Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Muffins

I normally try to bake at least once a week, usually Thursday for Quiz, but I changed my routine and baked last Monday because I had to go out of town for work Wednesday-Friday.  Though I was bummed about missing out on the funtimes I've come to count on every Thursday, I learned a lot from the conference I went to AND we had a special treat as well.  The Hotel Zaza; if you haven't heard of it before, check out the link.  It's a beautiful hotel, and I'm so thankful the meeting's host was able to set us all up there.  The picture above was the view from my room. Amazing, right?!  Below is my bed, complete with samurai headboard.  I felt safe knowing they were there, above my head, the whole time.  (Totally kidding, I know the samurai aren't real.  I haven't completely lost it.)
Oh, and as if the hotel wasn't enough, our fabulous hostess got us tickets to the Houston Rodeo.  I know rodeos aren't everyone's cup of tea, but Kenny Chesney performed after all the bull-ridin', barrel-racin', and mutton bustin' was over, so there was a little something for everyone.  On a completely different note, I've decided my niece needs to get in on mutton bustin'.  She's a smart kid, and apparently they give out prizes to the winner.  I've offered to bankroll her first attempt, my sister seems to think I'm kidding.  Here's a picture of the concert!

Enough about fancy-pants hotels that I'd never be able to afford if it weren't for getting the state rate; let's talk about these muffins! In addition to bringing some in to work on Tuesday, I had plenty to take with me for breakfast on my trip.  I'm going to be honest with you, they were TERRIFIC.  No, seriously.  There is something about cornmeal that is deliciously comforting and perfect.  I really should eat more things containing it.  It's true.

I can't remember where I got the recipe from, but it's really easy and comes together quickly.  The original just called for fresh blackberries but I used a bag of frozen mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry) and I think they really added something special.

Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins
1 1/4 Cup flour
1/2 Cup fine or medium ground yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup buttermilk, room temp
2 large eggs, room temp
7 Tbs butter, melted and cooled
12 oz. berries (like I said, I just bought a bag of mixed berries and managed to fit three in each muffin cup)

Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 Cup plus 2 Tbs sugar in bowl.  In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and butter together.  Pour over dry mixture, whisking to combine.

Fill muffin cups with 1/4 Cup batter, top with berries, sprinkle evenly with remaining sugar.  Here's what mine looked like just before I put them in the oven.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until browned on top.  These were best when warm, I ended up heating them for 10 seconds in the microwave and then putting just a smidge of butter on them.  Delicious.

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