Crispy Gouda Herb Cornmeal Muffins

2 cups cornmeal

2 cups flour

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 (rounded) tsp cumin

1 tbsp minced fresh basil

2 sticks unsalted butter – softened

2 large eggs

2 cups milk

3 cups shredded gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 400.  Grease or line 2 12 cup muffin tins.

Combine all dry ingredients, including basil – set aside.

In large bowl beat butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  At low speed beat in half of the milk, then half of the dry ingredients.  With rubber spatula fold in the rest of the milk and the dry ingredients – stir in cheese.  Do not over mix.

Spoon batter into baking cups – I like to add a bit more grated cheese to the top and a sprinkling of freshly ground salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and pulling away from the tin.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

Fantastic served with soup (try Roasted Potato Fennel Soup!) on a cool night.

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