Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friends, Food, and Family - All I need in life

it's been a rough couple weeks, folks. my grandfather passed away in india the week before thanksgiving and though he was ill for a long time, no one ever expects these things to happen. luckily, i've been able to surround myself with family as we remember the great things about my dada. i can only count on one hand the number of times i've ever seen him, but he has impacted my life in ways i'm sure many of you can relate with your own family members. he was confident, smart, engaging - and i am really going to miss him...

what i've realized over the past few days, with the support of so many great people, is that i am so thankful for the people i have in my life whom i love and who love me. part of the way i show that is in my baking - sharing a warm, homemade goody with family and friends, around which we can laugh, cry, and reminisce - those are memories i savor.

fortunately, my good friend allison and i have made it a point to keep our old friends close by throwing a thanksgiving potluck reunion each year. the tradition was alive and well in its sixth year this past wednesday, and i made a twist on cornbread for my friends. hope you enjoy trying these not-too-sweet thanksgiving treats, and are reminded of how fortunate you are to be able to break bread with the people in your life that mean something to you.

cornbread cupcakes
(adapted from no frills)
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • about 5oz cream-style corn (1/3 can)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp honey, plus more for drizzling 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1) sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a bowl. 2) stir in sugar and mix well. 3) in another bowl, mix together cream corn, milk, oil, honey, and vanilla. 4) whisk eggs into liquid mixture. 5) pour liquid mixture into dry mixture in 3 batches, stirring each time until incorporated. be sure not to overmix, or cakes will turn out dense. 6) fill a lined muffin tin to about 2/3 full, then bake till golden, about 22 minutes at 350F. 7) while warm, spoon small amounts of honey over the cupcakes to saturate the tops. 8) allow to cool completely, then top with whipped honey frosting. 

whipped honey frosting
(i think i may have seen this in a martha stewart book, once)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 8 oz plain cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup honey
1) cream together the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. 2) slowly add in honey while mixer is still running. you may not use the total amount of honey depending on the sweetness you want. 3) allow mixer to run until you have a light, whipped frosting. spread onto cooled cornbread cakes with an offset spatula.  

see the little bits of corn in there? the cream-style corn gave these a soft, chewy bite at times. it's pretty close to your standard cornbread, but a tad sweeter. the whipped topping takes it to the next level for me :)

will post the recipe i tried on my family for thanksgiving soon - sweet potato cupcakes with marshmallow topping :) hope everyone had a happy holiday! 

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