I had written down the flavor combo in a notebook months and months ago. It was almost forgotten until one afternoon at the grocery store when I noticed a small smoked ham on sale. I decided to buy it and use it for ham and swiss muffins.
As is sometimes the case with recipe development, the first couple of batches ranged from 'meh' to 'lets throw that right into the garbage'. The ham was used up, the test recipes tucked away in a binder, and the project was put on hold.
It wasn't until a bit of leftover ham from the holidays jogged my memory and inspired me to work the kinks out of the recipe that this verison came into being.
I wanted them to be soft, moist, and savory with chunks of ham and pockets of melted swiss throughout.
I should know by now that the answer to many a recipe's problem is MORE CHEESE. When will I learn? So for this batch I increased the amount of cheese which led to .. cheesy deliciousness (of course).
Another issue I had with the earlier versions was despite the ham and swiss, the muffins were lacking in flavor. This thyme added that something-something that had been missing. A 1/2 tsp was a little bit too much so the amount was reduced to 1/4 tsp which was perfect. Just enough to add a bit of flavor without overwhelming the cheese.
I now had the muffin batter that I was after: light, fluffy, flavorful, and studded with smoky ham and cheesy swiss.
I had stopped using muffin liners for most of my recipes because I hated how much of the muffin would stick to the paper, especially when baking with cheese! Instead I would grease the muffin tins which worked but was annoying and added extra clean-up.
On a whim I bought these parchment paper muffin cups and oh. my. god. (I swear nobody is paying me to say this) these are magical! Nothing sticks to them. Nothing. Not baked on cheese, not sticky dough. Nothing!
The muffins come out of the oven all toasty and warm...
..and the papers practically fall off. I can't believe I've been baking this long without knowing about these. Why didn't anyone tell me?
So here they are, the muffins that I almost didn't get around to making. Thank god I finally did, we ate almost an entire batch between the two of us in one day! I normally try to exercise restraint if I'm planning on making multiple batches but I was totally helpless against them. I now have a double batch stashed in my freezer which requires me to warm them up in the microwave and prevents me from devouring them all at once. Savory muffin Nirvana
Ham and Swiss Muffins
2 cups flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups of ham cut into 2cm cubes
Preheat the oven to 375 and line two muffin tins with papers
1. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and thyme in a medium bowl.
2. In a separate bowl combine the milk, egg, and melted butter.
3. Stir milk mixture into the flour mixture until barely combined. Fold in the ham and swiss. Divide the batter up between 17 muffin cups.
4. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Mine were always done at 17 minutes but it will depend on your oven.
Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy warm! If you plan on freezing some, allow to cool completely and then freeze in a ziplock freezer bag as soon as possible. The fresher they are when they go in the freezer, the fresher they will be when they come out.