Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

casaveneracion.com Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

This recipe was originally published on September 8, 2009. I have included step-by-step photos to make the instructions more illustrative. Enjoy!

I saw these bacon onion cheddar biscuits and I wanted to make something similar. Not biscuits though but muffins. For brunch. I went through the ingredients and realized that sugar was not listed, and I was ninety per cent certain that my girls would balk. When I make savory pies, I add a little sugar because they don’t like plain salted crusts. A muffin is an even more serious issue. I tried to decide how much risk I was willing to take tweaking the recipe blindly. Then, I remembered. Somewhere on the shelves is a little cookbook called Baking (from the Essential cooking series, Hinkler Books) that Alex gave me for a birthday (or was it Christmas?) gift a few years ago. And in that cookbook is a recipe for cheese and pepper muffins. I decided I was going to combine the two recipes.

I was posting messages on Twitter and Facebook right after I ate a muffin and I described the experience as having died and going to muffin heaven. Overacting? Yeah, well, it sometimes happens. I’m probably going to get blamed for ruining everyone’s diet in this house but these muffins are absolutely delicious! The saltiness of the bacon, the natural sweetness of the onion and bell pepper, the addition of a little sugar… they all went wonderfully together to make something I can’t quite describe but can’t help but eat (it’s been three and a half hours since the muffins have come out of the oven and I have eaten three so far). And the texture! Because of the addition of yellow cornmeal, the texture is more dense than most muffins but it stayed soft and moist inside because of the butter, the natural juices of the vegetables, the cheese and the little bacon fat.

I think that’s quite enough chest-beating. The recipe… Please don’t forget to view the end notes.

casaveneracion.com Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

Ingredients

  1. 200 g. of belly bacon1, finely sliced or minced
    1 medium sized white onion, chopped2
    1 red bell pepper (seeds and membranes removed), chopped
    onion leaves, finely sliced, about 1/4 cup
    200 g. of cheese, coarsely grated3
    1-1/4 c. of all-purpose flour
    1-1/4 tsps. of baking powder
    1/2 tsp. of salt
    4 tbsps. of sugar
    1/4 c. of yellow cornmeal
    1/4 c. of butter (plus more for greasing), at room temperature
    2 large eggs
    1 c. of buttermilk4

Instructions

  1. Pan fry the bacon in a non-stick pan. No need to add oil as the bacon will render its own fat. Cook until the bacon fat starts to turn transparent.

    Add the chopped onion. Stir and cook for about two minutes or until the onion bits start to soften. Add the chopped bell pepper and continue cooking, with occasional stirring, for another minute or two. When the bits of bell pepper soften, turn off the heat, strain the mixture to get rid of the excess fat and let the mixture cool while you prepare the batter.

    casaveneracion.com bacon-cheese-pepper-muffins3

    In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and the cornmeal and stir to combine.

    To the flour mixture, add the grated cheese and chopped onion. Toss gently (I used my fingers) so as not to squish the cheese.

    Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wire whisk until light. Add the eggs and beat for about a minute. If small lumps of butter remain, don’t worry — this is muffin batter and you’re not aiming for superfine texture.

    casaveneracion.com bacon-cheese-pepper-muffins3

    Add the flour mixture and milk in three batches to the butter and eggs, mixing lightly after each addition. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold the bacon, onion and bell pepper into the batter (I used a rubber spatula) with light swift strokes. Again, DO NOT OVERMIX. Stop when the texture looks even. This shouldn”?t take more than six turns of the spatula.

    casaveneracion.com bacon-cheese-pepper-muffins3

    Butter the holes of the muffin pan. Use a brush if you wish. I used my fingers.

    The capacity of each mold of my muffin pan is 1/3 cup so I poured a quarter cup of the batter into each hole. If you’re using a pan with different capacity, make the adjustments. Just remember to pour just enough batter to reach to about 4/5 of the mold. Tap the pan gently on the counter to make sure that there are no air pockets inside.

    Bake at 375oF for 25 to 30 minutes.

    casaveneracion.com Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

    The muffins are fully baked after 25 minutes but if you prefer them crustier with and more browned, bake for another five minutes. During baking the butter that coats the pan sort of fries the bottom and sides of the muffins. Some of the butter even even comes out through the batter and spreads lightly on the surface which gives a the muffin tops a very light crust.

    casaveneracion.com Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

    As soon as they can be handled, run a blunt knife around each muffin to release it from the mold. Serve warm by themselves or with a salad or soup. These are heavy muffins and I really can”?t imagine pairing them with another heavy dish.

    Enjoy!

Quick Notes

1Use regular or smoked bacon, not honey cured. You want your bacon salty to blend with the sugar in the muffin batter. Slice or mince the becon depending on how large you want the pieces embedded in the muffins. Remember that bacon shrinks during cooking.

