With the holidays now in full swing, I’ve found myself getting sentimental.
Now, I am a sensitive creature by nature and commercials have (and still do) make me cry.
But this time of the year, the emotion-meter is even higher than usual.
The family that you are born into …
The family that you make …
The family that you pick up along the way …
And the family that you gain.
The family that is no longer with you but always in your heart …
The family made up of just one other person …
and the one that has you laughing off the charts.
The family you are lucky enough to find together … the one made up of two …
The one you love, honor and cherish and that you were so happy to say, “I do.”
This recipe was inspired by all that is family, by a dinner out with the wonderful family I gained when I married my husband, Christopher, and by my dad, who even though may be coasts apart is still with me every day.
… and served warm with the most wonderful of butters made salty-sweet perfect with sea salt and molasses.
When paired together, much like the very best of families … no matter who or where … near or far away, they are.
Cast-Iron Cornbread with Salted Molasses Butter
For Cast-Iron Cornbread
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cups reduced fat buttermilk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs, beaten
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For Salted Molasses Butter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsulfered molasses
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Using paper towel, lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with vegetable oil.
Place skillet in the center of middle rack in oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, salt, coriander, baking powder and baking soda — with a whisk or fork — until well combined.
In a separate, small mixing bowl — using a clean fork — combine buttermilk, brown sugar and eggs together. Slowly mix in all but about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, which you will set aside for the skillet. Combine liquid mixture well.
Fold liquid mixture into your dry mixture — with a fork — until just combined and just enough that only a few lumps remain.
Very carefully remove cast iron skillet from oven and place on stove top. Drizzle in reserved melted butter and — working quickly — tilt skillet so that butter evenly coats bottom.
Pour batter into the skillet and place back in center of middle rack in oven.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
While cornbread is baking, mix softened butter, molasses and salt together until well combined.
When cornbread is ready, remove from oven and place skillet on cooling rack.
Allow cornbread to cool in skillet for about 10 minutes and serve immediately — and directly from skillet — with lots of molasses butter smeared on top.