Wednesday, November 7, 2012

recipe showdown: cornbread

I've already fallen in love with custard cornbread, but with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured I needed a really great traditional, buttermilk cornbread recipe up my sleeve.  I tried Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread from All Recipe which boasts over 3000 five star reviews, All-Purpose Cornbread from Cook's Illustrated 20th Anniversary Best Recipes Cookbook, and Perfect Cornbread from Little B Cooks. I fed them all to my family and friends alongside a piping hot bowl of tomato soup, and there was a clear winner.
In past Recipe Showdowns, I have been a bit frustrated by the fact that often there isn't a clear winner.  In the past, both of the recipes are so good, it's really unfair to put one above the other. 
One of the ideas behind Recipe Showdown is that I can "test-drive" the most popular recipes, so that you don't have to. For example, let's say your friends ask you to bring cornbread to a holiday get-together.  You won't have to waste ingredients trying all the recipes, or risk serving something less than delicious to your friends, since I've done all the dirty work for you!

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread
In this showdown, Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread was a clear winner over All-Purpose Cornbread.  It has a nice, crunchy, golden brown top and a sweet, flavorful texture.  All-Purpose came up short with an overly crumbly texture and a chunky, pale exterior. However, Perfect Cornbread boasted some pretty great health stats (1/3 cup coconut oil over a whole stick of butter!).  Perfect Cornbread also had a nice texture which would satisfy all (not as cakey as Grandmother's, and not as crumbly as All-Purpose).  I also loved the slight hint of rich coconut flavor in Little B Cooks' recipe.  Healthy, perfect texture, and delicious? Looks like we have a winner!

All-Purpose Cornbread. Not too pretty...

As always, feel free to challenge the winner with your own delicious cornbread recipe!
With love,
Erica



Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
Cook’s Illustrated All-Purpose Cornbread
Little B Cooks Perfect Cornbread
Description
“Grandma’s recipe for a sweet moist cornbread is likely to become your favorite!”
“Brushing regional differences aside, we wanted both a tender, fluffy crumb and a thick crunchy crust.  But what we wanted most of all was sweet corn flavor.”
Perfect cornbread – I substituted 1/3 cup coconut oil for the olive oil for a sweet and healthy twist!
Taster’s notes
Looks like cornbread
More flavor
Crunchy top
Sugar
Amazing crust
Yummy golden edges
Crumbly
I would be embarrassed to bring this to a potluck
Pale color
Not crunchy
No crust, edges just crumble
Chunky
Delicious
Healthy
Sweeter than other breads
Texture closer to desired cornbread (between the two other breads)



Perfectly Moist Cornbread 
Adapted from Little B Cooks

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup sugar

2 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup milk

1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

1 egg
 

Preheat oven to 375, and spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.  In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients.  Add the egg, milk and vegetable oil and stir until just combined.  Pour batter into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

13 comments:

  1. How awesome that my recipe won - I knew it was perfect ;) Thank you so much for using it in your showdown. I feel very honored! I love your blog - keep up the good work!

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    1. Of course! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe!

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  2. Love this showdown! I def. think you made the right choice :D

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  3. Oh and BTW, I've never cooked with coconut oil so I'm excited to try it instead of the oil I normally use. Great idea!

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    1. Once you taste coconut oil, you will be obsessed! I spread it on toast, put it in pancakes, sneak it into baked goods. I buy mine in bulk on amazon. It may be almost better (gasp!) than butter!

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  4. Love cornbread, so I'll definitely have to try this recipe! Can't wait. Thanks for doing the showdown. So glad I found your blog...as another teenage blogger (started it when I was in HS, but in college now!), I love finding other young bloggers. You definitely have a new follower!

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    1. Thank you so much! I love meeting other teenage bloggers as well, I am looking forward to checking out your blog!

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  5. I’ve been trying to get my hands on great-textured cornbread for ages and was just about ready to give up when I stumbled upon Marie’s Callender’s cornbread mixes in Fairway Market. I had never used that brand of products before but I thought, “Hey, one more try can’t hurt.” I tried it and I must say, the taste was exceptional and the texture was perfect! I could feel the cornbread muffins melting on my tongue. It was absolutely worth the wait. You guys should definitely check their website www.mccornbread.com and try their mixes.

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I will have to try that out!

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  6. Just made this cornbread and it was sooo good! I threw in some jalapenos for good measure and it was a big hit. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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