Cornbread Sheet Cake Really is a Cake, not Cornbread

The following post was written by our friend Mindy from R.B. and Mindy.

I usually keep the sugar bowl far away from the cornbread batter, but I’ve changed my thinking about how sugar and corn meal get along by making a cornbread cake. Why not? A little corn meal in cake adds a lovely texture and a little heft that’s ideal for serving with juicy sweetened summer fruits. And there’s no need to find the baking powder in the pantry. By combining Martha White® Self-Rising Flour with plain corn meal, the leavening and salt will be just right.

Cornbread Sheet Cake is a quick-fix thanks to Martha White “Hot Rize” Corn Meal Mix and melted butter. No need to get out the mixer. All you have to do is stir up the ingredients in a bowl just like making cornbread batter, except this really is a cake. And I’m all for the very sensible 9 x 13-inch baking pan for convenient serving and toting around.

Lastly, the simple buttery honey glaze is subtle and just makes sense, especially for sweet cornbread (and cake) lovers.  Serve squares like shortcake split and filled with sweetened peaches or berries and whipped cream for brunch with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt. In fact, serve this all year long when you need something a little out of the ordinary that’s easy and convenient for a potluck or the buffet sideboard.

If this has piqued your interest in the world of corn meal desserts, you’re in luck. Here are some other favorites:

Cornbread Sheet Cake

Cake:
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups Martha White Self-Rising Flour
1 cup Martha White Plain Enriched White Corn Meal

Honey Glaze:
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 or 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cornmeal until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and are nicely browned, and the top feels firm to the touch. Make the honey glaze by combining the butter and honey in a small bowl. Drizzle over the warm cake. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with the almonds.

Makes 16 servings.

Nashville’s Meat and Three Tradition

The following post was written by our friend Mindy from R.B. and Mindy.

There’s a style of restaurant in Nashville and Middle Tennessee called the Meat and Three. You can probably guess what it means—a hearty home-style lunch consisting of a main meat with three sides.

In the rural South, the midday meal was traditionally the big meal of the day.  This is when hungry farmers and small town folks would eat a big lunch (called dinner) at home after a long morning of work. As more people began working further away from home, going back for lunch became less common. Meat and Three restaurants popped up to fill in for mother’s home cooking.

Meat and Threes are restaurants focused on home cooking.  They’re not looking to impress you with menu innovation and precious ingredients. The meats are simple – fried chicken, meatloaf, pork chops, and catfish with a large variety of side dishes.

They have me at the sides. I go for a “vegetable plate” all the time because there are just too many great options. How can you possibly limit it to just three? Among the choices, there is always a bean – white beans or pintos are most common. There’s always a green, around Nashville it’s usually turnip greens. The more popular Meat and Threes also have the uber popular mac and cheese and fried okra everyday. My perfect plate would be white beans, turnip greens, crispy fried okra and sliced summer Tennessee tomatoes with cornbread on the side. If I have room for dessert, it will likely be a slice of chess pie.

Take a hint and bring it back home. I often make a pot of beans and a pot of greens and keep them in the fridge to heat up for lunch. My favorite way to keep cornbread handy is to freeze cornbread waffles and reheat them in a toaster or toaster oven.  You can’t beat the urge of dipping cornbread in pot likker and bean juice. Not a bad way to sustain a famished food writer until suppertime.

I make beans in the slow cooker overnight. It’s so easy and here’s how – Slow Cooker Dried Black-Eyed Peas

Turnip greens are just around the corner. Nashville Turnip Greens

Get out the wafflemaker. Classic Corn Meal Waffles

If you don’t have a waffle maker, try these easy corncakes. They freeze and heat up nicely, too. Sweet Milk Corn Cakes

Got room for chess pie? This lemon version is my favorite. Lemon Chess Pie

What’s in Your Pantry?

The following post was written by our friend Mindy  from Cheater Chef.

