Maple Bacon Corn Muffins
Salty-sweet Maple Bacon Corn Muffins with rich flavor and southern charm!
The Makings of a Rebel: I have been a good girl most of my life. Always a rule-follower.
Growing up as the middle child, I was the watcher. I watched my older brother make mistakes in his teen years, and suffer the consequences. I watched my care-free little sister make even worse mistakes, and I watched my parents stress over the whole ordeal.
I remember several specific moments as a teen when I wanted to try something a little reckless, but thought to myself, “Poor mom and dad, I’ll just be good and save them the headache!”
This didn’t come without resentment from the edgier members of my family. As I caused little trouble, I felt somehow entitled to special privileges. It’s sort of a family joke now.
I was known to whine to my parents, “Why can’t I ______? I’m the GOOD KID!!!” On occasion, the rest of the bunch still call me the “good kid” with a snarky undertone.
I agree, I deserve it.
Nowadays, I live in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, a town that advertises itself as a “Foodtopian Society”. Asheville is a place where culinary and dietary endeavors are celebrated… Where sustenance holds a certain religious quality.
Whether a classically-trained chef, an athlete, a nutritionist, animal-rights activist, herbivore, loc-a-vore, farmer, or plain old experimental eater, Asheville citizens have a exuberant passion for food. A LOUD passion, I might add.
I could easily say I’ve heard nearly every opposing opinion on food and diets in the last twelve years. This is thrilling, for those of us who love a good debate, but I admit, a little confusing at times.
Always a selective shopper and cook, I feel like my family eats well. However, I’m always eager to learn of healthier cooking methods and ingredients. Here is a list of popular “Food Laws” I’ve collected since moving to Asheville. Let’s see if I can get them all straight…
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup. (Check.)
- Avoid trans fats. (Check.)
- Avoid caffeine. (Check… Except for chocolate and the occasional grocery trip coffee.)
- Don’t eat anything processed, only whole foods. (Check, most of the time.)
- Eat low fat, but get lots of essential fatty acids. (Hmmm.)
- Never cook with oils and fats, but don’t use nonstick surfaces either. (HMMM.)
- Never eat animal fat, except for duck fat, unless you’re a vegetarian.
- Watch out for GMOs; they cause cancer!
- Avoid dairy at all costs, but eat LOTS of yogurt and cottage cheese for protein and probiotics. (???)
- Only buy raw-milk dairy products.
- Totally avoid all soy products. (Apparently they are dangerous.)
- Avoid nut milks and goat’s milk. (Too fatty.) In other words, consume no milk of any kind.
- Eat tons of whole grains for fiber, but never those that come from wheat or corn (You know, the two little grains that are in everything!?)
- Gluten will kill you. It’s inevitable.
- Humans were not meant to consume grains. We should all be eating a grain-free diet.
- Human were not meant to consume animal products of any kind. We should all be eating a plant-based diet with lots of whole grains.
- Avoid alcohol, but drink red wine for the antioxidants.
- Don’t drink fruit juices; they contain too much sugar.
- Don’t eat fruit; it’s too high in carbs.
- Drink a gallon of water a day, but never while you are eating. (Disturbs your digestion.)
- The water you are constantly drinking when you are not eating? It should be either ice cold or room temperature, depending on who you talk too.
- And then of course, only drink alkaline water.
- Never store, eat, or drink anything in plastic, only glass. (Cancer, again.)
- Never use a microwave. (You guessed it, cancer.)
- Always bake on parchment paper, but you better recycle it!
- Avoid all corn bi-products. (In everything from cheese to chicken soup.)
- Never eat anything with MSG in it. You might as well eat rat poisoning! (Also in every pre-made food and labeled with code names.)
- Eat at least five servings of veggies everyday, but only those that are organic, locally grown, and in season. (Winter?)
- Eat mostly dark or brightly colored veggies. (But only those meeting the previous criteria.)
- Don’t cook your veggies because it kills the nutrients.
- Eat dark berries and pomegranate for the antioxidants everyday, but again, only in season, and pesticide free.
- Eat red meat for iron. Whoops! I mean, don’t ever eat red meat. If you must eat red meat, only eat local, grass-fed red meat.
