Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

This recipe was originally published on September 8, 2009. I have included step-by-step photos to make the instructions more illustrative. Enjoy!

I saw these bacon onion cheddar biscuits and I wanted to make something similar. Not biscuits though but muffins. For brunch. I went through the ingredients and realized that sugar was not listed, and I was ninety per cent certain that my girls would balk. When I make savory pies, I add a little sugar because they don’t like plain salted crusts. A muffin is an even more serious issue. I tried to decide how much risk I was willing to take tweaking the recipe blindly. Then, I remembered. Somewhere on the shelves is a little cookbook called Baking (from the Essential cooking series, Hinkler Books) that Alex gave me for a birthday (or was it Christmas?) gift a few years ago. And in that cookbook is a recipe for cheese and pepper muffins. I decided I was going to combine the two recipes.

I was posting messages on Twitter and Facebook right after I ate a muffin and I described the experience as having died and going to muffin heaven. Overacting? Yeah, well, it sometimes happens. I’m probably going to get blamed for ruining everyone’s diet in this house but these muffins are absolutely delicious! The saltiness of the bacon, the natural sweetness of the onion and bell pepper, the addition of a little sugar… they all went wonderfully together to make something I can’t quite describe but can’t help but eat (it’s been three and a half hours since the muffins have come out of the oven and I have eaten three so far). And the texture! Because of the addition of yellow cornmeal, the texture is more dense than most muffins but it stayed soft and moist inside because of the butter, the natural juices of the vegetables, the cheese and the little bacon fat.

I think that’s quite enough chest-beating. The recipe… Please don’t forget to view the end notes.

Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

Ingredients

  1. 200 g. of belly bacon1, finely sliced or minced
    1 medium sized white onion, chopped2
    1 red bell pepper (seeds and membranes removed), chopped
    onion leaves, finely sliced, about 1/4 cup
    200 g. of cheese, coarsely grated3
    1-1/4 c. of all-purpose flour
    1-1/4 tsps. of baking powder
    1/2 tsp. of salt
    4 tbsps. of sugar
    1/4 c. of yellow cornmeal
    1/4 c. of butter (plus more for greasing), at room temperature
    2 large eggs
    1 c. of buttermilk4

Instructions

  1. Pan fry the bacon in a non-stick pan. No need to add oil as the bacon will render its own fat. Cook until the bacon fat starts to turn transparent.

    Add the chopped onion. Stir and cook for about two minutes or until the onion bits start to soften. Add the chopped bell pepper and continue cooking, with occasional stirring, for another minute or two. When the bits of bell pepper soften, turn off the heat, strain the mixture to get rid of the excess fat and let the mixture cool while you prepare the batter.

    bacon-cheese-pepper-muffins3

    In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and the cornmeal and stir to combine.

    To the flour mixture, add the grated cheese and chopped onion. Toss gently (I used my fingers) so as not to squish the cheese.

    Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wire whisk until light. Add the eggs and beat for about a minute. If small lumps of butter remain, don’t worry — this is muffin batter and you’re not aiming for superfine texture.

    bacon-cheese-pepper-muffins3

    Add the flour mixture and milk in three batches to the butter and eggs, mixing lightly after each addition. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold the bacon, onion and bell pepper into the batter (I used a rubber spatula) with light swift strokes. Again, DO NOT OVERMIX. Stop when the texture looks even. This shouldn”?t take more than six turns of the spatula.

    bacon-cheese-pepper-muffins3

    Butter the holes of the muffin pan. Use a brush if you wish. I used my fingers.

    The capacity of each mold of my muffin pan is 1/3 cup so I poured a quarter cup of the batter into each hole. If you’re using a pan with different capacity, make the adjustments. Just remember to pour just enough batter to reach to about 4/5 of the mold. Tap the pan gently on the counter to make sure that there are no air pockets inside.

    Bake at 375oF for 25 to 30 minutes.

    Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

    The muffins are fully baked after 25 minutes but if you prefer them crustier with and more browned, bake for another five minutes. During baking the butter that coats the pan sort of fries the bottom and sides of the muffins. Some of the butter even even comes out through the batter and spreads lightly on the surface which gives a the muffin tops a very light crust.

    Bacon, cheese and pepper muffins

    As soon as they can be handled, run a blunt knife around each muffin to release it from the mold. Serve warm by themselves or with a salad or soup. These are heavy muffins and I really can”?t imagine pairing them with another heavy dish.

    Enjoy!

Quick Notes

1Use regular or smoked bacon, not honey cured. You want your bacon salty to blend with the sugar in the muffin batter. Slice or mince the becon depending on how large you want the pieces embedded in the muffins. Remember that bacon shrinks during cooking.

2Chop the onion, bell pepper and onion leaves roughly or finely depending on how much texture you prefer.

3Very soft cheeses may not be suitable since they contain too much moisture. I used Co-Jack, a blend of Monterey Jack (a soft cheese) and sharp cheddar (a hard salty cheese).

