I had precisely one half cup of cheddar cheese in a bag that was just begging to be used.
I thought about just sprinkling it on a salad, but that wouldn’t have been as fun as muffins.
You’re thinking, oh but that sounds like a lot of work, baking and muffin-making rather than salad sprinkling.Wrong.
Dump everything in one bowl, stir a few times, pour into liners, and bake.
The recipe only makes six muffins and because I don’t need any more than half of a dozen little white bread nuggets made with with cheese and olive oil just laying around, I am always grateful for small-batch recipes.
And grateful for cheesy and easy.
These would be wonderful served alongside chili (vegan) or as a dipping vehicle for salsa.
I can imagine sour cream or cream cheese would be wonderful on them, but I wasn’t going to open a fresh 8-ounce container just for these.
I save unopened 8-ounce tubs of cream cheese for these . Priorities people.
This recipe could support the addition of a few vegetables or even extra protein if you’re so inclined. Corn, bell peppers, spinach, artichokes, beans, precooked shredded chicken, canned salmon or tuna stirred in.
But I wasn’t inclined so these are just dough and cheese. They’re cheesy in flavor but don’t have a pizza cheese quality, with cheese just oozing and stinging everywhere. You could add more cheese and make them more like that but I was fresh out of cheese after my little half cup.
The olive oil subtly flavored the dough and kept them moist.
For savory muffins, these weren’t too shabby and were inhaled by the family. But if I’m being honest, I prefer sweet mango muffins and sweet will always trump savory for me.
Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins (Small-batch recipe)
Makes 6 muffins
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cream or milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, loosely packed (I used extra sharp)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon optional seasoning(s), to taste (garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle seasoning, Lowry’s, Old Bay, Mrs. Dash blend, 21 Salute)
1/3 cup vegetables or pre-cooked protein, optional (corn, bell peppers, spinach, artichokes, beans, shredded chicken, salmon, tuna)
Preheat oven to 425F, line a muffin pan with 6 liners; set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the olive oil, cream, egg, and whisk vigorously to combine. Add the cheese and stir gently. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, optional seasonings, vegetables, or protein, and stir until just incorporated, taking care not to overmix which would result in tougher muffins. The batter will be thick, gloppy, and lumpy; this is okay. Divide batter evenly among the liners, filling each cavity to about three-quarters full.
Bake at 425F for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375F and bake for 12 to 15 more minutes, or until tops are just golden and barely browned (total baking time, about 17 to 20 minutes) Tip: baking at high heat for 5 minutes helps muffins rise better. These muffins can be prone to drying out so take care not to overbake; they will set up more as they cool.
Allow muffins to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing. Serve immediately. Optionally serve with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, salsa, guacamole, peanut butter, almond butter, or other dip or spread if desired. Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
To keep these gluten-free, use your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.