Last night, our daughter's school held a lantern walk. To the uninitiated, that means dozens of two, three, and four-year-olds singing and walking with lit candles in an otherwise dark and chilly community garden in the East Village. Believe me; it's beautiful, and no one gets hurt.
To take the edge off the rather extreme conditions, each family was asked to bring a dozen muffins. Muffins at 6 pm? Not exactly part of our preschooler's usual evening routine, so for my dozen, I reached for some savory ingredients.
I choose a cornbread base, and amped it up with buttermilk and sharp Dubliner cheddar cheese. The leeks added a pungent kick amidst all the soft, pillowy muffin goodness. With a touch of honey for sweetness, balanced with a few healthy pinches of salt, the kids went for it, and I didn't feel like I was spoiling anyone's supper.
Leftovers? We had them with dinner, served as a side mop to our juicy braised pork, satisfying preschoolers and adults alike.
Cheddar and Leek Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cup corn flour 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/4 cups buttermilk 7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, divided 2 tablespoons honey 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, divided 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese