The Genius Trick That Makes Any Cornbread Better

One of the many wonderful things about improving your cooking chops is that once you learn a great technique, you can utilize it all over the place. In the same way a knockout sauce can have multiple applications on pork chops, steaks, roast vegetables and chicken (hello, Italian salsa verde), this technique can improve cornbread as well as other starches. (It’d be killer with biscuits, scones or corn muffins, for instance.)

Test kitchen cook Belle English‘s grandmother can take credit for the trick: Pour hot, jalapeño-infused honey over cornbread right out of the oven. That’s it. That’s the whole thing.

Belle’s grandma did this with her spoonbread (a pudding-like bread that often requires a spoon). It became a renowned recipe in the family. With cornbread, the jalapeño honey takes an already excellent dish from marvelous to mind-bending.

Here’s what happens when you simmer chiles in honey with butter: They very nearly caramelize. Any fan of biscuits knows that honey and butter are already a genius pairing. Add heat, and you’ve got a knock-your-socks-off elixir. Our cornbread recipe is porous enough that you can infuse every bite with the honey mixture. That means there are zero sad, stuffy, dry bites. Every one is hot, sweet, and buttery in equal measure.

Don’t have a favorite cornbread recipe yet? Ahem. Allow us to suggest the one that accompanies this hot honey recipe. Cornbread baked in a skillet is usually the best cornbread you’ve ever had, as it caramelizes almost to the point of candied around its edges.

How do you know it’s really, really good? Any time the test kitchen works with this syrup, the editors all come running. This is precisely what people mean when they talk about an “addictive” recipe. Try it out!

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