A customer of mine named Libby Taylor first reached out for bourbon recommendations when I had my shop open in Brooklyn. We often found common connection as we struggled through life’s challenges by exchanging recipes. She shared her version of bourbon cornbread, and I tweaked it into this recipe. Libby says, “I would suggest that you use it with meat or savory dishes. Might not recommend it with breakfast. But what the h*ll, if you are on vacation it would work.” I’ll be honest and say we’ve had this bread for brunch, lunch, or dinner. We often use a high proof whiskey so the flavor really comes through. For this recipe I used Big House Bourbon, a medalist in the NY International Spirits Competition. I cannot recommend cast iron highly enough when cooking cornbread. It helps create a nice golden outer layer like no other pan. Bourbon cornbread is absolutely delicious fresh out of the oven slathered with real butter…with a whiskey glass nearby, of course.
2 cups all purpose
1 cup whole wheat
1 cup sugar
1 cup medium-coarse ground blue corn meal
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bourbon
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 lb unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I use lard)
2 extra large eggs
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line 12 large muffin cups with paper liners. (I use a cast iron muffin pan greased with lard instead of liners.) Mix dry – flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt. Mix wet – in separate bowl – milk, melted butter, eggs. Pour wet into dry and stir just until moist. Spoon batter to the top of each liner. Bake 30 min until tops are crisp and toothpick comes out clean. Or cook as a loaf in oven proof cast iron skillet.
I like to top it with fresh cracked black pepper before popping it in the oven. For more savory version, reduce the sugar and add in fresh minced garlic, chopped up bacon, and onion.