[Photograph: Sydney Oland]
About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)
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Special equipment: muffin tin with liners
serves Makes 16 muffins, active time 20 minutes, total time 40 minutes
- 6 strips (about 1/3 pound) bacon
- 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Adjust oven rack to 8 to 10 inches below broiler element and preheat the broiler to high. Place bacon strips in a single layer on a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle the bacon with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Broil until the sugar is bubbling, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon from the oven and flip it using a pair of tongs, place the bacon back in the oven until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Remove the bacon and let drain on paper towels, sugared side up.
Turn off broiler, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with muffing liners, or grease with cooking spray or butter.
Whisk together flour, sugar, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, a large pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper. In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter, vegetable oil, eggs, and milk. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients then divide batter between muffin cups.
Bake muffins until golden brown on the top, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool, meanwhile divide 6 strips of bacon in half. Cut a small hole in the top of each muffin and slide a half piece of bacon into each muffin.