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Tiny cornbread muffins with blueberries. I also made a vanilla bean butter for spreading. Yum.

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  • Muffins
  • 1 c. Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1/2 c. All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 c. Buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1/4 c. Shortening, Melted
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 8 oz. weight Dried Blueberries
  • 1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 whole Vanilla Bean
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine corn meal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, egg, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add melted shortening, stirring constantly. Add vanilla extract, then stir in dried blueberries (you can use a little more or a little fewer if you’d like.)

    Pour into a greased mini-muffin pan, trying to make sure blueberries stay evenly distributed. Bake for 10 minutes or so, or until golden brown.

    To make the vanilla butter, combine the softened butter, the caviar from the vanilla bean, and the sugar. Stir until totally combined, then spread into a ramekin and serve with the warm muffins. (Butter can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.)


I made these little corn muffins just before my mom and sister arrived for a weekend visit a couple of weeks ago, and I almost wolfed them all down before they got here.

Here was the problem: the muffins themselves were divine: moist, distinctively corny, but with yummy blueberries peppered throughout. But as if that wasn’t enough, I made a vanilla bean butter to spread on the little babies. It wasn’t my fault! My soul made me do it. How could I be expected to practice restraint in the presence of such deliciousness?

Thank you for listening.

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The Cast of Characters: flour, cornmeal, shortening salt, sugar, buttermilk, milk, egg, baking powder, and baking soda. This is the basic skillet cornbread recipe I’ve used for years, which is heavy on the corn flavor and texture. I like corn muffins to have that cornbread texture, not a light and fluffy muffin texture.

Oh, and I added a little vanilla to give them a little flavor.

Oh, and I added a little sugar to give them a little sweetness.

Oh, and guess what else I added? Dried blueberries! They work so well in baked goods, because they don’t bleed all over everything. And because of the moisture and the heat, they plump up and become tender and juicy.

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Mix the flour and cornmeal in a bowl.

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Add in the salt…

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The baking powder…

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And the sugar.

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In a bowl, combine the buttermilk…

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The milk…

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The egg…

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And the baking soda. Mix it together until it’s all combined…

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Then pour it into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

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Melt the shortening in the microwave for about 25 seconds…

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Pour it into the batter, stirring gently.

*Note: The melted shortening gives the muffins a nice texture and crispness on the crust…but you can leave it out of the recipe if you wish. They’ll still be yummy!

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Then add a splash of vanilla and stir it to combine.

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Next, stir in the dried blueberries (most of them are under the surface of the batter and you can’t see them in this photo…but they’re there.

By the way: dried blueberries are a wonderful snack. Amen.

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Fill greased mini-muffin pans with the batter, then bake ’em in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until they start turning golden brown.

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Mmmm. They look (and smell) divine.

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While they’re baking (or even way ahead of time)…you can do this. Softened butter.

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Vanilla bean. I dream about them.

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Split the bean, scrape out the caviar…

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And stir it into the butter.

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I decided to add a little sugar…but you don’t have to.

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Spread the butter into a ramekin…and don’t pay any attention to those other naughty butters in the back. I’ll cover those in another post.

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Serve the warm muffins with the butter. And a knife. And an appetite for goodness.

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Wish me luck. I’m goin’ in.

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See how nicely those dried blueberries behaved? No bleeding anywhere, and just look how plump and juicy they are!

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Enjoy these, guys. They’re really, really delicious. I’d actually recommend doubling the recipe if you have more than three or four people to feed. These disappear very, very quickly.

I learned that firsthand a couple of weeks ago.

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