Picnic Time: Savory Cheddar Muffins

Cheddar-Bacon Muffins

This past summer the San Jose Mercury featured several recipes that we created specially for them, for picnics and pool time adventures.  In the Bay Area, the months of September and October bring us some of our best weather.  It has been so super hot on some days the past weeks few, that some of us have found ourselves (secretly) wishing for fog.  However, while it is warm, and before the rains come (fingers crossed), some of these grab-and-go snacks are great to have lying around.  These cheddar-bacon muffins are a fun cooking project to do with the kiddos on the weekend, before you head out on an adventure.

Muffins, are a staple food-on-the-go throughout the year, often finding their way into lunch boxes during the school year, and tagging along on summer outings, as well. However for a change of pace from the usual over-sweet muffins, give these cheddar-bacon muffins a try. Any combination of hard or semi-hard cheese you have on hand will work (and it’s a great way to use up odds and ends of leftover cheeses that invariably turn into blobs of mold in the fridge), but stronger flavored cheeses yield the tastiest results.  These are hard to resist, and you will find yourself breaking off little pieces of a muffin every time you are in the kitchen.

Cheddar-Bacon Muffins

makes 1 dozen

Ingredients

  •  1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 or 5 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chives, finely minced, optional
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Method

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line the cups of a muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper together. Sprinkle the cold butter cubes over the flour mixture; use your fingertips to work the butter into the flour, so you have a crumbly mixture with small chunks of butter. Stir in cheddar, Parmesan, bacon and chives.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, milk and yogurt until well combined. Fold the wet ingredients into the flour-butter mixture until just combined. Do not over-mix. (The batter will be lumpy)

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back when you gently press them.

 

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