You know when you go to a street fair or festival and you catch yourself transfixed by those happy people wandering around shamelessly going to town on a queso-smeared corncob on a stick? They catch you enviously eyeing their street food and give you a big corny grin. It somehow makes you completely rethink all of the life choices that brought you to a point where you’re watching someone else blissfully tap away a row of cheesy, spiced up corn while you stand there feeling empty with nothing but a stale elephant ear dangling from your cheerless hand. I hate that feeling.
I always want to be the person enjoying a hot cob of Mexican Street Corn, but somehow I never am. Unable to escape the envy, I decided to try and make my own version. Since I am a baker by nature, my flour-fueled mind bypassed the corncob altogether and went straight to cornbread. But how?
Then, I remembered the sweetest gift that arrived in the mail months earlier from the hubs’ sweet Aunt Jo. She sent me on of those adorable antique cornbread cast iron skillets. You know the ones that you always see rusting away in the dark corner of a roadside antique store? It was her mother’s and she had fond memories of eating those crazy cornbread sticks growing up. The skillet had just been collecting dust on her shelf for years, so she sent it my way. I tucked it away and nearly forgot about it, but thankfully it popped into my head for this recipe.
I combined my new family heirloom and all of those missed Mexican Street Corn opportunities and came up with the corniest idea for Baking The Goods yet; Mexican Street Cornbread On A Stick. Here it is, cornbread on a stick, just in time for one of my favorite ‘American’ holiday, Cinco de Mayo!
This recipe for Mexican Street Cornbread On A Stick is like el carnaval for your mouth, and it is certainly something to be celebrated. Cornbread batter laced with lime zest, a sprinkle of salty cotija cheese and smooth ribbons of Mexicana crema get poured into a piping hot cornbread skillet, creating a crispy shell on the exterior. The batter bakes and puffs up around cute little lollipop sticks and comes out looking like an adorable nephew to the corncob on a stick. Smaller, cuter, but with a distinct family resemblance. Then comes the real fiesta. The cornbread on a stick gets topped with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a smear of crema, a liberal crumble of salty cotija cheese, a colorful dash of spicy ancho chile powder and a fresh sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
Thanks Auntie Jo for sharing your sweet memories and passing on the once forgotten but again treasured gift of the Wilberding Cast Iron Corn Stick Pan. I may not be able to make cornbread the way your Mom once did, but I hope this recipe for Mexican Street Cornbread On A Stick is one we can pass along to the next generation of corn-envious festival go-ers.
- fine cornmeal - 1 1/2 cup
- all purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
- baking powder - 2 teaspoons
- baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- lime zest - zest of 1 lime
- large eggs at room temperature - 2
- melted butter, slightly cooled - 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons)
- Crema Mexicana or sour cream - 1/2 cup
- whole milk - 1 cup
- cotija cheese - 1/4 cup crumbled
- honey - 1/4 cup
- ancho chile powder or preferred chile powder alternative - 1-2 teaspoons
- limes - 1-2
- Crema Mexicana or sour cream - 1/4 cup
- cotija cheese - 1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled
- cilantro - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Place the cast iron cornbread stick skillet or alternatively a 10" cast iron skillet on a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°.
- Melt the butter over low heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Measure out the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lime zest together in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add the Crema Mexican or sour cream, whole milk and honey, whisk to combine. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the melted and cooled butter (reserving the rest for to coat the pans) and 1/4 of crumbled cotija cheese.
- Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and mix by hand until just combined.
- Remove the hot skillet from the oven and quickly brush with the reserved butter. Fill the cornbread sticks with the batter. Gently slide a lollipop stick into the center of each one, 2/3 of the way in from the top with the stick coming out the bottom. Add a little dollop of batter over the sticks to ensure they are fully coated. * If just baking in a round cast iron skillet dump all of the batter into the skillet.
- Bake the cornbread sticks for 10-12 minutes until they have puffed up a bit and turn a deep golden color, they should begin to pull slightly away from the sides of the pan as well. Allow to cool for 2 minutes in the skillet and gently remove from the skillet by grabbing the stick. Place the cornbread sticks on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter. *If baking a single skillet, bake time is about 20-25 minutes.
- Top each stick liberally with a drizzle of Crema Mexicana, cotija cheese, ancho chile powder, chopped cilantro and a spritz of lime. Serve warm with a cold crisp bottle of Topo Chico and a drizzle of Cholula Hot Sauce.