These hearty ham and cheese muffins are great for on-the-go breakfasts for days when you’re too busy to cook in the mornings. They can be made a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container for a couple of days or wrapped individually in plastic wrap and placed in individual zip lock bags. The cheese and ham helps keep the muffins nice and moist and they can be eaten either at room temperature or reheated gently in the microwave.
When Rizzi from The New York Baking Company asked me if I would like to try their silicone baking cups, I was thrilled because it gave me an opportunity to pull out one of my favorite muffin recipes from the files to use to test the baking cups. Made from BPA free silicone and FDA approved, the cups are nonporous, stain proof, and reusable. They are amazingly flexible and my muffins released perfectly from the cups after baking in a 400 degree oven. They are so colorful that you can’t help but smile as you fill the cups with the batter. Kids will find them a lot of fun to use too. The silicone baking cups are available at Amazon, link here, for $9.95. They are oven and microwave safe and can be used in the dishwasher. With these fabulous silicone cups I’m now environmentally friendly. There’ll be no more peeling the paper off with crumbs falling everywhere when I bake muffins - no more paper muffin cups for me.
I’ve never seen another recipe quite like these muffins because in addition to flour, they contain cornmeal and grits and remind me somewhat of southern cornbread in taste and texture, meaning they are hearty and have body and aren’t the cakey rather sweet cornbread I associate with northern style. This recipe has been in my files for a very long time and I don’t remember where it came from. I cut the ham and cheese cubes a bit too small this time. They should be about the size of an English pea. With the cheese and ham the muffins are very filling and would also make a nice breakfast at home with a smear of red raspberry jam or sweet butter and a glass of orange juice.
Hearty Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
From My Carolina Kitchen - yield 1 dozen muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces cooked ham (I used a ham steak), cut into cubes the size of English peas
2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into the same size cubes as the ham
1 cup milk
½ cup instant grits
3 tablespoons neutral tasting oil such as canola
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, chopped ham and cheese cubes in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
Place milk in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 120 to 130 degrees F. Remove from heat and cool to 105 to 115 degrees F. Sprinkle the instant grits into the warm milk and stir well to combine. Combine the oil and eggs into a bowl. Add the warm grits mixture and stir to combine. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients from above, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups (I used silicone baking cups) that have been coated with cooking spray, filling ¾ full. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degrees F oven for 20 – 25 minutes. I like to check for doneness about 5 minutes prior to what the recipe calls for since ovens can vary.
Muffins can be made a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container for a couple of days or wrapped individually in plastic wrap and placed in individual zip lock bags. Yield: 1 dozen.
This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, & Food on Friday at Carole's Chatter.