Cornbread (or muffins) with Bitters
It’s wintertime and the baking is easy. It certainly appeals to Rosie and me, which is why this is our third-in-a-row recipe using muffin tins — or an 8×8 baking pan! See Rosie’s pepper jack popovers and my bran muffins.
This cornbread recipe is my go-to favorite, for corn muffins too. Lightly sweetened, low fat, rather crunchy. Angostura bitters adds a distinctive, rich flavor. Similar to the biscuits I developed, Angostura bitters brings depth that takes this cornbread beyond routine. Use a cornbread mix if you like; just stir Angostura into the liquid ingredients. That’s what makes the difference here.
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Cornbread with Cranberries & Angostura Bitters
Makes 9 servings of cornbread or 15 muffins
Prep time: 10-12 minutes Bake time: 15 – 30 minutes
1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cup cornmeal, medium-grind
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (rounded) dried cranberries
1-1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 Tbsp. butter, melted (4 Tbsp. for muffins, if desired)
2 tsp. Angostura aromatic bitters or Angostura orange bitters
Preheat oven to 375°F for cornbread, 350ºF for muffins. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan or muffin tins (15 muffins).
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients with a wire whisk (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Stir in cranberries, separating berries with your fingers, if needed.
In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter and Angostura. Add to flour mixture, stirring gently until moistened. Pour into pan; let rest 5 minutes. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
* Kitchen Notes:
- If using a glass 8×8 baking dish, bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until tests done.
- Recipe makes 15 muffins. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Muffin texture is not as moist as 8×8 pan, so use 4 Tbsp. butter if desired.
- Brands of cornmeal vary; some are coarser than others which affects the texture of the cornbread.
- If you’re short on time to let buttermilk and eggs come to room temperature, immerse unbroken eggs in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Microwave buttermilk on medium power for 1 minute.
- No buttermilk on hand? Powdered cream of tartar is a good buttermilk substitute. For this recipe, whisk 2-1/4 tsp cream of tartar into the dry ingredients; use whole milk instead of buttermilk. OR… Stir 4-1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice into whole milk; let stand 10 minutes for milk to curdle. A bit of acidity will be apparent in the cornbread flavor.
- Use 1/3 cup sugar if you like cornbread on the sweeter side.
- Don’t have cranberries on hand? Use raisins or currants, or chop up other dried fruits.
Nutrition information per serving (9) for cornbread: 259 calories, 6.6g fat (3.2g sat fat), 73.8mg chol, 7.2g protein, 43.3g carb, 2.3g fiber, 451mg sodium
Recipe and photos by Rita Held for Angostura USA