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.
Perhaps it’s the Christmas carols making their way to my ear in every store, or the Christmas lights twinkling everywhere I go, but it all finds me thinking of family.
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.
It’s the very best of cornbreads baked in a cast-iron skillet ’til it’s all lovely and golden brown …
… 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
Inspired by Food Network, Sazerac and my dad, Papa Lazarakis
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.
- GCH: What’s on Your Plate? – Cornbread (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
- Pumpkin Cornbread or Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins (nancycreative.com)
- Southern Honey Cornbread Dressing (romancingthebee.com)
Love your story, and the photos. Christmas is indeed a time to be thankful for everything we have (or had) in our lives. Lovely post 🙂
Thanks so much, JulieC, glad you enjoyed it. And how true! Thanks so much for stopping by =)
This sounds perfect for to warm bellies during a cold winter night!! Thanks for sharing!
Wonderful to hear and my pleasure! Thank you, Kenley!
I’II try the bread. Hahaha, actually I’ll give the recipe to my husband to do it. He likes to make bread!
Great and perfect =)
Very touching buddy, love you too!
I’m so glad, buddy! Love you, brother, and can’t wait to see you soon. Hugs!
This really is a lovely post Christina. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much, Anne, and always a delight to see a comment from you. Thank you for being so wonderfully supportive — it means the world =)
Awww….. Love your work so I couldn’t help but be supportive 😉 Keep doing what you’re great at!
Aww, thank you, Anne!
I asked for a cast iron skillet for Christmas… This will definitely be on my to-do list of recipes!
Hello Leah, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
Smart girl, cast iron skillets are awesome — you will so love cooking with one! If you do make this recipe, stop back on by and tell me how you liked it.
Have a great rest of your week and talk soon, Ms. Leah!
I love this post Christina! So cute. You made me tear up though, shame on you, lol. I myself am struggling right now every time I see those carters commercials with the little girl and her mom and the school bus. Every time it gets me. Every time!
Now on to the food…I love this recipe because i love cornbread, and I also really love the photo. I swear I can smell it. Don’t you feel like food you cook in cast iron develops this very warm an comforting smell? And the butter? An awesome accompaniment.
Hopefully I can get my butt back on track for Monday, catch my breath, and get back on the food blog wagon.
Bad, bad, food blogger I am, lol.
Aww, I’m so glad you liked it, Rebekah, and thank you. I actually got pretty emotional myself just writing it. Damn you, holidays! lol (What am I saying? I love the holidays…)
Re: the food, yes, I agree with you, food you cook in cast iron somehow gets imbued with this special, warm, comforting special-ness. And re: the butter, it really is what puts it over the top in deliciousness — there is something about molasses that when used just right, makes good things, that much better.
I hear you on the catching the breath — it’s tough to do sometimes, and blog, and continue to live one’s life — do you ever feel like you’re juggling chickens? That’s what it can kind of feel like to me sometimes, lol.
Eagerly look forward to your next post, whenever that may be, lovely lady, ’til then, catch that breath and have a wonderful weekend!
Bravo Lazarakis! BRA-VO!!!
Aww, thank you, Shawn! Big hugs! Thanks for stopping by, my friend! =)
LOVE all the pics as usual and of course, love the recipe. I have both a cast-iron skillet and molasses as of two days ago so of course this will be on my to-do list! Such lovely family you’re surrounded by 🙂
Wonderful! Come back and let me know how you liked it.
And thank you too for all the lovely thoughts, Erika, and yes, I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such a bunch =)
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What a lovely post! This recipe brings back memories. My mom made a slightly more basic version of this for us when we were kids. Just basic, baked corn bread smeared with whisked butter and molasses. I’ll be trying this foodie version very soon (sea salt, butter and molasses? I’m there!).
Thanks so much, Marisa! Oh, what lovely memories! There’s something about food your mom makes — it’s love you can eat, really, and coming from mom, I think, makes it that much more special.
Enjoy the cornbread, Marisa, and please stop back on by and let me know how you liked it.
Happiest of holidays and see you in the new year!
I like your cornbread recipe, really did. But your post and photos…absolutely lovely!
Aww, thanks so much, Claire, I so appreciate that and welcome to Small Kitchen Chronicles!
So glad you enjoyed and know that you are welcome here anytime =)
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Thanks for the cornbread recipe, it looks really good. Also the Christmas stories are cool, makes me think of the past Christmases when my parents were alive and when my son’s mom was alive and the future Christmases with my son and my fiance.
That’s awesome, David, thanks for sharing and my pleasure!