Why This Recipe Works
Making cornbread from a box is easy, sure, but it is also limiting. Making cornbread from scratch really isn’t much harder, and it opens up a vast world of cornbread varieties, including adding spicy jalapeño chiles and cheddar cheese. For this recipe, we used a ratio of 1½ cups cornmeal to 1 cup flour so the bread was tender yet sturdy enough to hold the add-ins. Two tablespoons of sugar enhanced the cornmeal’s subtly sweet flavor. After simply stirring the dry and wet ingredients together, we added 4 minced jalapeños, removing the ribs and seeds for a vibrant yet controlled jalapeño kick. Extra-sharp cheddar lent savory, cheesy tang. We stirred most of the cheese into the batter to distribute the flavor throughout and reserved ½ cup to sprinkle over the top, where it baked into a beautiful cheesy crust.
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