- Eat loads of fish, but only those that are sustainable, caught wild, and low in mercury.
- Only eat free range chickens.
- Never eat pork or shellfish. (Dirty.)
- Fully cook your meat because of bacteria. Or some say, under-cook your meat so you don’t kill all the nutrients. I’ve also heard, don’t cook your meat at all, eat it raw to absorb the most nutrients.
- You know what… Just don’t eat meat! (Easier to remember and more friendly.)
- Eat small portions of protein 5-6 times a day, but of course, not dairy or meat protein. Not soy or whey supplements (for OBVIOUS REASONS), or nuts either, too fatty! (What does that leave, beans?)
- Don’t eat multiple times a day. Instead, eat only 1-2 meals in a shorter window of time for the benefits of intermittent fasting.
- Only use natural sea salts, and very little of that.
- Avoid sugar, all sugar substitutes, and food coloring. (Sorry bakers.)
- And don’t forget to enjoy your food and savor every bite!
Whew! I suddenly feel bewildered, exhausted, and slightly light-headed.
This list would make anyone, even a “good kid,” feel a smidge rebellious.
It’s so hard to know what sources to trust on health and nutrition with such conflicting statements, that it often makes us feel like we can’t trust any of them.
Lt. Dan and I have decided we land soundly in the All-Things-In-Moderation camp. We accept only the food laws that support our personal beliefs of trying to eat a whole foods diet about 90% of the time.
And still, every now and again, I just throw all caution to the wind and make sugary, fattening, corn-starchy, pork-laden Maple Bacon Corn Muffins!
Is that so wrong?
These utterly irresistible Maple Bacon Corn Muffins are a decadent addition to any meal, and are meant to be enjoyed guilt-free.
Maple Bacon Corn Muffins are a “talk to the hand” move when you just need a break from a week of clean eating.
They are easy to make and disappear in a hurry. Meaning, they won’t be lingering around the house for days on end, tempting you when you need to get back on your healthy track.
I dare you to make them.
Maple Bacon Corn Muffins
- 4 ounces bacon
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a skillet to medium-high. Chop the bacon and cook until slightly crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set the skillet aside.
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Whisk in the milk and eggs, followed by the melted butter, maple syrup and 1/4 cup reserved bacon grease. Stir the bacon pieces back into the mixture.
- Place muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin tin, or spray an unlined muffin tin thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly divide the mixture into the muffin tin. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the muffin tin and serve warm.
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I made these for a New Year’s Day gathering, and they were the perfect complement to the Hoppin’ John that was served. They disappeared quickly! Should have made 2 batches!! The only bone I have to pick with the recipe is that there should be a mention of “bacon grease, reserved” in the list of ingredients. Not everybody saves their BG automatically…
But tonight, I’ll be ready to capture every delicious drop of that magical gift from the Bacon gods!!
I just finished making a batch of these and they are divine. Just enough sweet, just enough corn, and just bacon.
I cut the sugar in half, and reduced the salt as streaky bacon (it’s what passes for American bacon here in Ireland) is quite salty already.
There should not be any rules when it comes to food.
What can i use for sustitute maple syrup, honey maybe?
Perfect timing, I just bought a small bag of cornmeal only to discover that I already had some in the pantry. Need to use some cornmeal before my wife gets back from her business trip.
Maple Bacon Corn Muffins….
Sommer to the rescue.
All of those rules are too much to think about all of the time. I try to go based on how I feel if I overdo it one day or meal I cut back in the next few days. Hopefully it all balances out and I never feel deprived. I do love corn bread. New variations make me happy.
Hey there…just signed on, so many of your recipes look great. Here is the question since i see you also do some gluten free: I would like to make these corn muffins, do you think it would work to sub a gf flour mix? I have to laugh at all the food rules as it is the same here in Boulder Co a real foodie place and have come to the same conclusion, although we have been whole food eaters for many years. thanks.
Hi Jillian, I’ve never tried them with GF baking mix. Sorry I can’t be of more help. If you try it, please let me know how they turn out!
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These sound supper yummy, definitely going on my list of things to try! (we LOVE bacon, so this recipe is a no-brainer!) ;) Found you on Pintrest.
