So, truth be told I first developed a bacon cheddar muffin recipe when writing my second cookbook, The Vintage Baker. The book includes recipes that were popular back in the day, as it were, and not that everyone was eating bacon cheddar muffins a century ago, but they were definitely eating muffins. The “bacon cheddar” addition was to be my 21st century twist on an old-fashioned muffin recipe. But, alas, the recipe did not make the cut when my editor realized we had to cut back on the book’s number of pages. A year or so later I developed a jumbo cheesy muffin for the Washington Post, with prosciutto, no less, but I still had my bacon cheddar muffin on the brain . . .
Cut to my partnership with my beloved Colavita Olive Oil in which I create an oil-based baked good each week to share with you all (you’re welcome — and you can watch me make this particular olive-oil based good on Instagram. The recipes call for – you guessed it — Colavita Olive Oil, and this week I decided to go in a savory direction with these bacon cheddar goodies. They are easy-peasy to assemble — like they literally take about 5 minutes — and call for copious amounts of sharp cheddar cheese and crispy bacon. The oil makes them wonderfully moist (and allows them to stay that way for days) and a little peppery.
The bacon cheddar olive oil muffins also have the loveliest of rounded tops which is achieved by filling the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and by starting the oven at 400°F for the first 10 minutes of baking, and then dropping it to 350°F for the last 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, the best way to enjoy these cuties and — dare I say — truly the only way, is warm, from the oven with a generous smear of softened salted butter.
Bacon Cheddar Olive Oil Muffins
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (180 grams)
- 1 cup diced cooked bacon
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Generously grease the wells of the muffin pan with cooking spray or softened butter.
- Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then the buttermilk,
- Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into the bowl one at a time, vigorously whisking after each.
- Gently fold in the flour, cheese and bacon with a flexible spatula.
- Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and reduce the temp to 350°F and bake for another 5 minutes, or so. until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with a moist crumb.
- Remove the muffins from the pan as soon as they are cool enough to touch by running a butter knife around the edges of each one. Serve warm with salted butter. The muffins are best the day they are made (and preferably warm from the oven) but can be stored, in an air-tight container on the counter, for a few days, or frozen. Reheat in a 350°F oven briefly before serving.