I had previously titled the last post as "Sausage-Kale Bread Pudding and the BEST Cornbread" but I finished the bread pudding recipe and totally forgot to add the cornbread. I remembered now and will correct that, by giving the BEST Cornbread its own post - which I believe is fitting.
Before coming to Texas, I imagined that I would be fed baked beans, barbecue, and cornbread at every turn. After 5 weeks here already, I have found cornbread only sold at the grocery stores and minimally at one or two restaurants. I was quite appalled. Cornbread, I guess, is more of a Southern thing in Georgia or South Carolina, whereas Texas is considered "West".
With this horrible, relentless craving for cornbread (and resisting purchasing the 8" cornbread round at WalMart), I decided to purchase a small pack of cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. The basics of baking so that I could make some of my own cornbread.
A couple weeks ago, one of the other interns at the apartment made some Jiffy cornbread, but it was absolutely delicious. Nothing like any Jiffy cornbread I had eaten or made before. The trick, she told me, was to add sugar. Well now, fancy that.
So, heeding her advice, I looked up some "sweet" cornbread recipes online. I came across this recipe that has been tried repeatedly by so many people across time and space. I read some of the comments below and made the revisions they suggested. Also, I was restricted to what pantry items I had on hand in the apartment, so my take on the original is a little different as well.
What resulted was a delicious, moist, sweet (but not too sweet) cornbread that didn't crumble upon handling. I was overjoyed. I hope you try this out yourself as well. It's definitely a keeper for when a cornbread craving hits you as hard as it hit me.
Brown Sugar Cornbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3-3/4 cup of dark brown sugar (I mixed some Sugar in the Raw)
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup lowfat milk
1/3 vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter/oil an 8" square pan.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Combine wet ingredients, then mix into dry ingredients.
4. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with brown sugar.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden on the edges and light golden on top, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 12 squares. Each serving: 173 calories, 7 g fat, 26 g carbs, 3 g protein
Notes: I might leave the cornbread in there for 25-30 minutes next time to get a little crispier crust and bottom. Also, flecking the top more evenly with Sugar in the Raw crystals might be prettier than those crumbles of dark brown sugar (humidity made it clump). Adding chopped jalapeno, chives, corn kernels, or even cheese might make for a more savory bread. Either way, this bread can be eaten as a snack, breakfast, or an accompaniment to vegetarian chili or corn soup.