I have a confession to make…I am not great with surprises big or small. This includes gifts for others as well as gifts for myself. When I find a gift for someone that I just know is the perfect thing, I want to tell them immediately, not wait until the big day.
Sometimes, I flat out ask my husband, “Do you want to know what I’m getting you for Christmas? ” He, being the patient one, usually says, “No thank you, I’ll just wait,” and then I’m in quite a tizzy, antsy as heck, ready to burst at the seems.
My daughter is much more obliging at letting me “slip” hints to her as to what she is getting for her upcoming big day. Sometimes, I’ll even let her take a peek.
Gifts for me, though, are the worst of all. If I even have the slightest whiff that a surprise may be afoot for me, then I pester, I ask, I plead, and yes, I snoop. My birthday is rolling around and my husband has been asking for “hints” as to what I might like.
After finding many mouth watering posts around the internet from, Secrets of a Jewish Baker, I decided to make life easy for him and click “buy” on Amazon. I told him I purchased a birthday gift from him to me that day and he was happy that I had found something I truly wanted.
Well, it arrived a couple of weeks ago and my birthday is next month. I tried to hand it to him straight away knowing my childish impulses, I really did. I tried; for all of two seconds. Then I ripped open the box and thought I would get a tiny glance.
Next thing I know, I am leafing through the pages, eyeing every recipe, reading bits of the introduction and deciding without a doubt the first recipe I would make would be the braided Challah bread. I was deteremined I was NOT going to make a single recipe from this beautiful book until my birthday. Absolutely not.
True to form, this morning, needing (note the use of the word needing please) to make something new and fresh for breakfast, I casually flipped through the cookbook, making note of the muffins section and briefly glancing to see if I had all of the ingredients for one of the recipes. Sure enough, as luck would have it, I had all of the ingredients for the Blueberry Cornmeal muffins…well actually I had strawberries, but I felt they would do quite nicely.
At this point, I truly believe I bear no fault, and plead total insanity. I don’t even remember what happened between point A (being all purpose flour) to point G (being chopped strawberries folded in). Really. Please believe me when I tell you that I blanked out and have no recollection of the making of these muffins—well…unless you count snapping pictures in between ingredients.
I have a feeling I am not going to convince anyone that I am free from blame unless you have recently fallen off a turnip truck and if that is so, I am sorry and I am frankly a little concerned about YOUR mental state. I have not seen any turnip trucks as of late.
I truly hope my husband does not notice this post and therefore would come to realize these muffins were made from my ungiven birthday gift. Although, my propensity for spoiling surprises and breaking into presents is nothing new so maybe he will just sigh and admit defeat.
Anyhow, these muffins are glorious and they are truly an excellent accompaniment to scrambled eggs and bacon, any barbeque sauced anything or perhaps would make a lovely basket next to a glistening honey glazed Ham at Easter. The texture is moist, but has a nice sturdy crumb with just a touch of sweetness and chopped strawberries or blueberries are a bright fruity addition.
The only thing it is missing is a dollop of creamy honey butter to slather on top. I made some and slathered some on…so no need to worry about me, but I would add that to yours if you so desire. It really is quite perfect then.
Strawberry Cornmeal Muffins
Taken from Secrets of a Jewish Baker
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
6 T. butter, margarine or shortening, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. chopped strawberries or blueberries, fresh or frozen
To make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a muffin pan with muffin liners.
Whisk together flour through salt. Cut in or gently crumble with your hands the butter into the cornmeal mixture until it resembles coarse meal. I love to do this part by hand as it makes me feel like a true baker. It’s also nice because you can actually feel the texture of your mixture when it is time to stop mixing.
Add the buttermilk and egg and mix together just until barely incorporated. Dust 1 T. of flour over your fruit and toss the fruit to coat in the flour. Add the fruit to the batter and fold in carefully in with a rubber spatula. Using an ice cream scoop, dollop spoonfuls of batter into the muffin cups to about 2/3 full. Bake for about15-20 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed gently with your fingers.
Serve with honey butter. Simply soften about 1/4 c. of butter by whipping with your hand or in the microwave for just about 10 seconds. Add 1 T. of honey and mix together. Voila…now slather on top of your muffin!
March 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm
mmm..those muffins looks so good! Now I need something sweet! I am just like you, can wait to know what will I get for present so I investigate:)))..on the other hand when I have to give I’m the same way..Smiling until my hubby for example figure out what is going on in my head:)))
March 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm
Those muffins look fantastic. I’ve made cornmeal blueberry muffins before, but Ive never thought about strawberries. Such a good idea.
March 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm
It was good that you opened the book otherwise you will not be able to share this delectable recipe.
