If I’m truly honest, bread is what I look forward to most at holiday meals (ok, at any meal). As the baker of the family, bread and dessert fall squarely on my shoulders, and this year I’ll be serving brown butter maple cornbread.
Nutty brown butter and dark amber maple syrup infuse the cornbread with fall flavors. Once you’ve browned the butter, the batter is a cinch to make; bake in a cast iron skillet for nice crisp edges that yield to a soft center (thank you, buttermilk!). Serve this cornbread for Thanksgiving and you’ll have no leftovers to speak of, only crumbs. (Other alternatives: pumpkin spice biscuits and one-hour dinner rolls).
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet (or cake pan). Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour into a small bowl to cool slightly.
- Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and fold in until almost combined. Fold in cooled brown butter just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake for 18 to 19 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack for 10 minutes; use a thin spatula to loosen cornbread from skillet before serving.