4To make buttermilk, pour a tablespoonful of lemon or lime juice (or even vinegar) into a measuring cup. Add enough whole (full cream) milk to make one cup.

Cooking time (duration): 50 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8 to 12 muffins

  • http://thelittlecoolshop.multiply.com Joeanne

    This recipe is so to the one I tried from allrecipes.com a year ago! The recipe I used had spinach and cheese though instead of bacon. I think I will try your recipe one of these days. I remember seeing bacon bits sold at the grocery at very cheap prices, it’ll be perfect for this recipe. Thanks!

    • Susan

      hi connie,
      can I use yoghurt as substitute for buttermilk?

      • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

        If this were cooking, I’d say say. But in baking? I’m not very sure how the substitution will work out.

        • Susan Ungson

          hi connie, i’ll try yoghurt & see how it comes out. i’m planning to make this together w/my daughter a soon as i buy the muffin pans! thanks!

          • dory reyes

            hi connie,
            i really wanted to bake this one,but i cant find corn meal in groceries.where can i buy it.thanks

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            Unimart, Landmark…

          • celeste sy

            You can try Pioneer Center too in Pasig. Was able to buy yellow cornmeal just this afternoon. They also have white cornmeal and I also bought Peanut oil na rin :) Ms Connie, im loving my pantry now. Dami na imported items, thanks to your recipes :) I hope to find powdered dashi next because i want to try your yakisoba recipe

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            Great! It feels different when you learn about a whole new lot of ingredients, right?

  • ruth

    darn it Connie, i can’t resist this anymore. gonna bake this muffins right now before i go crazy drooling over the picture.

    • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

      That’s it… Resistance is futile… Give in to the temptation… GIVE IN! LOL

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  • emyM

    Connie,this was our lunch today.Ang sarap!!!!

    My husband reminded me that this is served
    in Macaroni Grill when one orders Cream of
    Broccoli soup.

    Too excited to try it,I baked it w/out the printed recipe just recalling your recipe
    which is playing in my head for days.Well,
    instead of 1/4 cup of butter I used 1/2 cup,a
    mistake I found out just now…
    it’s delicious,a house guest commented.
    I also used turkey bacon and white cornmeal
    which is what is available in my fridge and
    pantry.

    Now,it’s time for a cold drink…Vietnamese
    coffee…ooopppsss…Mojitos rather..hehehehe

    • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

      Oh, that’s a great combo. These muffins with cream of broccoli soup. Or even cream of mushroom soup with roughly chopped fresh mushrooms. Must bake this again. And make a soup. Good thing we’re going to the supermarket today hehehe

      • Mom Rowie

        Dear Connie,
        Im a mom of 3kids and all boys. I’ve been browsing and doing some of your recipes for almost a year now. Thank’s God, i got a chance to write you a short message. I want to thank you coz you really help me a lot when it comes to satisfying my familys stomach.Thank you…

        • Mom Rowie

          Connie, is this recipe possible in microwave oven? If so,how long will it takes? What kind of soft cheeses can i used for can’t find Co-jack here in Dubai? thank you…

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            No, I don’t think the recipe will work in a microwave. Just about any hard and medium textured cheese will work.

          • florisa

            dearest Connie,
            this is a keeper! I tried it and loved it. Even brought some sa ofc and it was a hit. really good with coffee.

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            Hehehe I was thinking of trying it with Chinese ham too. :)

          • florisa

            Chinese ham would be the salty kind, right? Iniimagine ko na ang lasa nya with cheese and pimiento and onion leaves. and yeah mukang isa na namang hit na recipe yan, Ms. Connie.

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    • Melo

      I tried this muffin and turned out very good. I didn’t have green onions and red pepper so I skipped that. It’s still good. This is a keeper. Hubby suggested topping it with syrup before serving. Just a suggestion, can you convert your measurements to cups (i.e. grated cheese – 200 gms). It would be easier to follow.

      • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

        Why don’t you do the conversion? There are enough free conversion services on the web. :)

  • del

    thank you miss connie for this unique recipe…i always bake this and share to my colleagues in the hospital…its a sure hit for the night shift with coffee..i get compliments as well..btw my friends are also checking on your website…

  • Lhet

    Hi Connie… I have only white cornmeal in my pantry.. can I use it as a substitute for the yellow cornmeal? Kya lang im worried kasi baka di sya maging kasing perfect ng muffin mo eh! what do you think my dear? thanks and God Bless…

    • Connie

      You can substitute white cornmeal. The color won’t be the same though.