March 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm
I love that you purchased the book for yourself, then actually contemplated “hiding” it until your birthday; that’s so amazing! Lol. Funnily enough, I made a cornmeal baked good today too and will be posting it shortly. Ive been waiting for strawberry season and these look so so good!
March 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm
I’m glad that you “may have” taken this recipe from a future gift! These muffins look fantastic and summery! I ate my first pint of strawberries of the year this weekend and they were so good. You can bet that these muffins will make an appearance in my kitchen soon!
March 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm
You made me LOL! Very funny post and I can completely relate. I can’t keep a gift secret and my poor hubby gets wish lists so he gets it completely right! What a riot you tried out the gift! And the muffins look absolutely amazing! Give him one, he’ll forgive you!
March 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm
Yes, he has had a few already and I think I am officially out of the doghouse! 🙂
March 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm
HAHAHA! fell down laughing. You’re one the few who know how to make a food blog exciting. brilliant post!
March 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Wow, brilliant post?!!! I don’t really know WHO you are but I firmly believe you are one of my top ten favorite people! 😉
March 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm
Geni, these look wonderful…..love the combo of berry and cornmeal….what a great recipe! Your photos are perfect! 🙂
March 21, 2011 at 12:10 am
These look so yummy …
Cornmeal and strawberry, such a rare combination. I have to give this a try.
March 21, 2011 at 5:18 am
Geni – You and I are kindred spirits. 🙂 I did the exact thing for my birthday last year. I could not wait to start baking from my new cookbook. My husband doesn’t mind because he didn’t have to do any shopping. Those muffins look delicious!
March 21, 2011 at 10:36 am
These muffins sound great, and I love the idea of baking them with strawberries. (I won’t tell a soul about you opening your gift early.)
March 21, 2011 at 10:50 am
I am SO the same way. My worst nightmare is a surprise party! I beg my husband every Christmas to exchange gifts early. When I was a kid, my sisters and I would unwrap our gifts to each other hidden in the bathroom. Then, we would wrap them back up and put them under the tree.
The muffins look amazing! We are just starting to get lovely spring temps here, and I have been in a strawberry mood as of late. These are on the short list of things to make!
March 21, 2011 at 11:23 am
I am even so bad that for my parents’ surprise anniversary party we were throwing, I told my mom two days early so she would have a great dress and my dad would walk in looking appropriately dressed (no jeans and a tee). She was relieved I had told her; nails done, hair done, the whole nine yards. 🙂
March 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm
haha, what a brilliant post, the whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking “Yep, sounds just like me!” No matter how hard I try to keep surprises for other people, it never happens because I always open my big mouth and end up giving away the secret. I’m happy to know I’m not the only one 😛
these muffins look delicious, and the best part is that I have a pint of fresh strawberries sitting in my fridge…..
March 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm
These look very yummy! Love me some strawberries!!
March 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm
ha, this story is so funny -hey at least he knows he got you a gift you really appreciate!
March 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm
WOW!That looks so unbelievably good! I think I started drooling when you mentioned honey butter…
March 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm
This is quite a rare combo.I bet that they would taste great.Fresh strawberries can make anything taste awesome.I cant wait to make these.
March 22, 2011 at 4:22 am
Haha you are too funny! I am pretty bad about surprises as well. It’s just that when I have a good idea for a surprise present, I’m just so excited about it that I want to tell the person! Can you blame me?
These muffins look absolutely delicious. So, you know. I’m glad you posted them.
March 22, 2011 at 9:20 am
Geni.. girl, I LOVE THIS. You definitely took me back to my childhood with the cornmeal muffins but you added in strawberries to the mix. LOVE THIS!
March 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm
I am terrible with surprises, too! Ask any of my friends or family… I practically burst at the seams once I’ve gotten their birthday or Christmas gifts. I think this just means that you and I (and anyone else with this compulsion) that we’re just too honest for our own good 🙂
Also, these muffins have been bookmarked for this weekend — thanks!
March 23, 2011 at 6:48 am
This is so what I would also do to my husband! Delayed gratification is overrated in my opinion. Besides, each of those muffins would have been $1.49 or more at a store. Think of all the money you saved the family by getting a jump start. You redeemed the cost of the book in one fell swoop. Very commendable!
March 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm
These look gorgeous! I love the texture of cornmeal in muffins (and bread…and cake…and pancakes…etc.). They look like they were totes worth the early peek. Nothing wrong with a little early celebration 🙂 I’d love to see how the challah turns out too!
March 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Yes…it is taking everything I have to not make the Challah before my birthday. It’s killing me.
April 1, 2011 at 6:06 am
I just made these. Perfect. Yum yum yum ……………
April 1, 2011 at 6:51 am
Super! I love when readers give me feedback on an actual recipe!
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