Linda’s Southern Pantry blog got me thinking about my own pantry. If you knew nothing about me and looked in my pantry, you’d know immediately that I’m a southern baker. Why? Those big bags of Martha White® Self-Rising Flour and Martha White® Self-Rising White Enriched Corn Meal Mix are an immediate giveaway that my kitchen is the domain of a cook who knows how to whip up a batch of biscuits and a skillet of cornbread.

Let’s not stop with the two cornerstone breads of the South mentioned above. Those two handy bags with “Hot Rize” also say that I can probably rustle up pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick loaves, chicken and dumplings, corncakes, cornbread dressing, cornbread salads, hushpuppies, fried catfish, fried chicken, casseroles and coffee cakes with ease. Whew.

I do appreciate the convenience a pouch provides, but, I like how self-rising products, with just the right amount of salt and leavening, have made the daily chore of baking a little bit easier for generations of Southerners. If you want to hone your Southern baking skills, start with the suggested recipes listed on the Martha White bags.

Below are 3 items on my “I Can’t Live Without” list for Southern baking:

Buttermilk—Keep some in the fridge for adding tanginess to your biscuits and cornbread. If you think you won’t use it that often, think of it as thin yogurt and pour some in your morning smoothie. Buttermilk adds tang and moisture to any quick bread recipe and having some handy will encourage you to bake biscuits and cornbread more often.

Pastry Cloth—I have Linda to thank for introducing me to this item. Making biscuits, rolling out pie or cookie dough is a messy business that is much easier and nicely contained by using a pastry cloth. The cloth is a square of canvas fabric which has been sprinkled with flour.  This cloth helps keep dough from sticking and the floury mess contained to one place. I keep the floured cloth folded up in a plastic bag (actually more than one) in the freezer. I find myself making biscuits more often knowing that I have a pastry cloth ready for use.

Cast Iron Skillet—I like using my big 12-inch cast iron skillet instead of a smaller one to make cornbread since we like our cornbread thin. Follow the cornbread recipe on the Martha White bag, but use a larger skillet so the batter is nice and thin. Bake cornbread until it’s a golden brown and you should end up with a crisp brown crust and a moist inside. Of course, I also use my 12-inch skillet for so many other things like baking biscuits, cobblers, crispy cornbread dressing, cornbread topped casseroles and pan-frying catfish.  Let’s just say – I use my 12-inch skillet for almost everything.

Here are two delicious ways to put your cast iron skillet to good use:

 

 

Strawberry Muffin Waffles

This post comes to us from our friend Brandie at The Country Cook.

It’s amazing to me how creative we can get when we are wanting something for dessert, yet don’t have anything actually prepared for dessert. That’s when I start digging around in my pantry for something that will satisfy my sweet tooth but doesn’t necessarily require a ton of work on my part. It is for this reason that I always keep my favorite flavors of Martha White® muffin mixes in my pantry. Sure, I could make muffins with them, but I thought, why not make waffles? You get those crispy edges with a soft, fluffy middle. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip these up and bake them up in the waffle maker. I used my favorite Strawberry Cheesecake flavor and topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Dessert was finished in a flash and I can freeze any leftovers for another time! I’ve also made blueberry waffles and apple cinnamon waffles using Martha White® muffin mixes. Once you start making these, you will find so many combinations of flavors to love!

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh strawberries
2 tbsp. sugar
2 packets Martha White® Strawberry (or Strawberry Cheesecake) Muffin Mix
1 cup milk
Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
whipped cream, for topping

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Directions:
Preheat waffle maker. Turn it onto a medium-high heat which on many waffle makers would be between number 4 and 5. While it’s preheating, hull and slice strawberries. Place sliced strawberries into a medium bowl, sprinkle with sugar. Stir well, then pop into the fridge until ready to use.

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Mix together packets of muffin mix with milk. Combine well (batter will be lumpy.)

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Once waffle maker is ready, spray both sides of the waffle maker plates with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.

