This recipe is a winner. I have witnesses. And it’s pretty darn easy to make, too, so that’s an added bonus. AND they’re beautiful. I got this idea after I made some roasted jalapeno poppers with a boatload of jalapeno peppers I got with our CSA share a few weeks ago. I changed up some of the cheeses in the recipe, using feta (very good choice), roasted garlic cheddar, and mozzarella. Then I added about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to the cheese mix. I did not use cilantro. That’s about all the changes I made to the recipe. They were so good and I was sad to see the last one disappear. Fortunately, I had quite a bit of the cheese mixture left over that left me wondering how I was going to use it up. I also had lots and lots of jalapeno slivers left over, which got me thinking about jalapeno cornbread muffins. And then I thought, “Why not stuff the cheese mixture inside the muffin?” And that’s exactly what I did.
I was so proud of myself for this one that I allowed myself to eat about 5 muffins for second breakfast/lunch. If I were to do anything differently, I would have added more jalapeno peppers to the cornbread mix and the cheese mixture. The muffins very flavorful, but not as spicy as the jalapeno poppers. One of my friends who does not like spicy food was hesitant to taste the muffin, but she really liked it. So adjust the level of heat to your own taste. I make my own cornbread mix, but you can just as easily use a pre-packaged mix–just prepare it as directed on the package.
Jalapeno Popper Cornbread Muffins
For the cheese mixture:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
4 ounces shredded garlic cheddar cheese
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons shredded onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Take about 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into a ball. Set aside 12 balls. There will be plenty of cheese mixture left over for another use.
For the cornbread:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup oil
5 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners or spray with non-stick spray.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are wet. Do not overmix. Gently fold in 3 tablespoons of jalapeno peppers. Spoon about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons cornbread mix to each muffin well. Gently place a cheese ball in the center of each muffin well, then evenly divide the remaining cornbread mixture among the wells, covering the cheese like so:
The muffin tins will be nearly full. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin well with the remaining diced jalapeno. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins begin to turn golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove each muffin to cool on a wire rack. Eat warm or let cool completely.