Monday, September 5, 2011

Easy Corn Muffins with Honey Butter and Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Hubby and I started and ended our summer with a hearty meal of ribs and cornbread.  For Memorial Day we made ribs for the first time.  We had purchased 3 racks of baby back ribs from Costco and froze two of them.  We decided another rack of ribs would be a great way to wrap up Labor Day weekend.  To check out our Memorial Day feast click here

Though the Memorial Day ribs were a success, the cornbread I made was not.  In fact I had to make it twice and it still didn't turn out right so I never bothered posting about it.  I thought Labor Day weekend was the perfect time to redeem myself.  I decided to go with a completely different cornbread recipe this time.  I remembered seeing corn muffins several months back over on Tuesdays with Dorie, the online group of bakers making their way through Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours.  The reviews were good so I gave it a go.

Redemption!  I am happy to say these were a big success.  Dorie calls these muffins the "Corniest Corn Muffins".  They have niblets of corn inside the batter, corn meal for texture and a little sugar to sweeten them.  I used frozen corn in the batter and next time I would like to try it with fresh kernels cut off the cob.  I also added in a little extra sugar because I like a sweeter muffin.  These muffins are easy to make and delicious. Especially with a generous dab of honey butter on top. This recipe is my new "go to" corn muffin recipe.

Now, the ribs.  Our ribs were tasty but a little on the blackened side this time.  Hubs didn't turn them as often as he should have causing the sugar in the barbecue sauce to burn a bit.  I am still sharing the recipe since we made it successfully before.  Just remember to keep an eye on your ribs and turn them frequently on the grill to prevent burning.  Ribs are easier to make than I thought, but they do take a little time. They start in the oven with a little barbecue sauce and steam beneath a foil covered baking dish for about an hour.  Then the ribs get transferred outside to the barbeque and are grilled and basted with more barbecue sauce until they have the lacquered finish you are looking for.  Ours took about 10 minutes.

This time we paired our ribs and corn muffins with grilled asparagus and zucchini parmesan crisps.  It was a ton of food and I'm still overly full as I type this post about 2 hours later.  The sad part is I keep thinking about when I will be hungry again so I can have another corn muffin with honey butter.  Yum.

Corniest Corn Muffins
from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours

Makes 12 regular size muffins

1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional) - I used already ground nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
3 tablespoons corn oil - I used vegetable oil
1 cup corn niblets (frozen, fresh or canned, drained and patted dry)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 12 cup muffin by spraying the wells with non stick cooking spray or lining with muffin liners if you are using.  Place the prepared muffin tin on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and oil together until thoroughly combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula quickly, yet gently, to full combine.  Don't worry if there are lumps.  Don't over mix.  Gently fold in the corn kernels.  Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Note: I filled mine just a 1/4 inch or less from the top and they didn't bulge over...they were just right.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until lightly golden and toothpick or thin knife comes out clean.  Mine took exactly 15 minutes.  Cool muffin tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Turn muffins and continue cooling on the rack.  Serve with honey butter (see recipe below).

Honey Butter

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
Pinch of fine sea salt

In a small bowl combine butter, honey and salt and stir vigorously until the honey is fully incorporated into a smooth butter.  You can add additional honey if you like a sweeter butter.  Serve butter at room temperature.  Store butter in the refrigerator and remove about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
adapted from Paula Deen

2 racks of baby back ribs, each rack cut in half
3 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce - we used KC Masterpiece Private Reserve (from our favorite place....Costco of course!).  Sweet Baby Ray's is another favorite store bought sauce.  For Paula Deen's barbecue sauce recipe click here.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rub the racks of ribs with 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce (or more if you are feeling extra saucy).  Place the ribs, meat side down, in a large casserole baking dish.  The racks will overlap a bit.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour or until the meat starts to pull away from the bone.  Remove the ribs from oven and pre-heat your grill to medium/high heat.  Brush ribs to coat generously with the sauce and grill for 2-3 minutes and turn them over and repeat the brushing with sauce, grilling and turning until the ribs are a little crisp on the outside, about 10 minutes.  Let ribs rest for 10 minutes before serving. 


  1. Great meal and you have to love Costco. That's where I go for my ribs and BBQ cuts of meat. I'm digging the zucchini crisps, I always just grill mine but this looks like a great change.
    Thanks for sharing...

  2. Love that corb muffin recipe! Just bookmarked it, can't wait to try it! Muffins are my latest obsession!


  3. Dorie's corn muffins are my absolute favorite too! Your feast sounds amazing, I don't make ribs nearly enough.

    Your photos are really improving Gloria, I love them!!