Raw Milk Cheddar and Pecan Muffins with Maple Butter by Bret Bannon
Living in the upper Midwest allows me opportunities to enjoy many artisan butters and cheeses. I had the privilege of creating these delicious, mouthwatering muffins using Pastureland Cooperative’s grass-fed butter and cheese. Sadly, the co-op has since closed. Seek out the best butters and cheeses available from your local market or grocery and you will produce the same delicious treats for your enjoyment.
Raw Milk Cheddar and Pecan Muffins with Maple Butter
12 muffins or 24 mini muffins
For the muffins:
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) premium unsalted butter
2¼ ounces raw pecan-halves
1 cup (4 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 ¾ ounces) yellow cornmeal
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounce) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (½ ounce) double acting baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ cup (6 ounces) whole milk
¼ cup (2 ounces) whole milk sour cream
1 large egg
1½ cups (about 6 ounces) raw milk organic medium or sharp cheddar
For the maple butter:
13 tablespoons (6½ ounces) premium salted butter
3 tablespoons (2¼ ounces) pure maple syrup
1. To make the muffins: Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Using 3 tablespoons softened butter, lightly coat the insides of one 12 – ⅓ cup muffin tin or one 24 mini muffin tin.
3. Place pecans in a small oven-proof pan or on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes or just until fragrant. After toasting, remove pecans to a bowl or plate to cool.
4. While pecans are toasting, melt 5 tablespoons butter in a small pan and set aside to cool.
5. Chop cooled pecans into about 1/8-inch pieces.
6. After butter has cooled, whisk in milk, sour cream and egg and set aside.
7. Grate cheese, reserving ¼ cup in a separate bowl.
8. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
9. Stir in 1¼ cups of grated cheese and chopped pecans.
10. Stir butter mixture into dry ingredients until just combined.
11. Divide batter equally among muffin tins and sprinkle tops with reserved cheese.
12. Bake muffins in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 15 – 18 minutes.
13. To make the maple butter: With 6½ ounces salted butter and 2¼ ounces maple syrup at room temperature, use paddle attachment in bowl of a stand mixer to beat ingredients until light and fluffy.
14. Place in a small bowl.
15. Serve with the muffins.