Baked(!) Hush Puppies

HushPuppiesBakedVertbfLOAnd no, I am not talkin’ about the shoes.

I was raised in more of a bread and/or biscuit family, so never really came across the spiced corn goodness that be a hushed puppy until I was older, but even I know that hush puppies are supposed to be fried and not baked – so these are, more truthfully, I think, mini corn muffins with a bit of onion and pepper.

They’re still quite good, tho’ – and surprisingly, even better after they’ve sat for a day.

I had stopped by our local Borders to check out their going out of business bargains – a sad thing, but I could not resist the 40% off. I went mostly in search of  a cook book we’d spotted earlier; Simple Fresh Southern by the Lee Brothers – which I did score (YAY!) – but then I got to poking around.

$80 and change later, I left Borders with the HPDryIngredientsbfLOcookbook I went in for, plus a stack of novels, plus The Deen Brothers’ take it easy cookbook – they had me at the pimiento mac and cheese.

Thumbing through, marking pages for spicy ocean-baked pepper shrimp, grilled bacon and cheese jalapeño peppers and so much more, I came across these mini muffin/puppy things and thought to myself; why not?

HPBatterStirredbfLOThey came together quickly, seem to be handling sitting in the bread box well, and taste remarkably like the traditional fried version – though next time I make these puppies, I think I’ll add a bit of sugar.

•2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
•1/3 cup flour
•1 tsp baking powder
•3/4 tsp salt
•1/8 tsp black pepper – I used lemon pepper
•1/2 cup finely chopped onion
•1/3 cup milk
•2 eggs, lightly whisked
•2 tbsp butter, melted

HPBatterPansbfLOAs noted above, I wouldn’t say no to adding 1/2 tsp sugar or so, too.

Preheat the oven to 450º.

Lightly grease (or use cooking spray) one 24-hole mini muffin pan or, as did I, two, 12-hole mini muffin pans.

HPBakedbfLOCombine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper (and sugar, if you’re going to try that) in a bowl and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, onion, and melted butter in another bowl, then fold into the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until it’s moistened.

Spoon one tablespoon measures of the batter into each muffin cup and pop into the oven for about ten minutes until the hushpuppies/muffins are firm and golden brown.

Remove from the pans and serve warm, or allow to cool and offer as a little nibble – maybe with some whipped honey, a dab o’ jam or perhaps some Jezebel sauce?

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