Denny's can serve up a chocolate bacon sundae (the thought makes me a little nauseated) then anything is possible I suppose.
This corn muffin recipe began life as Ina Garten's. I liked her fairly simple and straightforward, albeit "Yankeefied" version of classic cornbread muffins. After trying the ridiculously complicated yeast version from Cook's Illustrated, I was looking for something a little more "back to basics." However, looking at Ina's recipe I felt it needed something else. There was a lot of butter in it, which is not a bad thing, but I thought I might be able to tame that a little bit by subbing in some canola oil. I also felt that if I cut a little of the cholesterol out with the canola oil I'd have room for something that was sure to give the muffins a little je ne sais quoi - bacon grease. I can hear the food nazis out there gasp, "Bacon grease, oh no!" Well, bacon grease compliments the flavors of corn bread and corn muffins beautifully. Adding a scant 2-3 tablespoons to the batter doesn't make you say "Oh, these have bacon grease!" rather, it is a very subtle flavor that lingers in the background and gives the muffins depth. A dash of cayenne pepper adds another mysterious flavor note.
I really loved the way these turned out and even Michael enjoyed them, although he thought they could have been smaller. I baked these in the jumbo muffin tins which make 12 muffins. However, if you're like Michael and want your corn muffins a little smaller, you can use a regular sized tin and come out with about 18-24.
These corn muffins are just on the sweet side thanks to the sugar but the corn meal flavor still shines through and thanks to the two "secret" ingredients these have a great depth of flavor that will keep you coming back for more.