      • Lhet

        Con hi! tnx for the reply. btw, is it ok if i use a few drop of yellow food color? thanks again… God bless always…

        • Connie

          Why not? :)

          • Esther

            Hi, Connie! I made these last weekend and my husband and son loved them! I baked them in mini muffin tins para easier to eat (the boys scarfed them down; I’m not sure they even chewed) and stop eating (only one mini muffin for the dieter in the house … me). I combined Monterey Jack with Eden cheese and it tasted great. I also saw your Chinese ham version and that’s what I’ll make next time. Try it also with your favorite longganisa, just remove casing and pre-cook (drain out the oil) before adding to the batter. These are really great with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Thanks and keep those recipes coming! God bless you and your family. :)

          • Connie

            That’s great! And, yes, the meat can be anything but smoked and brined meat seems to work best. :)

  • Lhet

    thanks connie for the reply… God bless always…………

  • Raisinette

    Hi Ms. Connie. I baked this last Saturday & I must say that my husband & I really liked the muffins. I have a question about the flavor profile of the muffins that you baked. I know you said they’re supposed to taste salty from the bacon & sweet from the onions, bell peppers & sugar. We were having a discussion at home as to what they taste like. My husband said they tasted like chicken ala king. My SIL said they tasted like cheese & bell peppers. My MIL said they were too tangy. Like you I couldn’t describe the taste except for the fact that they’re savory muffins. Maybe you can settle the debate at home & tell us how your muffins really tasted. As far as the texture is concerned, oh I just loved it. Been eating it for 3 days now. We hardly tasted the bacon. Could it be bec I used center cut bacon instead of the regular fatty kind? Also, will the size of the bell pepper used affect the overall taste? Here in the US, the bell peppers are huge so I only used half instead of 1 whole that the recipe called for. Again, thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

    • Connie

      Mine were a bit salty and sweet at the same time. Though more on the sweet side because onions and bell peppers here are sweet.

      From experience, the larger the bell pepper, the more bland it is.

  • marie

    hi miss connie,

    the cornmeal link doesnt work. where can i get these cornmeal? sa grocery ba meron neto? and what brand do u use?

    • Connie

      I updated the link.

  • ai

    hi good morning connie! am so excited to post today, just baked this muffin for my son’s baon and it’s super delicious. it is best when it is hot, so not sure if my son will appreciate it when cold. anyhow it’s really, really yummy, but mine was more sinful pano i made buttermilk out of heavy cream.. hehe i bought a buy 1 take 1 anchor whip cream in the supermarket over the weekend so i have to use it para hindi ma-spoil, never mind if it has more calories. :)

    alam mo, reading your blog everyday then cooking your recipes at home made me feel a better mom lalo na now that i cook for my son’s baon unlike before that i just give him money. waking up at the wee hours of the morning just to bake is never tiring knowing that your family would appreciate what you do. you have inspired me a lot, thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipes. God bless!

    • Connie

      That is so good to know. I think I’ll try substituting milk with cream too. :)

  • amymd

    Hi, connie. Is it possible to make this recipe without the cornmeal? I’ve been looking for cornmeal for months now and I haven’t found one in groceries here in Pangasinan.

  • Karrie

    Girlfriend these are awesome! I had a place in my hometown that made something VERY similair to these and have been searching for years for this recipe! You hit it so close to the mark!!! Yummy is all I can say!! I used red bell peppers for the color and scallions instead of white onions and was still quite pleased with the results! Thanks so much!

  • kerastase

    Forgive me for saying this, but this recipe is not as original as you say it is. Not at all.
    Now I want your wrath in full display. You are good at it. You hate it when people say something negative.

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      First of all, where did I claim originality? In fact, it is written right there in the first paragraph, “Somewhere on the shelves is a little cookbook called Baking (from the Essential cooking series, Hinkler Books) that Alex gave me for a birthday (or was it Christmas?) gift a few years ago. And in that cookbook is a recipe for cheese and pepper muffins. I decided I was going to combine the two recipes.”

      Wrath? LOL You are utterly laughable.

      I have an advice though. Try reading before commenting. That’s what smart people do.

  • Kristine Busson

    Must-try! My Frenchies here enjoyed it. I used dried goat cheese. :D

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      Goat cheese sounds wonderful! Now, I’m on envy mode. :D

  • http://www.iskandals.com/ iska

    Yummey! When I find the time I’d surely try this. Nagiging madalang na ang baking adventures ko. The last time must be more than a couple of months ago!

  • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

    Aba, kulang na sa practice hehehe

  • emyM

    Wow,Connie,you’re so creative.

    This is something I’d like to make.I love the
    combination of sweet and salty in my food.
    Not only this is delicious but nutritious too.

    Certified baker ka na,Connie.

  • florisa

    ooooh…. bacon and cheese! two of my favorite things! I’ll try this one mamaya. but i think i’ll skip the onions, but not the onion leaves tho.

  • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

    Tuwang tuwa ako sa result hehehe

  • florisa

    btw, Connie print ko to ha? para bitbitin ko na sa grocery paglabas ko sa work maya, bilin ko na agad ingredients. Hope you dont mind.

  • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

    Sure. There’s a printable version. Link after the title.