Preheat oven to 425°F. Mist two mini muffin pans (12 cups each) with nonstick cooking spray. Melt butter in small saucepan over mediumlow heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes (do not let brown). Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk and eggs. Stir in onion mixture and cheese. Make a well in flour mixture and add milk mixture, stirring until just combined (do not overmix).
Spoon 1 Tbsp. of batter into each muffin cup. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick dipped in center of a muffin comes out clean. Place pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins to rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
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These are great with soups, stews, chili, etc. The second time I made them, I added 3 strips of cooked, crumbled bacon AND put just a tiny bit of bacon grease in each cup, heating in oven to emulsify before adding muffin mixture. They were wonderful. I also used self-rising yellow cornmeal because I did not have enough of regular. I cut the baking powder and baking soda amounts in half. It didn't seem to make a big difference - perhaps they were a tiny bit lighter but nothing significant. By the way, this recipe made only 27 muffins. The recipe calls for two 12-muffin pans, so I'm not sure where the "Yield: 48 muffins" comes from.
Loved them! I used regular Jack instead of pepper (because I didn't have any at home) but I used the cayenne pepper. It had a spicy kick to it, so I'm not sure what it would taste like with the pepper Jack. They were nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Very good. They are mini, so you can serve them as a snack or appetizer. ;)
I can't believe nobody's tried these! They are light, crispy-yet-tender little morsels that pair very well with soup. I did make them a bit healthier, using fresh-milled white whole wheat flour and cutting the butter by half (as I omitted the onion, which my husband doesn't care for). I also used light buttermilk instead of whole (tweaking the leavening accordingly - 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 5/8 tsp. soda) and added some corn solids leftover from making broth. I used regular jack cheese as my husband doesn't do spicy. They were a bit larger as I only had 41, but they baked up in 10 minutes and were wonderful spread with a wee bit of butter.
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