Honey Maple Cornbread, and Preparing for Our First Maine Winter

Love a sweet cornbread? This recipe for Honey Maple Cornbread yields a tender, sweet cornbread dotted with kernels of corn — perfect with a bowl of chili.

Honey Maple Cornbread

As the kids suited up in snow pants, coats, gloves and boots last week, preparing for the walk to the bus stop, my son confessed that he might not be ready for our first Maine winter. With temperatures hovering in the teens in the early morning that week, and snow everywhere — in early November, no less — it’s hard to imagine what winter will be like here.

But then, it’s just winter right?

My kids have lived in New England — albeit the southern part of the region — their whole lives. They’ve survived freak snowstorms, raging winters with snow that piled so high I couldn’t see over it and temperatures so cold that we moved space heaters to the basement to fight against freezing pipes — something that had never been a concern before.

Perhaps it’s my warnings of what to expect this winter that’s put the wintery fear of Mother Nature into them. But as a mom — and as a woman, editor, boss and person — I believe in preparing for the worst, so that there are no surprises. I’d rather we have more hand and toe warmers than we can use this season than to have my kids shivering at the bus stop because we just weren’t ready. They know that temperatures will be colder than we’re used to, snow will come more often than we’ve ever experienced and sunlight will soon be at an extreme premium (well, it kind of already is).

We’ve stocked up on fleece, broken out the favorite blankets and arranged hats and gloves in an easy to locate spot. Our new shovel, bought to replace the plastic ones we used (and broke) in Connecticut, is metal — just as my coworkers advised. We’re stocking up on Smartwool socks and considering whether face masks are really a must.Cornbread bee_FINAL_WEB

When the temperatures drop again later this week, we’ll bundle up and bear it. Because it really is just winter … we can do this.

And we’ll trade autumn dinners of salads and tossed together pastas for more hearty fare — like chili served with a favorite cornbread.

Homemade Honey Maple Cornbread

This Honey Maple Cornbread is a sweet northern-style cornbread. This easy batter takes just minutes to whip up, and then it bakes to a tender, lighter crumb in about 30 minutes. It’s easy enough to toss together when you get home from work (to go with your slow-cooker chili, of course), but delicious enough to feel special any night of the week.

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Honey Maple Cornbread
serves 8

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8×8-inch glass baking dish with cooking oil spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and add the honey, maple syrup, milk and eggs. Stir well to combine. Drizzle in the butter a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add the frozen corn kernels and stir well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. A knife inserted in the center should come out cleanly.

Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into small squares.

Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News, and resident cook. She writes a cooking column, Maine Course, and is also author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains." Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, Glamour.com and more.