Serves: Makes 3 (6½-inch) skillet cornbreads, plus 3 logs honey butter
- 1¾ cups medium-grind yellow cornmeal
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1¾ cups buttermilk
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 (15-ounce) can creamed corn
- ½ cup canned diced jalepeños, drained
- ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings or melted butter, for greasing pan
- Honey Butter:
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup honey
Procedures:This is a gift to bake and give immediately. Though the honey butter stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month, the cornbread is best when eaten within a day or two of being made, so plan your gift giving accordingly. For friends, family, or co-workers who enjoy cooking but might not have a kitchen full of equipment, they’ll receive a home-baked gift and a skillet to boot. The honey butter looks adorable and country-chic when formed into a log, rolled in waxed paper, and tied with raffia. Giving the honey butter packed into a butter bell is an alternative way to make the gift more elaborate.
- To make the cornbread, position one rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and eggs. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just to blend. Fold in the creamed corn, jalepeños, and cheese. Stir in the melted butter.
- Coat the cast-iron skillets with the bacon drippings. Place the greased pans in the oven until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately ladle the batter into the heated pans, dividing it evenly. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack. Wrap tightly once the cornbread is completely cool.
- To make the honey butter, place the butter and honey in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until completely blended and smooth, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cut three (8-inch-wide) sheets of waxed paper. Using a rubber spatula and table knife, transfer one-third of the honey butter to the center of each sheet of waxed paper. Form a log about 1½ inches in diameter and 4 inches long. Starting at the bottom edge, roll up the waxed paper, covering the butter and rolling it on the counter to form a smooth log. Twist the ends, tie with raffia or ribbon, and trim with scissors. Refrigerate the honey butter logs.
Storing: Keep the cornbread in the pans. Cut 3 large sheets of clear cellophane and three 14-inch lengths of ribbon or raffia. Place a skillet in the center of a cellophane sheet and bring up the edges to tightly wrap the skillet and the bread. Tie securely with ribbon or raffia. Repeat with the remaining skillets of cornbread. Store at room temperature for up to 1 day. The honey butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.