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Then pour about a cup of batter into the waffle maker. Close the lid. Note: I have a Belgian waffle maker so these are pretty thick. Please adjust batter amounts according to your waffle maker manufacturer’s instructions.

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Waffle maker will beep or a light will flash when ready.

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Remove waffle carefully from the waffle maker.

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Top with strawberries that you prepared and dollop with a squirt (or ten) of whipped cream.

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Strawberry Muffin Cheesecake Trifles

This post comes from our friend Tina at Mommy’s Kitchen.

Strawberries have always been one of my favorite fruits. Those beautiful juicy berries are so versatile and can be used to create so many recipes. I always keep my pantry stocked with ingredients I can use for last minute dessert recipes, boxes of pudding, cake mixes, canned fruit, pie filling, and a variety of Martha White muffin mixes.

All of the above can be used to create a delicious dessert in no time. I love trifles, especially fruit trifles because they come together so quickly. They’re perfect for potlucks, barbecues, picnics or if you just want a quick fresh dessert after a meal.

Today I want to share a recipe for these beautiful Strawberry Muffin Cheesecake Trifles. These easy Trifles start with a baked strawberry cheesecake muffin mix.  They are layered with a creamy cheesecake filling, and topped with macerated strawberries and fresh cream.  These yummy little trifles really are the perfect spring or summer dessert.

If you dislike or are allergic to strawberries, you can substitute with a blueberry muffin mix and fresh blueberries to make blueberry muffin trifles.  By using a wildberry muffin mix and a variety of fresh berries, you have wildberry muffin trifles. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.  Let me show you how easy this recipe comes together.

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Start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, using a whisk or rubber spatula, lightly mix the muffin mixes together with the milk (batter will be lumpy) so don’t over mix. Add the prepared batter into a 12 cup muffin pan that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake the muffins for 13-17 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Cool muffins in pan 2-3 minutes before removing to a baking rack to cool completely. While the muffins are cooling, sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the sliced and quartered strawberries, toss, and set aside to macerate.

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In a large bowl prepare the cheesecake pudding according to package directions for pudding and set aside. In a separate bowl, pour in 2 cups heavy cream and whip until soft peaks form. Set one cup of fresh cream aside and add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Mix to combine and store in the refrigerator to use for garnish on each trifle. Add the remaining heavy cream to the prepared pudding and lightly fold until mixed. Tear or cut the cooled muffins into 1/2 inch size pieces.

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To assemble the trifles, layer the strawberry muffins with the cheesecake pudding mixture, and strawberries in each half pint Mason jar. Top with a dollop of fresh whipping cream and refrigerate trifles until ready to serve.

Strawberry Muffin Cheesecake Trifles
Servings: 8

Ingredients:
2 – (7 ounce) packages Martha White Strawberry Cheesecake or Strawberry Flavored Muffin Mixes
1 – cup milk
1 – (1 ounce) package sugar free cheesecake pudding + the amount of milk called for on the package to make the pudding
2 – 3 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1/2 – cup granulated sugar
2 – cups fresh heavy whipping cream, whipped and separated
2 – tablespoons powdered sugar
8 – half pint mason jars

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl using a whisk or rubber spatula lightly mix the muffin mixes together with the milk (batter will be lumpy), so don’t over mix.

Add the prepared batter into a 12 cup muffin pan that has been lightly sprayed with non stick spray. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake  13-17 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned and cooked through. Cool muffins in pan 2-3 minutes before removing to a baking rack to cool completely.

While the muffins are cooling sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the sliced and quartered strawberries, toss, and set aside to macerate.

In a large bowl prepare the cheesecake pudding according to package directions for pudding and set aside. In a separate bowl pour in 2 cups heavy cream and whip until soft peaks form.

Set one cup of fresh cream aside and add 1 tablespoon on powdered sugar. Mix to combine and store in the refrigerator to use for garnish on each trifle. Add the remaining heavy cream to the prepared pudding and lightly fold until mixed.

