Auntie Colleen's Cornbread





Recipe Testers,
I pretty much love every kind of cornbread I’ve ever tasted! I think it is one of the greatest American culinary creations. At the Dothan Country Club in Dothan, Alabama they had this fried cornbread that they must have dropped in spoonfuls, kind of like pancakes, onto a griddle. I would eat too many of them! One of these days I’ll need to get that recipe. I also love the Classic Southern Cornbread without sugar that is dense with a thick crust that is baked in a cast iron pan. I also enjoy the Western Cornbread that has sugar in it and is more cakelike. I even like the cornbread at Pasqual’s in Terminal A of the Atlanta Airport where I always order Fried Chicken, Collard Greens and Sweet Potatoes (I got the sweet potato recipe from them when I was on my way back from Aruba.)
So even though I love all of these cornbread recipes, this recipe from my Auntie Colleen is the one I make the most. Many of you already have this recipe and make it regularly yourselves. Colleen from a friend's mother, Tessa Mindling, in 1955. Tessa passed away in 1994, but her wonderful recipe lives on.
The recipe I’m giving you calls for butter: an entire stick! YUM! Jason still adds more butter to the already buttery cornbread (he exercises two hours a day so Carol don’t worry about his heart!) You can substitute oil in place of the butter. And if you prefer your cornbread without sugar you can omit the sugar. But this isn’t one of the super sweet cornbreads. The amount of sugar in this one is just right for me.
I’m going to give you both the original version and the modified version. The original version is fun to see because it has extra steps. But I’ve made them both and placed them side by side and you can’t tell the difference. The ingredients are identical, the technique is just different. Usually technique is everything (especially in sautéing, caramelizing onions, etc.) but in this case, the old and new techniques both work and the updated version is quicker and easier.

Auntie Colleen’s Cornbread
Updated Version
Serves 6-8
This is a buttery cornbread that goes well with chili, Fried Chicken or soup.
1 cup corn meal
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted and warm
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 x 8 baking pan.
Place the dry ingredients: corn meal, flour, baking soda and salt, in a bowl and stir to combine.
Melt the butter in the microwave and stir the sugar into the warm butter, then let cool slightly. Stir in the buttermilk and the eggs and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, butter, sugar) to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until JUST MIXED. DO NOT OVERMIX. Place in 8 x 8 buttered baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.

Auntie Colleen’s Cornbread (Tessa Mindling Original Recipe)

Obviously no microwaves in the older version, so butter was melted on a stove. I think the only thing I use my microwave for is to melt butter and make super pretzels. That’s it, so I could probably get rid of it.
8 x 8 pan, buttered
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted and warm
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup corn meal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter.
Add sugar to the melted butter.
In another bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients except the baking soda.
Crack eggs in a separate bowl, mix well and add to the sugar and butter mixture.
Add the baking soda to the buttermilk and mix well. Mix in the sugar and butter mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until blended.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

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