I cracked up reading your list of food rules! Lol. It’s funny because I’ve come across most, if not all of those in the past few months. It’ll make your head spin, and of course, most of the rules contradict each other – as you so humorously noted… ;)
I have been trying to feed my family healthier stuff lately though, mostly avoiding High Fructose corn syrup and high-sodium foods. Sometimes I think having so much info available to us is not so helpful and only confuses us… I’m with you – all things in moderation!
My easy (lazy) interpretation -> makes 9 muffins or about 18 mini muffins
1 box Jiffy mix
Follow instructions for corn muffins by adding 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk
Add 4 pieces of chopped up bacon, 1 tbsp bacon grease, 2 tbsp maple syrup to batter
Bake at 400 15-20 minutes (15 or less for mini muffins)
Just letting you know I Made these today for a crows of 20 people! However I omitted the bacon and bacon grease as I wanted to make them vegetarian :) I just added a tad more butter. No one had EVER had corn muffins before let alone with their chilli (I wanted to do the beer chilli but husband was cooking and insisted on doing his Jamie Oliver chilli) and they loved them :) Thanks for a great recipe! the maple syrup was lovely :)
If we leave out the bacon grease…would we need to double the melted butter?
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Your beautiful photos really show off what a delicious muffin this is!
Love the sweet and salty in this!
These look dangerous!! Mmmm…all things in moderation! Yummy! Can’t wait to give these a try! :)
The list is too much to handle, but these muffins make everything better. Love these!!
This might be the best post I have ever seen. Both for the food-for-thought and for the muffins, which I am totally making this weekend! So glad I found your blog! :-)
Those muffins are irresistible!
they look divine! i might try my hand at them one weekend soon! love NC too
The muffins are simply mouth-watering! I would rip up that list in a heartbeat for one of these lovelies!
This is just a crack up!! I also live in the Everything in Moderation Camp. Your muffins looks fantastic!
Great informative post.This muffins looks so fluffy and delicious, love the bacon addition.
Oh my these look absolutely divine!
life is too short for so many rules. Rules are for fools, so I'm glad you broke free!
haha Sounds like a lecture from my mom! I sometimes ask her what's left to eat.
Mmmmmmmm! Maple Bacon corn muffins, somebody pass the turkey and gravy.
I think it's ok to have a teeny bit of bacon once in a while. These look good!
I agree completely! It's better to allow yourself little pleasures than to deprive-and-binge!
Wow! If you'd follow that list, I would just have fruit salad and undressed vegan salads everyday, which is what my turtle eats. Sure turtle lives to a very very long age. But it's also sluggish sommers. Hahaha
Take it from me, who used to be a omnivore-turned-vegan-turned-vegetarian-turned-ovolactopescovegetarian-turned-omnivore again, being super strict on food has some benefits… but it also damages your mental state. Most vegos are binging on cakes when they crave. Lots of cakes!! That's why it's also a little rare to find a vegetarian who cooks well but has a slim figure. Most of them are either slim and can't cook or vice versa… (Trust me, I saw lots of vegos in psych clinics)
My true motto is to eat what you crave for. When you eat specific to what you crave, you'd eat less. Automatic moderations. Yay!
(Ok stop yabblin, if you want some more. here's a link http://littlehungryheart.blogspot.com/2010/01/12-points-on-being-vegetarian.html )
The muffin is truly an example of crave satisfiers. Amazing! I'd definitely eat this with deep fried chicken and fatty gravy!! Hahahaha!
Good looking muffins you have there! and that list is a great one to follow, my weakness is the coffee but only in the morning…never been to your side of the country, maybe someday…
Wonderfully informative post. Agreed on most counts.
That bacon looks wonderful. I love bacon. Great looking muffins.
I've got to stop reading your blog when I am hungry, Sommer – it is dangerous! There are quite a few "rules" out there, aren't there? and they all seem to contradict. As for your muffins, organic corn meal is usually non gmo so that solves that and it's easy enough to find all natural bacon, and maple syrup is a "natural" sweetener – so this recipe may be able to shape up after all! (; Sounds wonderful!
Hi, I like this. Because I love bacon. Actually we (husband, son)love bacon. Thank you for sharing.