Serious Eats: Sweets
Wake and Bake: Old Bay Corn Muffins
Growing up on the East Coast means growing up with Old Bay Seasoning. It's one of my earliest taste memories, intertwined with fish and lemon and oyster crackers and my mom, standing in her oversized neon pink t-shirt coverup and flip flops, manning the grill behind our cottage in Cape Cod.
I love that under ingredients, each mustard yellow tin lists "spices and herbs (including red pepper and black pepper), salt, and paprika." You know there is a ton more going on (celery? nutmeg?) but I don't begrudge the company for not sharing the details. They haven't been around since 1939 by giving away secrets, after all.
All I know is that Old Bay makes almost everything taste better—have you tried Old Bay fries?—and so when I suddenly had the urge to put them in my corn muffins, I knew I was onto something good.
Old Bay is the tiniest bit spicy, which I wanted to emphasize with an additional pinch of chili powder. To moisten the corn muffins, I always like to add some grated sharp cheddar cheese. There's no sugar in these, which means they're the ideal vessel for mopping up after scrambled eggs or grits. Though to be perfectly honest, I most recently served them at dinner, next to Old Bay seasoned cod and some slow cooked collard greens.