyes with lovely green flecks of zucchini dancing throughout. Part of my Labor Day marathon in the kitchen (during which I used up several pounds of zucchini), I originally ate these with Spicy Cold Tomatillo Soup, but I'm eagerly anticipating the cooler days when I'll be dunking them into a bowl full of chili.

Zucchini Corn Muffins
adapted from Epicurious
makes 12 muffins

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 cup all-purpose + 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup medium-grind cornmeal

1. Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or butter generously.

2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter solids at bottom of pan turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Scrape butter into a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk.

3. Coarsely grate zucchini. Add to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.

4. Sift both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal. Add zucchini mixture; fold just to blend (mixture will be very thick). Transfer batter to prepared pan.

5. Bake muffins until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack.

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