2Chop the onion, bell pepper and onion leaves roughly or finely depending on how much texture you prefer.

3Very soft cheeses may not be suitable since they contain too much moisture. I used Co-Jack, a blend of Monterey Jack (a soft cheese) and sharp cheddar (a hard salty cheese).

4To make buttermilk, pour a tablespoonful of lemon or lime juice (or even vinegar) into a measuring cup. Add enough whole (full cream) milk to make one cup.

Cooking time (duration): 50 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8 to 12 muffins

Comments

  1. says

    This recipe is so to the one I tried from allrecipes.com a year ago! The recipe I used had spinach and cheese though instead of bacon. I think I will try your recipe one of these days. I remember seeing bacon bits sold at the grocery at very cheap prices, it’ll be perfect for this recipe. Thanks!

        • Susan Ungson says

          hi connie, i’ll try yoghurt & see how it comes out. i’m planning to make this together w/my daughter a soon as i buy the muffin pans! thanks!

          • dory reyes says

            hi connie,
            i really wanted to bake this one,but i cant find corn meal in groceries.where can i buy it.thanks

          • celeste sy says

            You can try Pioneer Center too in Pasig. Was able to buy yellow cornmeal just this afternoon. They also have white cornmeal and I also bought Peanut oil na rin :) Ms Connie, im loving my pantry now. Dami na imported items, thanks to your recipes :) I hope to find powdered dashi next because i want to try your yakisoba recipe

  2. ruth says

    darn it Connie, i can’t resist this anymore. gonna bake this muffins right now before i go crazy drooling over the picture.

  3. emyM says

    Connie,this was our lunch today.Ang sarap!!!!

    My husband reminded me that this is served
    in Macaroni Grill when one orders Cream of
    Broccoli soup.

    Too excited to try it,I baked it w/out the printed recipe just recalling your recipe
    which is playing in my head for days.Well,
    instead of 1/4 cup of butter I used 1/2 cup,a
    mistake I found out just now…
    it’s delicious,a house guest commented.
    I also used turkey bacon and white cornmeal
    which is what is available in my fridge and
    pantry.

    Now,it’s time for a cold drink…Vietnamese
    coffee…ooopppsss…Mojitos rather..hehehehe

    • says

      Oh, that’s a great combo. These muffins with cream of broccoli soup. Or even cream of mushroom soup with roughly chopped fresh mushrooms. Must bake this again. And make a soup. Good thing we’re going to the supermarket today hehehe

      • Mom Rowie says

        Dear Connie,
        Im a mom of 3kids and all boys. I’ve been browsing and doing some of your recipes for almost a year now. Thank’s God, i got a chance to write you a short message. I want to thank you coz you really help me a lot when it comes to satisfying my familys stomach.Thank you…

        • Mom Rowie says

          Connie, is this recipe possible in microwave oven? If so,how long will it takes? What kind of soft cheeses can i used for can’t find Co-jack here in Dubai? thank you…

          • florisa says

            dearest Connie,
            this is a keeper! I tried it and loved it. Even brought some sa ofc and it was a hit. really good with coffee.

          • florisa says

            Chinese ham would be the salty kind, right? Iniimagine ko na ang lasa nya with cheese and pimiento and onion leaves. and yeah mukang isa na namang hit na recipe yan, Ms. Connie.

  4. del says

    thank you miss connie for this unique recipe…i always bake this and share to my colleagues in the hospital…its a sure hit for the night shift with coffee..i get compliments as well..btw my friends are also checking on your website…

  5. Lhet says

    Hi Connie… I have only white cornmeal in my pantry.. can I use it as a substitute for the yellow cornmeal? Kya lang im worried kasi baka di sya maging kasing perfect ng muffin mo eh! what do you think my dear? thanks and God Bless…

      • Lhet says

        Con hi! tnx for the reply. btw, is it ok if i use a few drop of yellow food color? thanks again… God bless always…

          • Esther says

            Hi, Connie! I made these last weekend and my husband and son loved them! I baked them in mini muffin tins para easier to eat (the boys scarfed them down; I’m not sure they even chewed) and stop eating (only one mini muffin for the dieter in the house … me). I combined Monterey Jack with Eden cheese and it tasted great. I also saw your Chinese ham version and that’s what I’ll make next time. Try it also with your favorite longganisa, just remove casing and pre-cook (drain out the oil) before adding to the batter. These are really great with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Thanks and keep those recipes coming! God bless you and your family. :)

          • Connie says

            That’s great! And, yes, the meat can be anything but smoked and brined meat seems to work best. :)