Corn muffins 1

In my early days in NYC, I was on a mission to find the best and biggest muffins in town. Two places stand out — Lincoln Square Deli and a bakery near NYU, where I was taking courses toward my Master’s degree. I think the muffins weighed 4-6 ounces, for about 500 calories. The only thing saving me from developing a muffin top was that I ate only the muffin top.

Fast forward to today, several years removed from my grad school days. I’m not really interested in eating huge muffins these days; it’s hard to justify spending one-third or so of my daily calories on a plain muffin and even more if I include butter. So one of my kitchen favorites is our mini-muffin pan. It holds enough batter for 24 1-ounce muffins and eating two or even three maxes out at about 300 calories. I make mostly bran, but sometimes berry or corn.

My friends at Culinary Collective recently sent me three Peruvian flour samples, including purple corn.   Corn mealI immediately got to work making purple corn mini-muffins. The Culinary Collective recommended adding jalapeños, which I did, and that inspired me to riff on the Mexican theme and throw in some roasted red peppers and corn kernels too. The muffins are sweet and savory, great partners for eggs at breakfast or chili at dinner.

Sweet and Savory Purple Peruvian Corn Muffins
Makes 24 mini- or 12 2-ounce muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup purple cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 can corn kernels, drained
1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
2 tablespoons diced jalapeños

  1.  Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the honey, oil, eggs, and milk in a medium bowl.
  4. Combine the corn, red pepper, and jalapeños in a small bowl.
  5. Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Avoid over-mixing. Fold in the corn mixture.
  6. Fill the cups 3/4 full. Bake for about 13 minutes, until the tops begin to brown and the muffins are firm but not dry.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes; then remove from the pan.

Corn muffins 2