When skimming through my recipes, I noticed that the sides and starters section desperately needed a little TLC before the cake and cookie categories took over my blog—and my waistline! Since the UPS man dropped off a package on my porch a few weeks ago, the new kitchen toys constantly nagged me for a trial run, so I put one to use in creating a new appetizer.
I already gave the immersion blender the task of mixing up a smooth and simple pizza sauce, and my fridge lacked meat to pound with the mallet or cook in the grill pan, which left me with the mini muffin pan. Oh darn, another thing to bake! (No, I do not have a sheepish grin on my face… Well okay, maybe a tiny one.)
I compromised and whisked together a savory batter, nothing that could be mistaken for a cupcake or sweet treat. After a spicy black bean topping and a sprinkling of cheese, my appetizer category proudly accepted its newest member of the family.
Mini Cornbread Muffin and Black Bean Bites
muffin recipe modified from this recipe for Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
serves 12 as an appetizer (or 3-4 as a meal)
While the black bean mixture can be prepared in advance, the cornbread muffins dry out quickly and should be prepared the day they will be served. They also taste delicious plain or with a bit of honey on top!
1 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp salt
1 c. milk
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp sugar
black bean topping
¾ c. black beans, drained and rinsed
⅓ c. salsa
3-4 tbsp cheese (queso fresco, goat, or feta)
- Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly coat a 24-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- To make the muffins, whisk together the dry ingredients (cornmeal through salt) in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (egg through sugar), and add the wet to the dry, stirring well. Ensure that the cornmeal doesn’t sink to the bottom and avoid being incorporated into the batter!
- Pour batter into the prepared muffin cups, and bake at 400° for 11-13 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 min before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the topping, mix the beans and salsa in a medium bowl. Top each muffin with 2-3 tsp of the bean mixture and sprinkle with a pinch of cheese.