Earlier last week the entire country was under a layer of crisp, cold air; and for some inches of snow. Here in the south, we are not prepared for weather like this. The bitter, cut to your bones cold knocks us Texans on our feet.
This is probably due to the fact that most people I know don’t even have proper cold weather attire. So despite the fact that we don’t have a ‘winter wonderland’ covered in snow; the cold still makes us want to hibernate in the warmth of the indoors, cuddle up with a good book and eat a hearty bowl of warm soup or chili.
For me what you serve with soup or chili is just as important as the soup itself. Sometimes crackers are fine, but usually I want equally hearty, hot straight from the oven cornbread. Since we eat soup and chili so much during the winter months I try to change up the basic cornbread recipe and try a few new spins.
In the past I have done pumpkin and pesto cornbread, but this new twist, Brown Butter Cornbread is quite possibly my favorite twist on cornbread ever (seriously I have lost count of how many times I have made this)!
The nuttiness of the browned butter takes a simple cornbread recipe to a whole new level; adding an almost caramel like flavor.
Need I say more?
(Oh and we will be in the upper 60’s today… so long bitter cold! But I will eat soup and chili as long as I can!)
6 tablespoons butter (+1 tablespoon for greasing)
1 1/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375°F. Using 1 tablespoon butter, grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
Place the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter begins to boil up and becomes foamy. Continue cooking and stirring until butter starts to smell nutty turn golden or toasty brown in color, about 6-8 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cornmeal and brown sugar. Stir until fully incorporated and no clumps, breaking up brown sugar as needed.
In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in buttermilk and cooled brown butter. Stir browned butter mixture into dry ingredients mixing just until blended, using caution not to over-mix.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cornbread is lightly browned and tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Note: Can be made into cornbread muffins. Prepare recipe as directed and simply pour into a greased muffin tin. Adjust cooking time to 15-17 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.