Tear or cut the cooled muffins into 1/2 inch size pieces.  To assemble the trifles, layer the strawberry muffins with the cheesecake pudding mixture, and strawberries in each half pint Mason jar.

Top with a dollop of fresh whipping cream and refrigerate trifles until ready to serve.

Recipe source: http://www.mommyskitchen.net/

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffin Cookies

This post is from our friend, Stephanie at Plain Chicken.

Cookies are a favorite in our house. They are easy to make and are the perfect sweet ending to any meal. Here is a fun twist on chocolate chip cookies – Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffin Cookies. They are delicious and super easy.

I started with a couple of packaged of Martha White® Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix. I mixed the muffin mix with butter, an egg and some vanilla. To put these muffin cookies over the top, I added some chopped strawberries! They only took a minute to whip up and smelled amazing while they were baking. Not only did the Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffin Cookies taste great, they looked beautiful! Almost too pretty to eat. Almost!! Let me tell you, these didn’t last long at our house!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffin Cookies
20 cookies

Ingredients
2 packages Martha White® Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped strawberries

Preparation Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.Combine muffin mix, softened butter, egg and vanilla in medium bowl. Stir until evenly moistened. Stir in chopped strawberries. Using a medium cookie scoop (2 Tbsp) drop dough on parchment lined baking sheet.
3.Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light brown. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Mini Jalapeno Popper Muffins

The following post was written by our friend, Tina at Mommy’s Kitchen.

This time of year I’m always on the hunt for easy appetizers or finger foods. Whether you’re entertaining for a party or throwing a last minute get-together, portable appetizers are always a must.  These Mini Jalapeno Popper Muffins are the perfect little bite size appetizer and crowd-pleaser. If you’re a fan of Jalapeno Poppers then you’re going to love this recipe.

Fresh jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese baked inside mini cornbread muffins. These tasty little muffins have everything you love about traditional jalapeno poppers, but in a corn muffin form. If you like things a little spicy, try using the Martha White Mexican Style Cornbread & Muffin Mix. Either way you will want to make a double batch, so there’s plenty to go around. Let’s get started on this easy appetizer.

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Ingredients needed: one packet Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread & Muffin Mix, milk, one egg, shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese, cream cheese, 2-3 fresh jalapeno peppers.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cornbread mix according to package directions, adding the milk and egg. Using a wooden spoon lightly mix to combine. Add the chopped jalapenos and shredded cheddar cheese to the cornbread batter, and mix until blended.

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Using a one inch cookie scoop or a spoon, add one tablespoon of cornbread batter to each mini muffin cup. Press one cream cheese cube into the batter, and cover with additional cornbread batter until muffin cups are 2/3 full. Bake 10 – 14 minutes or until the muffins are cooked and lightly golden brown on top. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then using a small offset spatula loosen the edges and remove muffins.

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Mini Jalapeno Popper (Cornbread) Muffins

Ingredients:
1 – 6 oz packet Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread & Muffin Mix
1/2 – cup milk
1 – Egg
2 – 3 – fresh whole jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 – Cup cheddar or Colby jack cheese, shredded
6 – Oz cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with non stick spray and set aside. Prepare cornbread mix according to package directions, adding the milk and egg. Using a wooden spoon lightly mix to combine.

Add the chopped jalapenos and shredded cheddar cheese to the cornbread batter, and mix until blended.

Using a one inch cookie scoop or a spoon, add one tablespoon of cornbread batter to each mini muffin cup.

Press one cream cheese cube into the batter, and cover with additional cornbread batter until muffin cups are 2/3 full.

Bake 10 – 14 minutes or until the muffins are cooked and lightly golden brown on top. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then using a small offset spatula loosen the edges and remove muffins.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Yields: 12 mini muffin poppers

Recipe source: www.mommyskitchen.net